Nita Nez – Navajo Rug Weaver

Navajo Oral History Project – Nita Nez

Nita Nez Navajo Rugs

Photo courtesy of Tom Grier – Navajo Oral History Project.

This documentary film was researched, photographed, edited and produced by students of Winona State University (Winona, Minnesota) and Diné College (Tsaile, Arizona, Navajo Nation) during summer 2013.

Nita Nez – Navajo Rug Weaver – Living History 14:50 min

It contains stories Nita Nez an Navajo Rug Weaver from Rock Point, Arizona, that told the students during several hours of interviews about her life

One team headed north to Rock Point, Arizona to meet with Nita Nez, a traditional Navajo rug weaver. There, they would interview Nita again, with the help of a translator, because Nita prefers to speak only in the Navajo language. They also got a demonstration of her creating another work of art at her loom.

Nita Nez - Navajo Rug Weaver - Living History

Skylar Ogren videotaping B-Roll footage of Nita setting up a loom.

Photo courtesy of Tom Grier – Navajo Oral History Project.

Fourteen students from the mass communication department collaborated with seven students from Diné College, the tribal college of the Navajo Nation, to conduct research, interview, photograph and video record Navajo elders over an 18-day period in May-June 2013.

These students, participating in the 2013 Navajo Oral History project, wrote, edited and produced documentary films that will be archived at the Navajo Nation Museum and Library, as well as at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

The documentaries are part of a collaborative project that has been led by mass communication professor Tom Grier and graduate student Robbie Christiano of Winona State and professor Miranda Haskie of Diné College for the past five years.

This year’s films focus on Jake Livingston, a Navajo-Zuni Silversmith from Sanders, Ariz.; Peter McDonald, a Navajo Code Talker during World War II, from Tuba City, Ariz.; Nita Nez, a traditional Navajo rug weaver from Round Rock, Ariz.; Della Toadlena, a retired Diné College English professor from Chinle, Ariz.; and Baje Whitethorne Sr., a world-renowned artist from Flagstaff, Ariz.


Winona State students involved in the 2013 Navajo Oral History Project are: Madison Duncan (Winona, Minn.); Shiloh Gulbranson (Lindstrom, Minn.); Brett Gustafson (Rochester, Minn.); Whitney Harlos (Rochester, Minn.); Tom Hays (Chaska, Minn.); Laura Humes (Mahtomedi, Minn.); Jolene Kuisle (Rochester, Minn.); Adam Maciejczak (Lake City, Minn.); Cara Mannino (Rochester, Minn.); Elise Nelson (Rushford, Minn.); Skylar Ogren (Winona, Minn.); Nik Strand (Blaine, Minn.); Darin Strohmenger (Cedarburg, Wis.); and Danielle Wieczorek (Andover, Minn.).

DVD copies of the student-produced films will be available for sale for $20 each with all proceeds going to a scholarship fund at Diné College