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Native American Rugs & Blankets
The Dine or Navajo people brought to the southwest with their own Navajo rug and weaving traditions. The Navajo learned to weave cotton on looms from the Pueblo peoples. The Navajos made fine utilitarian blankets that were collected by other Native American tribes. These Navajo or chief’s Blankets were called that because only chiefs or wealthy individuals could purchase them. The completion of the railroads dramatically changed Navajo rugs. Cheap blankets were imported, so Navajo weavers shifted their sights to Navajo rugs for an increasingly non-Native audience. Rail service also brought in Germantown wool, commercial dyed wool, which greatly expanded the weavers' color palettes.
Some early American settlers moved in and set up trading posts, often buying Navajo Rugs by the pound and selling them back east by the bale. Still these traders encouraged the locals to weave blankets and rugs into distinct styles. They included "Two Gray Hills", "Teec Nos Pos", "Ganado" red dominated patterns with black and white, "Crystal", oriental and Persian styles, "Wide Ruins", "Chinlee", banded geometric patterns, "Klagetoh", diamond type patterns, "Red Mesa" and bold diamond patterns. Many of these Navajo rug patterns exhibit a fourfold symmetry, which is thought to embody traditional ideas about harmony.
Today Navajo rug making is a fine art, and weavers opt to work with natural or commercial dyes and traditional, pictorial, or a wide range of geometric designs. Alltribes has the opportunity to buy sell and trade with some of the best Navajo weavers in the Southwest.