TahNibaa Naataanii (Director of Photography)
 Documentary short | Runtime 5’58” | 2022

TahNibaa Naataanii, is a Diné master weaver living on Navajo Land outside Table Mesa. Dedicated artist and fierce advocate for traditional Navajo or Diné weaving, TahNibaa is working to expand ideas about weaving and deepen traditions. For TahNibaa Naataanii, and the Diné (Navajo) people, weaving is more than an artistic practice, it is a way of life that teaches and reinforces the connectivity to ancestral and spiritual philosophies of self, land, and community. Naataanii honors and maintains the ancestral weaving protocols and lessons that were passed on to her from her mother, her maternal grandmother, and all the grandmothers before her. Thus, she practices traditional Diné weaving methods by harvesting wool from sheep on her own land in the high desert, dying her materials using plants found in the Navajo Nation, and participating in weaving ceremonies and prayers to bless the nature of her work.

In addition to her own vision and artistry, TahNibaa Naataanii is recognized as a gifted and prolific mentor and teacher of holistic Diné weaving practice – from farming sheep to harvesting and dyeing wool, and through the complex techniques of developing and weaving textiles on a loom. She is also a celebrated interpreter of Diné weaving traditions, working with museums and cultural centers to tell the story and process of this remarkable art. 

This piece profiles her practice.
Text draws from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and the NEA

Director: Olivia Merrion 
Producer: Debra A. Wilson
Directors of Photography: Nathaniel Brown & Elliot DeBruyn
Editor: Lorena Alvarado
Client: National Endowment for the Arts for the 2022 Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship Awards