Methodology, Philosophy, General Culture
Who can deny the beauty of a well crafted item, the artisan who through years of experience and has obtained the skills and knowledge needed to craft something beautiful with their trade.
The craftsmanship that goes into a Navajo rug is something that has always impressed me.
I have a number of them in my home: The eye motifs that are common place on these rugs were first woven between 1880 and 1900, but apparently never on blankets.
Inspired by the serrated diamond patterns of Mexican fabrics of the time, Navajo weavers embraced the design elements and made it their own. In trading posts these carpets quickly became the all rage, and weavers were kept busy producing beautiful hand crafted rugs. Today these rugs appear in extensive art collections and in museums.
I find it amazing how much appreciation these rugs receive today. It it an enduring thought that the hard work of the weavers more than a hundred years ago is being appreciated today.
And their talent and industrial craft was able to endure through multiple generations. These blankets are highly valued and have been traded for more than 150 years. The commercial production of homespun blankets and carpets was an important part of the Indian economy of this tribe. In some historical periods, this popular fishery was the only source of income for Indians.
For the Navajo the rugs and blankets were a necessity, these beautifully woven cloth blankets were made by the tribes living in a region known as the Four Corners. The Four Corners is the only four-point territory in the United States where four states converge: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
The blankets were initially utilitarian, that is, no religious or aesthetic function was placed on the garment. They were used as capes, dresses, and similar purposes. By the end of the 19th century, weavers began making carpets for tourists and exports.
Traditional products begun to have stylish, original geometric patterns woven into them.
The main function of the Weavers at the Navajo, was the production of clothing; production of blankets and beautiful carpets blossomed after the mid-1800s, it was needed, as it became one of the primary goods for trade with white settlers.
A number of studies of carpets as historical relics were conducted not taking into account their quality of manufacture, but only taking into account their antiquity regarding modern productions. Because of this, a number of old carpets and blankets are actually low-quality productions which highlights the difference in skill that the weavers' had. While they are basic they do not differ in price or value as age allows then a place in our collective history.