Tradition; Craft; Wool; Cinch; Navajo
Profile of Artist Gladys Oliver
Utah State Archives
Utah Division of Arts and Museums. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright All Years. Utah Division of Arts and Museums. All Rights Reserved.
Person Item Type Metadata
Monument Valley, San Juan, Utah, USA
Gladys Oliver weaves not only rugs, sashes and saddle blankets, but she also makes wool cinches, a once common item that is now quite rare. Cinch making was likely developed by Navajo weavers when the leather straps on military saddles needed replacement. Though the art form became virtually extinct during the last century, in recent years a few weavers in the Monument Valley area have revived the skill and are even teaching it to students at the local high school. Gladys Oliver and her ninety plus year old mother, Lulu Yazzie, are part of the small group who remember how to weave cinches. While Lulu’s black and white striped cinch is very traditional in size and design, Gladys’ larger red, brown and black cinch, made using a double weave technique, has a different design on each side, and reflects contemporary style.
“Gladys Oliver,” Utah Folk Arts, accessed February 25, 2021, https://utahfolkarts.omeka.net/items/show/90.