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Clara Sherman

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Subject: Weaving, Textile arts of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Horrocks loom, Rapier loom, Yunjin
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Clara Sherman

Clara Sherman
Clara Sherman standing in front of her woven Navajo rug
Clara Sherman in 2007
Born Nezbah Gould
(1914-02-18)February 18, 1914
Near the Toadlena-Newcomb area
Died July 31, 2010(2010-07-31) (aged 96)
Nationality American Navajo
Known for Weaving
Movement Navajo rugs
Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, August, 2004; New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, 2006

Clara Nezbah Sherman (February 18, 1914 – July 31, 2010)[1][2] was a Navajo artist particularly known for her Navajo rugs. Born Nezbah Gould, her mother was of the Hashtłʼishnii clan, and her father was of the Naashashí Dineʼé. She was the last surviving member of ten siblings including an adopted sister. Sherman and her siblings learned to weave as children from her family, who specialized in the craft.[3] Clara had several children with her husband, John Sherman. Her daughters and granddaughters also learned to weave.[4]

She played the harmonica, and could "keep a melody and bass line going at the same time."[5]

In 2006, she was awarded the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts by the governor of New Mexico in association with the National Endowment for the Arts. She is one of the artists whose work is available at the historic Toadlena Trading Post on New Mexico Arts' Fiber Arts Trail.[5]


  1. ^ Reweaving culture's fabric Navajo rugs see revival via outsider June 9, 2002, Denver Post, "And Winter bought new dentures for 87-year-old Clara Sherman, one of the best living Navajo weavers."
  2. ^ Clara Sherman's obituary
  3. ^ "Clara Sherman, Navajo Weaving". Convocations Indian Arts Research Center. 2006-07-14. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  4. ^ Snyder, Jim (2002-06-29). "Dances with Wool Exhibit Opens". Canku Ota (64). Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  5. ^ a b "Clara Sherman, 1914-2010". Home of Toadlena Trading Post and Navajo Two Grey Hills Weavings. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 

External links

  • Video of Clara Sherman carding and spinning wool, YouTube
  • Photos of Clara Sherman
  • Woven rug portrait of Clara playing her harmonica
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