Navajo and Pueblo weaving flowered with the introduction of flocks of churro sheep by the Spanish. By the early 19th century, Navajo women were weaving wearing blankets and Pueblo men were weaving the traditional twill-woven woman’s manta’s. In the last thirty years of the 19th century, colorful commercial dyes began to be available to Navajo weavers and the use of deep blue Indigo dye and red raveled cloth yarns were quickly phased out in favor of these orange, green and magenta handspun yarns. Simultaneously, finely spun commercial yarns, commonly called Germantowns, were shipped across the Santa Fe Trail and distributed by traders for use by the Navajo weavers. At the turn of the 20th century Navajo weavings became desirable in Arts and Crafts style interiors, creating a demand (and market) for thicker weavings suitable as floor rugs. This then initiated the development of regional trading post rug styles on the Navajo Reservation.

Pueblo weaving examples are the 19th century striped blankets, twill-woven mantas from Zuni and Hopi and smaller traditional textiles including dance sashes.

Coulter Brooks | Art and Antiques | Fine New Mexican and American Indian Art | Santa Fe, New Mexico | 505-577-7051
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