By Naomi Glasses
My name is Naiomi Glasses. I am Hask’aan Hadzohí, (Yucca-fruit-stung-out-in-a-line clan) born for Tł’ááschí’í (Red Bottom people). I’m 20 years old and hail from the beautiful Rock Point, Arizona. My favorite things to do when I’m not weaving are hiking, riding my horses, and skateboarding.
The thing I enjoy most about Rock Point is that it’s a beautiful place. I technically live in Rock Point but I don’t live close to the town part of it and instead I live in “the middle of no where” part of Rock Point. It’s a rural town and I love that about it.
When I’m at home, I can easily collect my thoughts and focus on my weaving with almost no distractions except for maybe when my dogs start barking at rabbits. Other than that, it’s quiet and it’s expansive out here, I feel like I can breathe easier than if I were somewhere a little more congested.
I love to be around my horses because they bring me comfort; I’ve been around horses all my life because my uncles, cousins, dad and brother all have been a part of rodeos. It’s amazing to me that there’s this enormous animal and that instead of wanting to trample me, it’s completely fine with me riding on it’s back and not only that but it’s willing to work with me. Also, it’s just super relaxing to ride a horse and get a panoramic view of my surroundings. No windows, just seeing everything right there in front of me.
With skateboarding, it’s something I fell in love with as a kid and it’s stuck with me because in skateboarding, it’s not something that limits you. There’s not just one way to skate and not everyone does the same thing. We, skaters, all each have our own style and that’s what makes it unique. Something about learning a new trick gives you a rush that is hard to explain.
When I was younger, my family lived off the reservation. But I remember from the time I was little, I was always in love with life on the reservation. Whenever we would come up to visit, I would watch my nalí adzaan weave and every summer we visited, I would beg her to teach me how to weave but she would tell me to just watch her. I would do as I was told and would watch.
Fast forward several years, my brother learned to weave first while I was still in high school. At that point we were living on the reservation and I was helping him and my grandma close up rugs. That’s where it all starts, you learn to close up rugs and then suddenly you’re putting up your own rug and you begin weaving.
It wasn’t until after I graduated high school, I decided to give weaving my full and undivided attention.
My first ever rug was a smaller than average saddle blanket that had a super simple design but at that time that design seemed so hard. It was just squares and stripes now that I look at it. I still do help my grandma and brother close up their rugs as well.
At the beginning, I had the guidance of my nalí and brother, Tyler, and I am extremely thankful for them. I love weaving because it gives me a sense of connection to my ancestors, I have a batten that’s basically an antique and I cherish it more than anything, it belonged to my great grandmother who gave it to my grandmother and now I use it. Weaving is also a very meditative process.
Most of the time, I sit at the loom and I get to think quietly, my mind gets to wander wherever and that’s usually when I conjure up some new ideas for my next rug. Another thing I love about weaving is that I have the ability to make something out of something as simple as sheep wool. It still fascinates me to this day that my rugs were wool on a sheep, not too long ago.
In all, l would really like Indigenous youth to have confidence in everything they do, eventually the confidence will come even if you have to pretend at first. Also, it’s super important to love yourself because when you’re able to look in the mirror and adore everything about yourself, your confidence begins to build. Even if this all starts out as small as picking out one thing you really love about yourself, the general self-love will build from there. If we have confident Indigenous youth, then as adults, we’ll truly be unstoppable.
To learn more about Naoimi Glasses, please visit the blog Creative Native maintained by Cool Cat.