Navajo weaver Sally Black is one of the most innovative weavers of traditional and pictorial sumac baskets today. This beautiful, large sumac and yucca Navajo basket has a yei design.
Sally Black is one of the most recognizable names in the art of Navajo basket weaving. Born and raised on the eastern edge of Monument Valley, she has emerged from humble beginnings to become known worldwide for her art. Born in 1959 and raised at Douglas Mesa in Utah, Sally started weaving when she was 8 years old. She is the eldest daughter of the matriarch of the most prominate family in Navajo basketry, Mary Holiday Black. This family is considered by many to have been mainly responsible for the revival of basketry. Without a doubt Sally and the rest of the Black family are the cutting edge of contemporary Navajo basket weavers. The clean design and even weave prove that Sally is definitely one of the best Navajo basket weavers ever.
She has won Best of Show awards in Colorado and the Museum of Northern Arizona. Also Best of Class at Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial and the Heard Indian Fair. In 1975 she was watching her mother weaving a Navajo rug when she got the idea to put Navajo rug designs and other pictorial elements into her baskets. One of her favorites was the healing figures Yei-Be-Chai dancers.
She is credited with starting these unusual designs and is constantly striving to create new elements. She now lives in Monument Valley.