Irradiated Traditions: Navajo People Wearing the Yellow Dust of Uranium Toxicity

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2017-01-01
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Hahn, Kim
Collier, Ann
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International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) Annual Conference Proceedings
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

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This project involves a multidisciplinary team including a fiber artist/textile surface designer, an apparel designer, a Navajo matriarch and traditional weaver, and a multimedia artist. This design was originally developed for ‘Hope and Trauma in a Poisoned Land,’ an Arizona exhibition where invited artists explored the impact of uranium mining on Navajo lands and people. The two designers incorporated the work of a skillful and revered Navajo weaver who has herself experienced the personal trauma of uranium in her family and on her land. Through her weaving, she told the story about how the very fabric of Navajo family and tribal lives were permanently changed because of uranium toxicity. The second designer then created nuno felt fabric that harmonized with the weaver’s rug. The first designer then created a contemporary outfit, infused by all of the fabrics and design elements, relying on traditional Navajo garment style.

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