The tradition of Navajo Rug weaving combines many aspects of Navajo life into one enduring discipline. The materials, the method, the skill, and the meaning all come together, woven into one beautiful work of cultural art.
Sheep are very important to the Navajo people. The Wool Rugs woven by Navajo artists are made from this important part of the reservation. This gives the Navajo Rug a very close tie to the land and to life on the reservation. The most traditional Navajo weaving is made from wool dyed with natural materials collected from the plants and minerals found in the surrounding environment.
It takes great skill and a lot of time and patience to weave a rug. Just setting up the loom takes a lot of know-how and understanding about what it's going to take and what pitfalls can occur through the weaving process. The looms are very similar to what they used centuries ago but made from modern materials for added strength. The method is the same, carefully intertwine the thread in and out from one end to the other, then tighten with the shed stick, changing colors and thread all the time to create the pattern. This requires planning, incredible concentration, and patience. One thing people don't consider is the space required to weave a rug. About half of a whole room is required and the loom is set up along a wall from one end of the space to the other. So rug weaving is more than a hobby, it's a way of life! The Rug is a part of a weavers life and it lives with them while it is being created. It is born into the family and grows while everyday life continues around it.
The geometric patterns and designs of Navajo Rugs are the roots of the Navajo aesthetic. The traditional patterns have a unique history but the shapes and symmetry are the real core of the Navajo artistic theme. The meaning of Navajo Wool Rugs is more in the process than in the patterns on the surface. The meaning is in the tradition and the practice. The meaning is in the skills and techniques passed down for generations. They are about creating something useful, beautiful and enduring from very little. Each weaving is given a piece of the weavers spirit. Although they hope to get that piece back so they can continue to weave more rugs, the idea that they gave a piece of themselves to create the work of art is very true and this gives the rugs another layer of meaning.
Navajo Rugs are one of the the most special works of art that can be used to bring the feeling and energy of the Southwest to the decor of a room. At Alltribes, we appreciate the art of Navajo Rug weaving as much as the other arts, including the jewelry. Our collection reflects that appreciation and we have a wide variety of Navajo Indian Rugs & Blankets with all of the different patterns and styles, new and old, antique or modern. Find all of the styles here; Chimayo Rugs, Storm Pattern Rugs, Zapotec Rugs, Valero Star Rugs, Two Grey Hill Rugs, Saddle Blankets, Klagetoh Rugs, Wide Ruins Rugs, Antique Vintage Rugs, Tree of Life Rugs, and Ganado Rugs. Together with the owner, we have been buying and selling Navajo Rugs for over 50 years. The knowledge and experience is what gives our selection of Native American Rugs such a high quality and reasonable price.
More about the patterns: Early American settlers moved into the southwest and set up trading posts to deliver the goods and artwork of the southwest tribes to the east. As the appreciation of Navajo Wool Rugs took hold back East, traders were buying Navajo Rugs by the pound and selling them back east by the bale. Over time the market and the traders influenced and encouraged the Navajo to weave blankets and rugs with distinct styles. Different regions and groups developed their own patterns which became a part of their identity. They included "Two Gray Hills", "Teec Nos Pos" and "Ganado". These were often organized black and white geometric patterns with red accents and focal points. The "Crystal" rugs had a more oriental and Persian influence, while the "Wide Ruins" and "Chinlee" offered eye-dazzling banded geometric patterns. "Klagetoh" used a unique combination of bold diamond type patterns to create its own look as did "Red Mesa". 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 for which few young people have the time or patience. Fortunately, the tradition is still passed down - mostly within families. Weavers now choose whether to work with natural or commercial dyes based on cost and durability requirements. While many still weave the traditional patterns, there is a greater variety of designs and themes as artists include their personal expression and the younger generation brings new ideas into the tradition. Alltribes has the opportunity to buy, sell and trade with some of the best Navajo weavers in the Southwest.