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Hosteen Klah

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Hosteen Klah (1867–1937) was a Navajo artist and medicine man. He gave information to anthropologists and others about Navajo religion and related ceremonial practices. He was also a weaver of unusual designs.

Klah was important to the development of Navajo weaving. Among the Navajo, weavers are normally female, and chanters (hatali) are normally male. Hosteen Klah was both a weaver and a chanter. This was possible because of his particular gender status. Klah was a nadle (meaning "one who is transformed" or "one who changes"). A nadle could be born male, female, or intersexed.

Klah was born in western New Mexico upon the Navajos’ return from government internment at Bosque Redondo. He received training in the traditionally male realm of ceremonial practices (chanting and sandpainting) from his uncle. While most individuals master only one or two complete chants, Klah mastered at least eight. Identified as a nadle in adolescence, Klah began his training in the traditionally female craft of weaving with his mother and sister in the 1880s. In 1893 Klah wove his first complete weaving at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where he was probably part of a sandpainting demonstration.

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