Southern and Western Reservation
Ganado • Klagetoh
Wide Ruins • Burntwater • Newlands
Serigraph by Harrison Begay, Navajo.
Since the 1880s, Navajo weaving has evolved into a true artform. As these Navajo weavers expand their innate sense of design and harmony, their weavings are constantly improving. Today, they are the best yet. And, all indications are that the upward trend will continue into the foreseeable future. We search the Reservation on a regular basis, looking for the better weavers and their Native American rugs, and we present them here. Our emphasis is on quality and aesthetics, and a range of prices and sizes.
Like all things Navajo, the weaving of a Native American rug involves both the spiritual and temporal world. From the spiritual side, the Navajos believe that the art of weaving was passed on to them by Spider Woman, a deity of the Navajo emergence story. From a temporal view, they respond to both artistic pride and augmentation of their meager income.
To shop the fine Native American Rugs in this section, Navajo Rugs From The Southern and Western Reservaton, continue on, below.
To order, call 1-800-401-1192, 1-520-529-5545 if you are out of the United States, or go to our
- All dimensions are approximate. -
Item # R22 - Burntwater, woven by Jeanette Nez, Navajo.
Jeanette has turned the simple diamond pattern into a complex pattern of subtle Burntwater pastels, with an elaborate border. She has used a rich combination of earth tones and pastels, warm colors including brown, sienna, mustard and rust, accented with sparing use of rose, green, blue and lilac. We count 14 different vegetal colors.
Size: 35" wide by 56" long.
Price: $4,100 SOLD.
Item # R42 - Burntwater, woven by Lena Gorman, Navajo.
In this warm textile, you can clearly see Lena's elaboration of the two-diamond element of the classic Two Grey Hills design. Using pastels, Lena has subtly woven in the soft vegetal colors of rust, tan, beige, brown, and rose, with aqua and blues. Weavers are beginning to "sign" their textiles, as the potters do. You can see Lena's logo woven into the bottom, left corner of this beautiful textile.
Size: 36" wide by 52" long.
Here is a beautiful example of the soft, pastel colors used by Burntwater weavers. Burntwaters are typically more complex than other regional styles. However, the distinguishing characteristic is use of pastel colored yarns derived by using local, vegetal dyes. Here, Emily has a strong outside border, notespirit line in upper left cornger. She builds towards the center with multiple borders, framing a beautifully balanced center design. You can still see the diamond pattern influence of Ganados, logical since Burntwater is a southern neighbor of Ganado.
Size: 25 1/2" wide by 35 1/2" long.
Item # R140 - Ganado, woven by Kathy Nez, Navajo.
Sometimes called Ganado Reds, these rugs always have a red background, and this is because Lorenzo Hubbell said so. Here is one of Kathy's renditions of the classic Ganado Red. This is a design which originated in a much simpler pattern invented by Hubbell for use in his printed catalog of "Indian Blankets." Hubbell owned the trading post in Ganado in the late 1800s. He made up "saleable" designs and had the local Navajos weave them accordingly. The one pattern that has stayed popular is the one you see here by Kathy. The reds and black and white predominate because those were the colors that were easily available at the turn of the last century. They are still popular.
Size: 32" wide by 48" long.
Price: $990 SOLD.
Item # R142 - Ganado, woven by Emma Begay, Navajo.
Here is Emma's idea of a Ganado pattern. As carried down even to today, Hubbell's designs featured a brilliant red background surrounded by strong geometric crosses, diamonds, and stripes constructed with yarns of grey, white and black. Hubbell's textiles usually featured a central motif of one or two diamonds, sometimes a cross, with smaller geometrics occupying the remaining spaces. Emma has studied books and the original Hubbell patterns. If you ever visit the Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, now a museum, you will see some of his original design patterns that he handed the Navajo weavers.
Size: 33" wide by 47" long.
Item # R145 - Ganado, woven by Carolyn Littleben, Navajo.
Carolyn has woven her interpretation of Hubbell's double diamond design. Except for the reds, colors are obtained by mixing various colors of natural wools--whites, blacks, grays and browns. Reds are achieved by using aniline dyes, as the weavers used in the late 1900s. Then anailine dye was a new and novel product, introduced to the weavers by Hubbell.
Size: 23" wide by 47" long.
Price: $700 SOLD.
Called the "Tree of Life" pattern, or Bird Pictorial, it is actually a young corn stalk, surrounded by flying birds. To the Native American, corn is a symbol of life and well being, since it has been a staple in their diet for ages. In this textile, Marie has included 33 birds.
Size: 22" wide x 33" long.
Price: $675 SOLD.
Item # R112 -Tree of Life, woven by Ason Yellowhair, Navajo.
Ason Yellowhair is certainly among the top 20 living weavers on the Navajo Nation. Last year, this famous weaver was given a "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Arizona State Museum, at the University of Arizona. This is only the second such award to be given by the Museum. Ason is famous for her birds and flowers. Here, she has woven 54 birds, 8 flowers, and the classic, tasseled corn stalk growing out of a wedding basket–center piece of Tree of Life Rugs. Only members of the extended Yellowhair family make bird-and-flower rugs in the distinctive Yellowhair style. Ason has taught seven of her nine daughters to weave, as well as two of her daughters-in-law. To explain her choice of subject matter, she said, "birds and flowers are like a beautiful life when the sun shines, the sky is blue, and the birds are singing and everything is happy. Ason raises her own sheep, cards her wool, and spins it to form the yarn in her textiles.
Size: 46" wide x 65" long.
Price: $3,200 SOLD.
Item # R90 - Pictorial, Yei-bi-chai , by Marilyn Begay, Navajo.
This textile would be a gorgeous wall hanging. Marilyn Begay was taught to weave by her mother, Ason Yellowhair, and Ason is probably one of 20 top weavers on the Navajo Nation. Marilyn has selected to portray a scene from The Night Way, or Night Chant, one of the best known Navajo healing ceremonies. Throughout this nine-day ceremony, appropriate Navajo gods (Yeis) are implored to heal the subject. On the last night, humans take the form of the Yeis, and stage a picturesque dance. When they do this, the human dancers are called Yei-bi-chai. Here, the group is led by Talking God, with Trickster bringing up the rear. This is a heavy, well woven textile.
Size: 39" vertical by 56" horizontal.
Price: $2,800 SOLD.
Item # R56-Raised Outline, woven by Eleanor Tsipai, Navajo.
Here is an excellent example of a Raised Outline textile, now called a "New Lands." In the Hopi/Navajo land arguments, a number of Navajo families were moved out of the Coal Mine Mesa area, and moved into a newly acquired extension of the Navajo Nation, roughly south of Interstate 40, near Sanders, AZ. With the encouragement of Bruce Burnham, the displaced weavers continued with this pattern, but change the venue.
Size: 28" wide x 38" long.
In this unique textile, Ruth has combined the classic Burntwater design, within a classic Wide Ruins textile. Combinations such as this are exceedingly difficult to weave, especially considering that the entire pattern is held in the weaver's head. Symmetry must be held from side to side, and top to bottom. Can you imagine?
Size: 26" wide by 35" long.
Item # R123 - Two-in-One, woven by Ruth Nelwood, Navajo.
In this two-in-one, Ruth features the classic Storm Pattern design, within a classic Wide Ruins textile. She achieves the soft, pastel colors by generally using vegetal dyes gathered on the Reservation.
Size: 26" wide by 35" long.
Item # R146 - Storm Pattern, woven by Doris Duncan, Navajo.
The Storm Pattern was first designed early in the 20th century, by famed trader J. B. Moore and shown in his catalog. It was one of his best sellers. The center design represents the center of the Navajo world, with four lightening bolts radiating out to corner rectangles, symbolizing to four sacred Navajo mountains. Between the corner rectangles are designs redpresenting water sprites, an omen for life-giving rain. Doris is a young weaver living in the Shiprock area.
Size: 29" wide by 44" long.
Price: $975 SOLD.
For an expansion of the Navajo weaving tradition, click below:
- Recommended reading - Check Amazon.com. They stock most of these titles.
- American Indian Textiles, 2,000 Artists, by Gregory Schaaf, CIAC Press, $110.00 (hard back);
- Navajo Weaving, Three Centuries of Change,by Kate Peck Kent, School of American Research Press, $18.95 (paper);
- Treasures of the Navajo,by Theda Bassman and Gene Balzer, Northland Publishing, $12.95 (paper);
- A Guide To Navajo Weaving,by Kent McManis and Robert Jeffries, Treasure Chest Books, $9.95 (paper);
- Navajo Rugs, How to Find, Evaluate, Buy and Care for Them,by Don Dedera, Northland Publishing, $14.95 (paper);