Navajo Rugs – How It Made
Navajo rugs convey so much more than their function. They reflect culture, geography, and way of life. Among contemporary weavers, Ron Garnanez has studied traditional techniques for 50 years. He knows all the sacred chants for each step of the weaving process. And his rugs speak volumes. They represent an art form that has become a part of American culture. You can learn about Navajo weaving from this article.
The history of Navajo weaving goes back centuries. The Navajo people migrated to the Southwestern United States from Canada around the 15th century. They were semi-nomadic hunters and settlers who made their home in the Four Corners area. Their weavings have strong geometric patterns and resemble the kilims of Eastern Europe. However, the Navajo weaving process differs from these textiles in several ways. Firstly, the Navajo people don’t use the slit weave technique, but instead, weave the continuous warp and rely on the fringe for decoration.
Today, the Navajo Nation comprises two thousand five hundred square miles of territory in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. The land is very remote – eighty percent of roads are unpaved. As a result, over half of the population lives below the poverty line. Unemployment hovers around 50 percent and the per capita income is twenty percent lower than the U.S. average. While Navajo weavings are produced in a large number of communities, there are no government-sponsored cooperatives to promote them. Many regional nonprofits market the weaving and Navajo-raised wool and mohair.
If you are curious about the history of Navajo rugs and how they were created, you have come to the right place. Although these rugs date back around 500 years, they only recently started making their way into homes worldwide. They are unique, sought-after, and represent the culture of the Pueblo people. Learn more about Navajo rugs and how they influenced modern society. We’ll also discuss some of the most common mistakes we see in Navajo rugs.
Originally, Navajo rugs were designed by commissioned artists and were widely reproduced throughout the world. They lacked borders, but had horizontal bands and were often designed with added design elements. Navajo rugs are also made with natural vegetable dyes. And, since their production is labor-intensive, they can cost several hundred dollars each. That said, the work is worth the price.
If you’re interested in how Navajo tapestries are made, then you should visit the C.N. Gorman Museum. The museum is celebrating its 40th anniversary and will feature an exhibition of Begay’s work. The Gorman Museum is named after the Navajo artist, Carl Nelson Gorman, who was a founding member of the Native American studies faculty at New York University.
In addition to Mexico and Guatemala, Navajo weaving is also produced in India, Pakistan, Hungary, Romania, and northern Thailand. Until the 1970s, Navajo weavers were not aware of the Zapotec designs that inspired their textiles. Weavers from South America were introduced to Navajo designs by Peace Corps workers. Since then, they have been exploited by outside entrepreneurs, and a lack of communal copyright protection has weakened the sales of Navajo tapestries.