Mary Holiday Black is a Navajo basket weaver who was born and raised in the Monument Valley area where she later married and raised 11 children. Mary learned to weave at eight years of age and has never abandoned her craft. She has created a second generation of artists blending ancient art and modern technology. Two of her daughters, Sally Black, 34, and Agnes Grey, 31, also weave baskets.
In the mid 1970’s Mary began adapting motifs from Pima and Tohono O’odham basketry. Then, in an even bolder move, she started to create designs from nature, her mother’s rug patterns and her father’s sand paintings. She says she once included Holy People on a basket because she saw yeis, sacred beings, rising into the sky from the valley below as she returned home from a ceremony.