Navajo Blanket/Rug

Navajo Blanket/Rug


182 x 117 cm


This Navajo blanket, or rug, dates to the first half of the 20th century.

Its design of bold white and black stripes with red and black concentric diamonds is rooted in earlier Navajo blankets: the diamonds are typical of third generation blankets woven roughly between 1860 and 1880. They are in a different format to the piece in hand, namely wider than high, and are called “chief’s blankets” since they were perceived to be very valuable and important. A direct predecessor to our blanket is published in Berlant, Anthony & Mary Hunt Kahlenberg, Walk in Beauty. The Navajo and Their Blankets. New York Graphic Society, 1977, Plate 34. It is dated to 1860; the authors stress the “balance of the diamonds and stripes” (ibid., description to colour plate 34), an observation which applies to this 20th century piece as well.

The piece in hand can be considered to be part of the revival of Navajo weaving, a tradition which still flourishes today (see also the collection of the Met, ).

The blanket has a sturdy handle, which is in keeping with a flat woven rug. It is woven in wool on a wool foundation, with a black warp. It is in excellent condition.