Navajo rugs represent a perfect example of just one of the art forms acquired by the Navajo people and transformed from a Rio Grande Pueblo to Navajo sensibility. Adopting the vertical loom and native cotton yarns, Navajo weavers quickly established themselves as master craftsmen in the weaving arts. Once churro sheep were introduced in the 1500's, Navajo weavers' skill at transforming wool thread into high quality mantas (wearing blankets), dresses, shirts and sashes made their work desirable not only among themselves, but by surrounding tribes such as the Pueblos, Apache, Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Sioux and Ute. (Continued below.)
From the simple striped blankets of the Classic Period, Navajo rug designs have exploded into a number of regional styles and individual expressions of the Navajo weaver's imagination. Serrated diamonds, lightning zigzags and bold crosses adorn Navajo chief blankets. Pictorial elements present in weavings by the 1800's, developed into contemporary pictorial rugs which mirror traditional and contemporary Navajo life. Hispanic influences can be seen in the lightning serrates of contemporary Red Mesa weavings. Early traders on the Navajo reservation such as J.B. Moore and Lorenzo Hubbell introduced Oriental designs which found new translations in Two Grey Hills, Ganado, Klagetoh, Burntwater, early Crystal, Storm and Teec Nos Pos weavings. Vegetal dyes were promoted by the Lippincotts at Wide Ruins resulting in beautiful banded patterns which also appear in late Crystal and Chinle weavings.
Today, in ruggedly beautiful red rock country, Navajo weavers continue to create masterworks in wool. Bluff, Utah is located just across the river from the Navajo reservation so Twin Rocks Trading Post and our many loyal clients benefit from the strong relationships we have built with local artists over the past decades. Our proximity to the Navajo Reservation also ensures a broad selection of traditional Navajo silver and turquoise jewelry, baskets, pottery and folk art. Venture down U.S. Highway 191 and find the best kept secrets in the Southwest; Bluff, Utah and Twin Rocks Trading Post.