White Cone, Arizona
Leona Bia has been weaving for 37 years and comes from a weaving family. She’s known for her tapestries featuring Yei figures, Eye Dazzlers, and Chief Blanket designs. She has shown at SWAIA Indian Market, the Heard Museum Indian Fair, and We Are the Seeds Santa Fe. She lives in a rural area of the Navajo Nation, where she and her family keep horses, and sheep. In addition to commercially sourced wool, she uses churro, a brown sheep wool, which she spins herself. She uses natural plant dyes, including brown onion skin and Navajo tea plant, as well as acid and aniline dyes to create a range of earth tones. The fulltime weaver works at her loom for up to eight hours a day. She says the act of weaving keeps her spiritually balanced and pushes out negativity. Many of her tools were passed down to her from her mother and grandmother.
Leona also makes jewelry using sterling silver and copper, and stones including turquoise, pink conch shell, and orange spiny oyster. Her lightweight earrings, rings, and other pieces feature stamp designs and resemble vintage Navajo jewelry from the late 1800s and early 1900s.