More Woven Thoughts: Antique Navajo Weaving

Tempe, AZ  I couldn’t take you to the River Trading Post, so I thought that I should share the other pictures that I took there when I visited on Tuesday.   The Ye’i Bi Chei rug that I showed yesterday is a showstopper, but the other rugs in the collection are each remarkable in their own ways.  There are some great technique studies here for weavers.  In the first two pictures in the gallery, look at the way the weaver handles the kernels in the ear of corn.  The second picture is a close up study of it with a nice view of most of the chipmunk for your viewing pleasure.  Weavers should also note the Red Mesa Outline rug, which has very well executed outlined squash blossom motifs.

A remarkable Whirling Log Sandpainting rug is not shown below.  Although the whirling log motif used by Native Americans has nothing to do with the swastika, it looks like one and it’s offensive to many people.  There are also traditional Navajo people who do not believe that it is appropriate to display sandpaintings in any way other than in a traditional Navajo ceremony.  I have decided that rugs with this symbol won’t be on the front page of the site to avoid having people surprised by seeing something that they weren’t expecting so you’ll have to access another page of the site if you’d like to see the weaving.  If you study it, you’ll begin to appreciate the meaning that the whirling log has for Navajo people and you’ll see why weavers want to reclaim it.  The sandpainting is typically used in the sixth day of the Nightway ceremony and depicts an epic journey undertaken by a Navajo with assistance from the Holy People.  Click here to see the weaving.  


To see any picture from the gallery below in high resolution with a caption, just click on the thumbnail.  You may also view the gallery as a slide show by clicking that option in the brackets below.  

Hagoshíí (so long for now)

Mary Walker


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