The Southwest Loves Families of Every Kind

A collage of people, artists, family and art from Twin Rocks Trading Post.

Twin Rocks Loves Families of Every Sort.

At Twin Rocks we admit it, and happily so — we love families of every sort.

Grandparents and kids, people who come together to make a business, brothers and sisters, kids, families of baskets and rugs, families enjoying food, families of dogs and their humans, families of ant hills, families of every sort of creation and creature that love each other.

Love comes in all kinds of packages, and it’s a good thing to spread around.

We also remember to love the earth that nurtures us.  Because, when it comes right down to it, we are all related.

You are always welcome to our Twin Rocks family, whether you are thousands of miles away or sitting across the table.

Old Style Navajo Concho Belt by John Yazzie

Georgiana Kennedy Simpson of Twin Rocks Trading Post of Bluff, UT describes this Navajo Concho Belt.

Geogiana (Jana) Simpson knows her stuff.  Her dad, about to turn 100 years old, is a trader who is still going strong in Gallup, NM., where Jana grew up.  Like the Navajo artists, she learned her trade while she was growing up.

Thank you, Jana, for beinging so many innovations to Twin Rocks, and recognizing beauty!

Mom and Duke’s Trading Post

Rose and Duke Simpson at their Blue Mountain Trading Post in Blanding, UT

Rose and Duke Simpson — aka Mom and Dad — in the Trading Post

We at Twin Rocks are Trading Post kids.  It’s sort of like being a military brat. You are in a world of your own, understood only by those who’ve been there, done that.  Thankfully, it’s world that comes to your own door, and it’s also a world that’s as big as you want to make it when you step outside and climb into your truck.

How many miles do you want to go to find a few perfect pieces?  How many artistic friends do you want to meet on the way?  How many do you want to make?

Trading is an old and venerable way of life.  The Mayans went up and down their trade route which, some say, went all the way to present day Santa Fe, NM, for more years than we can count.

Here in Bluff, when you stand at the Great Kiva, you can still see the paths that led to Chaco, the center of another civilization.

We at Twin Rocks learned to trade from our dad, Duke Simpson, still the patriarch of our family.  With five kids in five years, we went to work pretty young, and mom was good at laying down the law.  (Which was a good thing — we were kind of an unruly crew.)

Duke could and would trade for anything.  He’d head off in his pick-up truck with a roll of baling wire to start the bargaining, trading up, around and over.  (Having plenty of baling wire is kind of a big deal in west.)

This year is a landmark birthday for Duke and Rose who have been together for just about forever.  We wish them well. We’re glad they gave us the life they did.  Happy Birthday!

PS:  Yes, they still have a trading post.  And they have an RV Park.  If you want to stop by, head up the road 25 miles from Bluff, UT and say hello to those good people at Blue Mountain Trading Post!  Treasures await you.

Two Navajo Artists Find Grace in their Folk Art

Navajo carfts, and carvings, teach us about the old gods, the animals spirits and the place they hold in our lives.

Marvin Jin and Grace Begay, Navajo Artists, Find Grace and Fun

Based upon the Navajo Creation Tales, the extraordinary and unique sculptures of Marvin Jim reflect a time long ago, when animals and humans walked and worked together to create this new world.Traditional Navajo stories speak of conversations among all beings, of behaving in a manner of mutual respect, and of all beings having an equal position in the community. These legends are an essential part of the Navajo culture.

The tales are of universal interaction, compassion and tolerance — all the things necessary to live a balanced existence.

The animals played prominate roles in these myths. For example, Coyote is often portrayed delivering fire to humans, a selfish act initially, but one that proved selfless in the end. There was Turkey who kept his wits about him during the great flood. When everyone else grabbed  personal possessions, Turkey gathered life-giving seeds. These seeds made it possible for the people to survive.

The four great rams who dispersed the flood waters into a mirage world, making the earth livable are mentioned. Duck, who dove back into the troubled waters to fetch the forgotten medicine bag of First Man is also an important part of the stories. This act cost him his beautiful plumage, but gave rise to the sacred mountains which guard and protect the people.

Marvin has chosen to recreate these lessons through sculpture. Raised in the traditional Navajo way, this talented young artist, carves his “upright animals” to show that there was once, and will be again, a personal connection to the animal world.

There is a special grace and love in his work that make you feel happy.  Isn’t that a miraculous thing?