Regional Navajo Rugs

Navajo RugsDuring the Navajo regional rug period 1940 to 1974, several geographic areas of the southwest, emerged as Navajo Indian rug art or style centers. Navajo blankets and Navajo weavings from one region became notably different from Navajo weavings of another region. Each regional weaving was embodied with its own distinctive style, art, color, dye and design; and the Navajo weaving style center was easily recognized. Four areas in the southwest had by the early 1900s emerged as style centers: Crystal, Ganado, Chinle and Wide Ruins. Two more geographic areas achieved regional style status in the 1940s: Two Grey Hills and Shiprock Yei. Three additional area Navajo weavings styles were accepted in the 1950s: Teec Nos Pos, Lukachukai, and Storm; and lastly in 1974, Burntwater was embraced as a Navajo regional style rug.

Although in days gone by, the regional areas were the sole suppliers for the Navajo blankets, rugs and weavings bearing the area names and patterns; today, Navajo weavings of all styles are woven throughout the Navajo Indian reservation. There are no longer regional rugs, only regional styles. The Navajo rug style names will probably continue, but the southwest geographic boundaries that gave birth to the regional styles are now merged. Regional styles, account for only about 25 percent of total current Navajo rug production. Most contemporary weavers do not steadfastly adhere to Navajo regional rug styles. Some weavers, regardless of their reservation home, may prefer one rug art design while residing in a different regional area. The majority of weavers like to mix styles, and experiment with dyes, color compositions and designs, and may create a weave totally different from what is usually created in the southwest region in which they live. These Navajo blankets, rugs and weavings are called general rugs, and represent 40% of the contemporary southwest Navajo Indian rug art production. Another exceptional artist, is the Navajo who challenges herself to craft the complex Navajo specialty blankets and weavings.

Weaving Regions