This fine art tapestry handmade by Doris Duncan is a masterful example of Storm Pattern style of weaving. The Storm Pattern traces its origins to one of the most important legends in Navajo culture: the creation of the Navajo homeland. In the blanket’s center is the first house, or Hogan, in which the people began to arrange their world. It is surrounded by four sacred mountains, symbolized on the blanket by rectangles near each corner. The Storm Pattern weaves legends and truths into an intricate pattern of symbol, tradition and beauty.
- Rug handmade by Doris Duncan (Navajo)
- Genuine Storm Pattern Navajo rug
- Natural dyed wool
- Rug measures 19-1/4” long x 14-1/2” wide
- Comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity
Handcrafted works of Native American art require special care. For more information about proper care and cleaning, please read our Care Guide.
Doris Duncan is an expert rug weaver from the Navajo Nation who draws from traditional and classic Navajo rug designs.
Storm rugs are a celebrated style of Navajo weaving that may have developed in the western portion of the Navajo reservation in the early 20th century. This symmetrical bordered style features a square or rectangle at its center with lines radiating out from there to each of the rug’s four corners. This defining design may be accented with other geometric forms such as zigzags, arrows, diamonds and stairstep patterns. The most common color scheme combines red, black, gray and white created from commercial dyes, though today many weaver experiment with color in their Storm pattern rugs and even combine it with other regional styles. The meaning and symbolism of the Storm pattern is a source of debate, though many believe the central square represents the home and the four corners represent the Navajo people’s four sacred mountains. Other geometric designs likely represent mountains, snow, rain, lightning and other elements of nature. Today the Storm pattern has become one of the most popular styles of Navajo weaving and is one of the most prized by collectors.
For nearly two centuries, Navajo rugs have been highly sought after trade items, prized for their beauty and quality. Anthropologists believe the Navajo people were introduced to weaving in the 17th century by the Pueblo people, who had been growing and weaving cotton for hundreds of years before the arrival of the Spanish. Navajo weavers primarily used wool from the churro sheep brought by the Spanish. The Navajo believe that Spider Boy gave them their first loom and that Spider Woman taught them how to weave. Early Navajo blankets were simple in design and used very little color. By the middle of the 19th century, Navajo “Chief’s Blankets” had become a highly valued trade good, known for their softness and quality, and were traded as far away as the Great Plains. Styles were influenced by Spanish and Mexican weaving and artists began to add some geometric patterns such as rectangles and diamond shapes.
Navajo weaving declined in the late 19th century as more manufactured clothing and goods arrived with the railroads and demand decreased. Around the turn of the century, traders like J.L. Hubbell, C.N. Cotton and John B. Moore encouraged the revival of Navajo weaving, believing rugs could be marketed to audiences in the Eastern United States. As the only significant customers of Navajo rugs at this time, these traders had a significant impact on the direction of Navajo weaving. They introduced their own design concepts and, as a result, particular weaving styles developed around trading posts, such as Two Grey Hills and Ganados. Navajo weavers also turned to vegetal dyes at this time and in a few decades became known for the unsurpassed quality of their rugs and tapestries. Today Navajo rugs are prized for their artistry and craftsmanship and considered among the most valuable in the world.Read our Native American Rugs Collector's Guide."
At Shumakolowa Native Arts, we guarantee that your purchase is an original and authentic work handcrafted by Native American artists as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. We ask our artists to complete an extensive certification process, providing a CIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card and other documentation of their Native American heritage. Our team of experts carefully inspects every product to guarantee it is handcrafted using traditional, sustainable processes and natural materials of only the highest quality. We record the place and date of each purchase and pride ourselves in paying a fair price that allows artists to make a living practicing their craft. Every work of handcrafted art comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by an artist or buyer. At a time when many commercially-made products are being sold as handcrafted Native American art, our in-depth purchase process allows us to guarantee the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have made it a priority to visit artists in their studio or home to purchase their latest handcrafted pieces and learn about their work. We have developed lasting relationships with artists, as well as dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.