Window Rock, AZ Yesterday, our class took the afternoon off to visit Toadlena and Two Grey Hills, about 70 miles northeast of Window Rock.  We took one of my favorite routes: north on Indian Route 12, east on New Mexico 134 over Narbona Pass and then north on 491 before making a turn toward Toadlena and Two Grey Hills. At Toadlena, trader Mark Winter brought out three historic blankets that he’s acquired and allowed us to examine them.  One was a spectacular Chief Blanket dating from the time of the Civil War.  The red color is raveled bayeta and the blue is from indigo.  It was interesting to see the variations in the red color as the weaver worked to acquire enough yarn to complete her project.  You can see pictures of Mark modeling the blanket below.

Back view of Civil War era Chief Blanket.

Back view of Civil War era Chief Blanket.

Front view, modeled by Mark Winter of Toadlena Trading Post

Front view, modeled by Mark Winter of Toadlena Trading Post.

We also saw a woman’s manta wearing blanket from the same period.  It featured a point twill band at the beginning and end of the blanket that was just beautiful and something I haven’t seen before.  There’s a picture below:

The blanket in the top part of the picture is also raveled bayeta and features a unique twill band.

The blanket in the top part of the picture is also raveled bayeta and features a unique twill band.

Finally, here’s a picture of Mark visiting with our group.

Mark Winter (left) and Linda Larouche (facing away) visit with our weavers.  You can see Debi Ward (facing to the left) and Diana Frawley (right)

Mark Winter (left) and Linda Larouche (facing away) visit with our weavers. You can see Debi Ward (facing to the left) and Diana Frawley (right).

Before we returned to Window Rock we also stopped to visit Two Grey Hills Trading Post, where trader Les Wilson graciously opened  the store (closed for Columbus Day) and showed us his rug room and where lLes’ wife, Irma Henderson,  sold us some of her meticulously washed current year Navajo-Churro clip.  I’ve been spinning up some of the wool that I bought last week and I’ve been able to get some nice yarn even though I don’t have any carders with me!  Some of our current students are interested in spinning, so we may get some hip spindle lessons in before the end of the week.  I’ll include some pictures of the their project later today.

Mary Walker

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1 Comment

  1. sue dalton on October 14, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Mary, I am so enjoyingyour class from Ma.
    I so remember coming over the hill to Toadlena and gasping at the wonderful view! I think of it often and will never forget it. Also I remember the first trip with you traveling over route 12! Do you remember that? We commented that it was like driving in snow in New England!