The Natural Color Palette at Toadlena and Two Grey Hills

Vintage Ye'i

This 1920's vintage Ye'i is at the Toadlena Trading Post.

Window Rock, AZ Today we went to the Two Grey Hills area, about 70 miles northeast of Window Rock.  We took a spectacularly beautiful route along Indian Route 12 and crossed Narbona Pass on New Mexico route 134, stopping to visit the abandoned Crystal Trading Post, where J.B. Moore helped to extend the market for Navajo textiles by pioneering the idea of selling Navajo textiles through a catalog.  Moore’s catalogs, issued in 1903 and 1911, established styles that are still influential today.

As we came down the east side of Narbona Pass, we could see the San Juan Mountains and Sleeping Ute Mountain in Colorado and we had a view out into the Bisti Badlands that seemed to go on forever.  Turning back toward the Chuska Mountains, we arrived at the Toadlena Trading Post and toured the weaving museum there with trader Mark Winter.  Mark allowed us to examine a 120+ wefts per inch Daisy Taugelchee tapestry and I was drawn to the vintage bordered Ye’i weaving shown above.  The figures reminded me of Yanapah Simpson’s work, but this weaving is from a period about 20 years after Yanapah’s career ended.

At the Two Grey Hills Trading Post, trader Les Wilson graciously allowed us free access to his rug room and we were really taken by the contemporary runner below by Rose Blueeyes.  Rose’s design work is very original, using commercial wool.  The traditional motifs take on a fresh and contemporary, almost electric look in Rose’s skilled hands.

A contemporary runner by Rose Blueeyes

Rose Blueeyes used commercial wool for this distinctive and exquisitely woven runner.

I need to close so that I’m up and ready to head for Canyon de Chelly in the morning.   This week is really flying by.

Hagoshíí (so long for now)

Mary Walker

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  1. Mary Walker on May 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Ellavina, that is high praise coming from an author of your stature. I am working with Liz Munk and Jennie Slick on a book on weaving techniques. I have some other ideas for further writing. Thank you for the encouragement!

  2. Ellavina Perkins on May 13, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Hi Mary, Are you working on a book? You have such beautiful pictures and comments worth a book. Ellavina