This handcrafted tapestry by master weaver Lillie Y. Joe is a brilliant and timeless work of fine art. Created in the renowned eye dazzler style developed in the late 19th century, the rug features stacked diamond shapes that come together to create a complex design of terraced zigzag lines. Created in an earthy palette of brown, tan, black and white from all-natural undyed wool, Joe’s work skillfully demonstrates why this style of rug is known as an eye dazzler. One of the most popular types of Navajo weaving, eye dazzlers are noted for their complexity and color, and Joe’s rug is a remarkable example of the prized style.
- Rug handcrafted by Lillie Y. Joe (Navajo)
- Natural undyed wool yarn
- Rug measures 26” x 37”
- 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.
Lillie Y. Joe (born ca. 1940) is a Navajo master weaver from the Teec Nos Pos area of Arizona. She learned the art from her mother, legendary weaver Minne Yazzie, and has passed on the craft to her daughter, Mary.
Eye dazzlers are a Navajo rug style that developed in the late 19th century during the transitional period when Navajo weavers began using colorful commercial dyes and yarns in their blankets and rugs. The style features elaborate stair step and stacked diamond designs and was inspired by the elaborate geometric patterns found in Mexican Saltillo weavings. These rugs were called eye dazzlers because the complex terraced designs were so dazzling that they appeared to vibrate. With their striking patterns and vibrant colors, these rugs because extremely popular with trading posts and tourists. Today, many expert Navajo weavers make rugs in the renowned eye dazzler style, creating sophisticated fine art tapestries that impress collectors around the world with their breathtaking patterns and stunning artistry.
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.