Monday, October 22, 2012

Our first New Mexico shooting location: Toadlena Trading Post and the magnificent Navajo weavings of the Two Grey Hills

Interviewing Mark Winters owner of Toadlena Trading Post

Mark and Linda Winters graciously put us up at Toadlena Trading Post and Museum in Toadlena, New Mexico while we shot a segment on them and their work with the highly respected Navajo weavers of the Two Grey Hills. I highly recommend a visit to this historic trading post. Not only will you see an active trading post but the weavings of the Toadlena/Two Grey Hills are famous for the their beauty and their finely spun and woven craftsmanship and design. The weavers of the Two Grey Hills are held in high esteem for achieving a standard that others strive to reach. Mark and Linda put in long and demanding hours promoting not only the master weavings of deceased weavers but also the up and coming generations and help them to sell their weavings at prices these exquisite weavings richly deserve so that the weavers of Toadlena/Two Grey Hills can continue their tradition and make much deserved income. 
One of the beautiful grandmothers came in with a weaving she had just completed to show Mark. He purchases their weavings for sale at the trading post and documents each one with a photograph of them with their weaving that they take home as well as him maintaining a record. 
More about some of the weavers in my next blogpost. Mark keeps extensive records of all the weavings and their lineage from the different families of the Toadlena/Two Grey Hills. He has written a voluminous book which he spent over 23 years on as an amazing labor of love, that chronicles the history and shows an extensive record of the weavers starting with Navajo grandmothers, some of whom have passed on and those still living and the legacy of weaving that continues with their descendants. Here is more information on the book and how to buy it.

I also highly recommend a trip to the trading post where you can purchase the book and see and purchase the weavings in person. They also mount shows in the museum attached to the post. Not only is the post full of the wonderful weavings of the Toadlena/Two Grey Hills but it is also a vital trading post that sells food and other necessities to the locals. On a busy day you will also see many of the weavers coming in to sell their latest weavings to the trading post or locals purchasing necessities. 
The beautiful subtle palette of the weavings of the Toadlena/Two Grey Hills weavings come from  the undyed natural wool. Carding (combing or blending) various colors together creates additional shades broadening the range and palette of color. 
The Two Grey Hills

Stay tuned for more about our trip and shooting at Toadlena/Two Grey Hills and some of the weavers on upcoming blog posts.

Toadlena Trading Post operates in the same way trading posts have since the 1870s—directly with the weaver and her family. You are offered the unique opportunity to acquire a textile of timeless beauty, acknowledged excellence and lasting value.
The Navajo weaver is following the “Path of Beauty” with a skill passed down from Spider Woman. We invite you to visit the Toadlena Trading Post in New Mexico or follow the progress of the weavers on our web site.

A map to Toadlena Trading Post:
Directions: From Gallup, drive 1 hour north on Hwy 491 (old 666).
Take the 2nd entrance to Toadlena at the Shell Gas Station.
Follow the signs from the Shell Gas Station.
  1. Farmington
  2. McGee Park & Coliseum
  3. Aztec Ruins National Monument
  4. Salmon Ruin & San Juan Archaeological Center
  5. Navajo Lake State Park
  6. Angel Peak Recreation Area
  7. Bisti Wilderness
  8. Chaco Culture National Historical Park
  1. Shiprock Pinnacle
  2. Window Rock Navajo Tribal Park
  3. Canyon de Chelly National Monument
  4. Monument Valley
  5. Four Corners Monument
  6. Mesa Verde National Park
  7. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Toadlena Trading Post
P.O. Box 8014
Newcomb, NM 87455

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