Meet our Navajo Instructors

Photo credit ©Joe Coca, Thrums Books

Lynda Teller Pete and Barbara Teller Ornelas are fifth-generation award-winning Navajo weavers garnering international acclaim for their exquisite tapestry weaving. They have been featured in many publications and were the subject of the Craft in America television program which Loom Dancer Odysseys helped to set up for filming in Canyon de Chelly on one of our tours. We have been weaving with Lynda and Barbara since 2013.


Two Grey Hills tapestry weavers Lynda Teller Pete and Barbara Teller Ornelas are Tabaaha (Water Edge Clan) and born for the To’aheedliinii (Two Waters Flow Together Clan). They have been weaving since they were young girls. While they were children, their mother, Ruth, demonstrated weaving and attracted a constant flow of tourists at the Two Grey Hills Trading Post.  Indeed, Ruth Teller’s rugs were so prized that tourists often purchased them right off the loom. As children Lynda and Barbara learned weaving through observation. They have been teaching Navajo weaving for more than 20 years and are authors of two amazing books, Spider Woman’s Children, and How to Weave a Navajo Rug and Other Lessons from Spider Woman.


Weaving is a legacy in the Teller family. For over five generations, grandmothers, mother, sisters, aunts, and cousins have produced award-winning rugs and are featured in numerous publications. Lynda and her family are known for weaving rugs in the traditional Two Grey Hills pattern which identified primarily by a double-diamond layout, intricate geometric design using natural colored, hand-carded and hand-spun wool.


Lynda’s maternal grandmother, Susie Tom and her paternal grandmother, Nellie Peshlakai Teller made sure their daughters and granddaughters learned the art of weaving. They emphasized many practices, such as respecting the loom; preparing one’s own wool via shearing, carding, and spinning; the production and proper care of weaving tools; and paying attention to design elements, always emphasizing the importance of intricate patterns and color combinations.  Lynda's mother Ruth Teller, her maternal aunt Margaret Yazzie, and her older sisters, Barbara and Rosann instilled the belief that beauty and harmony should be woven into every rug.  Today, Lynda and Barbara continue to carry on this tradition.


In Lynda and Barbara’s Navajo weaving workshops, they share their family's rich heritage of Navajo Weaving.  Telling their stories, they give the workshop participant a glimpse into seven generations of enduring Navajo weaving.  Each of their tapestries tells a story.  They are imbued with their hopes, their dreams, their tears, and their laughter.