Arizona Indian Living Treasures Awards

To Honor the Cultures of Arizona Native American Tribes

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Mary H. Begay


Mary H. Begay has been weaving since the age of 14. She a member of the Navajo Nation and resides in her home community of Ganado, Arizona. Mrs. Begay has dedicated her life to perfecting her skills and making an impact in her community, tribal nation, and worldwide through the art of traditional rug weaving. For over 35 years, Mary Begay provided Navajo rug weaving demonstrations for the public at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. Each day Mrs. Begay would weave and answer questions from visitors about the art of Navajo weaving. Community school groups, tour groups, international visitors, community members and co-workers watched, listened, learned and enjoyed the knowledge Mrs. Begay shared.

Through her teachings and demonstrations, Mrs. Begay has revitalized the art of weaving within her local community. Mrs. Begay was once called upon to weave and teach others to weave within her community. Through her mentorship, many community members became skilled weavers. Mrs. Begay’s weaving skills are renowned and have been featured in countless magazines and books. In honor of the Bi-Centennial of the United States of America, Mrs. Begay was asked to weave a Navajo rug with the Arizona State Flag design. This 4' x 6' Navajo rug textile woven with the United States Flag design was raised over the Arizona State Capitol building on July 1, 1976. Her craft lives on in the community and throughout the world as weavers continue to learn from Mrs. Begay’s example.


Previous AILTA Recipients

Amil Pedro
Craft: Carver, Painter
Tribe: Cahuilla Quechan, Maricopa
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