Native american textiles

Embed Size (px)

Text of Native american textiles

Native American Textiles

Native American Textiles

Navajo Handmade Textiles Handmade Native American rugs and textiles are truly works of art; they are one-of-a-kind items that take many months to create. The handmade Navajo rugs are part of a sacred history that dates back more than 300 years, when weaving was introduced to the Navajo tribe. But the gorgeous Native American rugs, wall hangings, blankets, and other textiles are not just representatives of the past; theyre also emblems of The Next Phase of Navajo weaving. Description by Edward S. Curtis:The Navaho-land blanket looms are in evidence everywhere. In the winter months they are set up in the hogans, but during the summer they are erected outdoors under an improvised shelter, or, as in this case, beneath a tree. The simplicity of the loom and its product are here clearly shown, pictured in the early morning light under a large cottonwood.

Navajo women weavers, as has often been said, are among the best in the world.Raymond Friday Locke


Spider Woman Textiles have been a documented part of Native American culture for over two thousand years. For the Navajo, weaving was a gift of Spider Woman who taught the craft to the first Din, or people. The loom was brought to The People by Spider Boy who taught them its meaning; the frame composed of the Sky and the Earth, the lashing of lightning, the warp of rain; the whole representing the weaver and her relationship between the Sky and the Earth.

Grandmother Spider is an important Goddess amongst the many Native American ...

HISTORY OF NAVAJO RUGS & BLANKETSA Navajo legend a deity named Spider Woman with teaching them weaving. The first loom was said to be of sky and earth cords with tools of sunlight, lightning, white shell, and crystal. In reality, Pueblo Indians taught the Navajos how to weave. The Pueblo people of Northern New Mexico were cultivating cotton around 1300 AD, which they used for weaving. They practiced finger weaving, and had also learned the use of the backstrap loom from Mexican Indian tribes.

The history of Navajo weaving is in many ways the history of the Navajo people. The Navajo textile in its design, materials, and purpose is like a mirror reflecting not only the weaver, but her whole people, in a specific time and place in their history. However it is not for this reason alone that the Navajo weaving now and throughout history has been perhaps the most valued and sought after textile product of the American Southwest. The artistic beauty and sensible function of Navajo woven textiles combine to make them sublime.

ANTIQUE NAVAJO TEXTILES: The first weavings of The People were made for personal use and as valuable trade items. Navajo rug blankets were renowned throughout North America for their beauty and utility, being soft and warm, and because of the natural lanolin in the wool, water resistant as well. Early Navajo rug weaving designs and yarns changed often throughout the years due to the influence of the many cultures active in the Southwest at the time. The beautiful hand woven Navajo Serapes show a great amount of Mexican and Spanish influence. The chiefs blankets, so named because their beauty and value often made them accessible only to the prosperous Plains Indian chiefs and the wealthy white and Mexican colonists, evolved over the years from simple striped blankets to block geometrics and eventually elaborate diamond patterns.

Antique Navajo The turn of the century saw cheaper manufactured wool blankets begin to supplant the Navajo blanket and demand for them began to wane. Early traders stepped in to encourage their local weavers to continue weaving in the fine artistic tradition of the Navajo blanket, opening Eastern markets. Since the demand for decorative rugs far outweighed the demand for blankets. The Navajo blanket became the Navajo rug, an art form produced today for wall hangings and floor coverings.Each is unique to the weaver and categorized in regional styles based on patterns and colors that have come to be identified as that areas signature design. As in centuries past, Navajo rugs still are woven in the highest of artistic standards, on the same type of loom that Spider Boy presented. The weaving tradition is passed down from hand to hand, generation to generation, and the craft of the Spider Woman lives on today.

Ganado, woven by Emma Begay, Navajo.

Here is Emma's idea of a Ganado pattern. As carried down even to today, Hubbell's designs featured a brilliant red background surrounded by strong geometric crosses, diamonds, and stripes constructed with yarns of grey, white and black. Hubbell's textiles usually featured a central motif of one or two diamonds, sometimes a cross, with smaller geometrics occupying the remaining spaces. Emma has studied books and the original Hubbell patterns. If you ever visit the Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, now a museum, you will see some of his original design patterns that he handed the Navajo weavers.Size: 33" wide by 47" long.Price: $1,500.

The Design of native American Rugs Mirror

Most Navajo rugs will be great examples of what is known as symmetrical balance. This means that when the rug is viewed, it looks like each side is a mirror design of the other side. If the Native American rugs were folded in half, the designs would match up symmetrically. The design found on the right side of the rug is symmetrical from left to right. The rug is also symmetrical in design from top to bottom. The top half and the bottom half appear to be mirror images of each other. Even those just starting to weave were taught to carefully plan out their design before they began creating the rug.

Navajo Today Today the Navajo textile is recognized world wide for its intrinsic value as the product of an artist, a heritage, a culture, and a history. Older Navajo rugs and blankets are actively sought for collection by private individuals and museums. Being made of biodegradable materials the rarity and hence the value of Navajo textiles increase dramatically with age. New records are being set with the purchase of antique Navajo textiles through important curations and auctions. The value and artistry of contemporary Navajo weaving is also appreciated today more than at any other time.

Works Cited