Rainbow Refraction

No Longer Available




Wool/Mohair weft, natural and synthetic dyes. Navajo Wedge Weave technique.


27.5" x 35"



I weave my textiles using a Navajo upright tension loom, a technology of indigenous origin from the American Southwest. My people’s weaving traditions were developed for utilitarian purposes over many centuries. The tapestries I create utilize a variety of techniques from the Navajo weaving repertoire. Each technique has a unique history and use, and many are in danger of being forgotten. Using over 250 colors of weft dyed with both natural and synthetic compounds, I seek to manifest on my loom the beauty and reverence for water that I have inherited from my ancestors. As a descendant from a culture that evolved in an arid climate, all meteorological phenomena related to water is considered sacred and elemental to our lives. My tapestries feature the subjects of rainbows, clouds, lightening, and light refracted on water. From many years of experimentation and rediscovery of my family’s textile heritage, I have developed a signature style that combines numerous Navajo weaving techniques with polychromatic saturation. I named my contribution to the rich and evolving textile culture of my people, The Expanded Rainbow Aesthetic. I view my tapestries as a visual record for future generations of Navajo people, with the hope that they may understand the ancient philosophies interwoven with our textile arts. 

About this Artist

Venancio Aragon

Venancio Aragón is a Diné textile artist and holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees: one in Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and the other in Native American Studies from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Prior to becoming a full-time artist, Venancio worked for the National Park Service as an interpretive ranger in various parks and monuments throughout the Southwest. His interest in archaeology, anthropology, and art has led him on a journey of researching and reviving portions of the Diné weaving repertoire that are in danger of being lost. Venancio was the 2020 Rollin and Mary Ella King Native Artist Fellow at the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His work at SAR centered on documenting and recreating lesser known and uncommon Diné weaving techniques. He lives and works Farmington, New Mexico, where he continues to educate and promote Diné…
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