Weavers of Navajo Yia Rugs
Historically, Navajo textiles have been made by a small group of people who live in the southwestern United States. The textile patterns are passed down from generation to generation. They often reflect the area in which the Navajo tribe originally lived. In addition to the Navajo Yia Rugs, Navajo textiles are often used in art galleries, which can serve as an excellent way to view the southwestern art of the region.
Navajo Yia Rugs
Native American rugs and textiles were first made by Navajo people and then exported all over the world. These souvenirs became immensely popular in the 19th century. These hand-woven blankets often do not have borders and have horizontal bands of color. They are often made of natural vegetable dyes and feature added design elements. The Navajo people made the weavings as a way to express their identity.
During the first decades of the twentieth century, weavers began to use color schemes that were no longer influenced by the Classic style. These rugs were now known as Early Crystal rugs. These rugs typically feature deep red “grounds” and white or black central motifs. The color scheme was largely neutral, so rugs made after the 1920s tended to be richer in natural wool colors.
Weavers of sandpainting weavings
The Kennedy Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio, is hosting an exhibit titled “Weavers of Navajo Yia Sandpaintings: The Power of Color.” This exhibit will display the works of a number of Navajo artists and includes pieces from private collections. The exhibit features traditional Navajo sandpaintings and the significance of Hosteen Klah, a famous medicine man. The weavings in this exhibit include a whirling log that represents safety.
The earliest ceremonial rug was made from Germantown yarn, but after that, rugs were usually made from handspun native wool. But, since the 1960s, most sandpainting weavings use commercially dyed two or four-ply yarn. The Despatch Nez family is a prime example of outstanding Navajo Yia weavers, and they created approximately 120 sandpainting textiles.
Lynda Teller Pete
As the fifth generation Navajo weaver of Navajo Yia Rugs, Lynda Teller Pete is renowned for her work. She is the daughter of Ruth Teller, who crafted rugs that became collectors’ favorites. The story behind her weaving style was told in her book, Spider Woman’s Children: Navajo Weavers Today, published in 1998.
A few years ago, a young Roxanne made a tapestry that won first place in the Navajo Weaving Youth Division of the Santa Fe Indian Market. Her design uses vegetal dyed wool spun by her grandmother Barbara. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture purchased her tapestry, which will be displayed alongside Barbara’s original work. The collection will also include tapestries by Roxanne’s uncle Michael.
The Heard Museum Gathering of Weavers is a unique event where Navajo weavers sell their work directly to buyers. The event started out as a small gathering five years ago and has struggled to find a niche in an economy that is tight as it is right now. However, the Heard Museum Gathering of Weavers seems to have reached a point where the weavers are happy to sell their products there. In fact, it is the largest gathering of Navajo weavers in the world, and Teller has been involved with the event since its beginning.
Jackson is a fourth-generation Navajo weaver and is known for her colorful, unique rugs. She shares her expertise through lectures and presentations as well as through her blog Warped Canvas. She has also created a newsletter called The Navajo Yia – a collection of personal stories about travels throughout the Southwest. Subscribe to her newsletter by visiting the gallery home page.