This handcrafted tapestry from expert Navajo weaver Rena Begay is a masterful work of art that will last for generations. Seen as the pinnacle of Navajo art and craftsmanship, Two Grey Hills rugs are known for the tightness of the yarn, complexity of design and use of all-natural undyed wool. Featuring symmetrical forms and straight lines that are extremely hard to create, this style of Navajo rug reflects upon the unsurpassed skill of the weaver. Begay’s rug features terraced diamonds and geometric designs in brown, gray, white and tan, creating a sophisticated scene that is tied to the Navajo creation story. A beautiful representation of the most valuable style of Navajo weaving, this tapestry celebrates Navajo culture and artistry.
- Rug handcrafted by Rena Begay (Navajo)
- Natural undyed wool
- Rug measures 40-1/2” x 28-1/2”
- 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.
Rena Begay is a master Navajo weaver from Piñon, Arizona who has been creating rugs for over 40 years. Begay has won First Place at Santa Fe Indian Market and top awards from other prestigious shows.
Two Gray Hills is a style of Navajo weaving that developed around the Two Grey Hills Trading Post in northwestern New Mexico in the early 1900s. Widely considered the most sought-after of all Navajo rugs, Two Gray Hills rugs are the height of art and craftsmanship. They are known for their use of undyed wool, all-natural color and intricate geometric designs. The wool is hand carded and hand-spun, techniques rarely practiced in any other parts of the world, making the yarn extremely soft and fine. A small rug or tapestry takes more than 400 labor hours from carding to completion and for this reason Two Grey Hills rugs are generally the most expensive and prized style of Navajo rug.
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.