Elsie Holiday

Elsie Stone Holiday grew up weaving traditional rugs and married Peter Holiday, the brother of Mary Holiday Black. “When I married into the Holiday family, I didn’t know anything about basket weaving,” she explains. “So I watched them weave and I got interested in it and I wanted to try it. And I tried it, and my first basket actually came out good. It was fun, so I decided to do it, and do it, and do it, and now I can’t stop!” Elsie is a prolific weaver renowned for her technical precision and creativity. She finds inspiration in many different forms of art, from modern paintings to historic Diné (Navajo) rugs, and can do the complex mental calculus of translating these designs into a basket. Elsie has also made a specialty of weaving oval baskets that allow her to portray faces and a variety of vessels, often reproducing the same pattern in different shapes. Her pieces are some of the most spectacular of the Diné basket revolution.