Rugs & Posts: The Story of Navajo Weaving and Indian Trading

Item No: 5625

$ 24.95

  • From Schiffer Publishing comes an entirely new edition of H.L. James' classic study of the Navajo rug and the trading posts associated with each unique style. New information and an entirely different design help explain and display the beauty and craft of the Navajo Indians. Illustrated with 106 color images, many black-and-white photographs and drawings, and up-to-date price information, Post and Rugs traces the history of the Navajo rug and the impact the trading posts have had on its regionalization. There is also much background material on the Navajo people and their art. Here are design drawings showing elements characteristic of different weaving centers, superb color photographs of rugs typical of these centers, and detailed maps to the areas. Exquisite line drawings accompany the text showing all the steps in rug weaving, from the sheep to the finished rug. Also there is helpful advice on buying Navajo rugs and caring for them.
    • Author: H.L. James
    • Paperback: 120 pages
    • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.; 3 Rev Exp edition (March 5, 2004)
    • ISBN-10: 0764322087
    • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 12 inches
  • H.L. James is a native of New Mexico. He began collecting rugs in 1960, recognizing their significance as works of art. Thanks to his other interest, photography, we have this important and interesting work.
  • 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.

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