Louise Lamphere met Eva Price in 1965 in Sheep Springs, New Mexico, on the eastern side of the Navajo Reservation, while Lamphere was doing fieldwork for her dissertation in social anthropology at Harvard University. Over the next forty years, Lamphere developed a strong friendship with Price that expanded to include Eva's daughter, Caroline Cadman, and granddaughter, Valerie Darwin. When Price expressed her desire to pass along her teachings about Navajo life to her children and grandchildren, Lamphere saw an opportunity to pursue her own interest in writing a book on Navajo women that would encompass their transformative experiences through the twentieth century. Lamphere collaborated with Price, Cadman, and Darwin to create a narrative that highlights the voices of three generations of Navajo women, placing them in the context of larger American society rather than presenting the Navajo as an isolated indigenous culture. Emphasizing the vibrancy and strength of Navajo culture, ""Weaving Women's Lives"" illustrates the process of incorporating new practices and ideas while retaining distinctive Navajo beliefs, values, and orientations. As individual threads are woven to create a unique pattern, so have Navajo women pulled together elements of Navajo and Anglo culture to create a new blueprint for their lives.
Louise Lamphere has been a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico since 1986. She is also former president of the American Anthropological Association. Eva Price, Caroline Cadman, and Valerie Darwin are members of the Navajo Nation and live in northwest New Mexico.