Navajo Blanket Weaver


Unknown Unknown inn0802pd.jpg IN-N-0802 Hand-Tinted Color 1504.0802.0004 inn0802pd Postcard 4x5 Historic Photographs 1900 Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives


A Navajo woman weaving a blanket at a vertical loom.

Navajos originally learned weaving from the Pueblo Indians. After the arrival of the Spaniards with their Churro sheep, wool was the main weaving material. The railroads had a major impact on trade and traders encouraged Navajo women to make their weaving more marketable to the Eastern markets. Women began to weave rugs instead of blankets that complimented Victorian drawing rooms in the East. Navajo women continued to express their ingenuity by using the same basic design elements in new patterns, such as all-over or zoned geometric patterns with or without subtly striped backgrounds achieved by using two dark colors. Blankets and rugs made by the Navajo and thought to be some of the most colorful and best-made textiles produced by North American Indians.


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