Spirit Line

Sofia Klapischak




from "Situated Flow: A Few Thoughts on Reweaving Meaning in the Navajo Spirit Pathway" by Jill Ahlberg Yohe

"In Navajo terms, weaver’s pathways are designed to materialize and then release weavers from the objects they create. Intentionally weaving a ch’ihónít’i into a textile is a preventative measure that disentangles weavers from the finished product created to sell in the wider marketplace. The necessity for the ch’ihónít’i—understood as both an object and a process—relates to Navajo theories of cause and effect and is directly associated with the integral connections that exist between persons and things in the Navajo world.


She says, “the weaver’s pathway shows that the weaver puts her spirit into the piece, and there is a part of that spirit in the weaving, that connection. Then the spiritline also shows that the pathway creates a way for the weaver’s spirit free, allowing her to go on. And it shows you have both things, the connection with the weaver and the freedom for the weaver’s spirit.”


photo by Herb and Dorothy McLaughlin