Today’s Family


Remember Rudyard Kipling’s story “That Cat Who Walked by Himself” (Just So Stories)? In that day all things were wild. The animals were wild, and man was wild. Then the woman found a nice dry cave, instead of a heap of wet leaves, to lie down in. She strewed clean sand on the floor, put a rug made of wild-horse skin at the entrance, and said, “Wipe your feet, dear, when you come in.” And thus civilization began.

Women have fashioned rugs from many things: from skins of animals, from rushes and weeds, from wool and cotton fibers, and today from many versatile man-made materials.

At one time almost every home had its loom in the corner with a rug in process, waiting the quiet hours for weaving, or a traditional ragbag, holding strips of material to be braided into rugs. Many beautiful rugs are made commercially today, but handmade rugs, whether woven, crocheted, knitted, braided, or stitched, are cherished possessions. As women deftly combine patterns and colors, they build their dreams for their loved ones.

If you would care to make a rug, first learn the basic stitch (how to knit, crochet, weave, braid, or hook a rug), then go to your nearest handicraft store for patterns and instructions and materials.

We have pictured for you various rugs, listing for each the type of rug, the size, and the woman who fashioned it.

[photo] Navajo Rugs: The first Navajo rugs were woven on simple looms in varied designs and colors—usually muted earth colors, made from native dyes of berries and roots. The Navajo rug pictured belongs to John and Orpha Boyden. 5 feet by 3 1/2 feet

[photo] Needlepoint rug; 5 feet by 40 inches, oblong; Cora Barnett

[photo] Crocheted rug; 30 inches in diameter; Ivy Eldredge

[photo] Hooked rug, rose design; 2 foot by 3 foot oval; Ida Westerman

[photo] Knitted rug; 2 foot by 3 foot oval; Lucile C. Reading

[photo] Braided rug; 7 feet in diameter; Kathy Gailey

Navajo Taco

Now that your readers have made and tasted Navajo fry bread [March 1971], they will be ready to make the Navajo taco.

The Navajo taco was originated at Window Rock, home of the Navajo tribal council, at the old Navajo Inn restaurant by a Greek chef who wanted to create a food specialty of and for the reservation. The tacos were sold at Tuba City, and now they are a favorite of the entire reservation.

We of the Southwest Indian Mission MIA board like to serve them at our social events. The Indians like them and enjoy making them.


Make enough fry bread—each piece the size of a dinner plate—for as many as you wish to serve. On top of the fry bread sprinkle chopped lettuce. Over the lettuce generously spread chili beans that have cooked long and are very soft and like paste, or use refried beans cooked with hamburger. On top of the beans sprinkle grated cheese, and top with tomato slices, green chili (a favorite of the reservation), or whatever else you desire. Serve hot with hot sauce.

Patricia A. Decker