Nestled between the Carizo Mountains and the volcanic neck of Shiprock is the Red Valley, a landscape of spectacular red sandstone cliffs and black volcanic plugs. It is home to the Jackson family of weavers.
Albert Jackson and his wife Susie supplement their subsistence life-style with the sale of their weavings. They are both from extended families of weavers and are prolific themselves, having woven hundreds of rugs in all regional styles. Recently their three children have taken up weaving. Albert elaborates on their life-style by saying, "I have a grazing permit from my mon. We have to keep livestock on it so we can keep the land going for the family. That's the reason why I weave. Maybe their are jobs but I tell my kids to go on to school, go on to college, we're here for you. There's something valuable about being here."
Albert began working at the loom when he was about five. He says, "My mom and grandma on my dad's side used to weave. I had the interest of doing it because my family used to go up to Colorado. They used to hoe beans and would weave in the evening by lamp [light]. My mom told me that I was left behind and spent the whole day by myself. I wouldn't see anyone until sundown when they got off work. When they went off to work one day I told my mom I wanted to weave. I sneaked some wool and wove a striped rug."