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Timeless Treasures of Two Grey Hill Exhibit Special Reception

Timeless Treasures of Two Grey Hill Exhibit Special Reception

In March 2018 we held a special reception for our Timeless Treasures of Two Grey Hills exhibit at the Nizhoni Ranch Gallery in Sonoita Arizona.

We were so fortunate to have Master Weaver Elsie Begay and her grand children Natalie and Dylan join us for this special occasion.  Elsie and her grand children were kind enough to bring their looms and allowed us to watch them weave.  

The Timeless Treasures of Two Grey Hills exhibit highlights differing phases of influence on the Navajo weaver, in the Two Grey Hills area. Showcasing historic textiles we have collected over the years, as well as those commissioned from weavers we have worked with over the last 45 years.

This exhibit has been extremely successful and nearing a sell out. We are offering a 20% discount to those who call and reference this blog 520-455-5020. To view the Timeless Treasures of Two Grey Hill catalog along with our entire collection, please visit our website, www.NavajoRug.Com.

Timeless treasures of two grey hill exhibit special reception nizhoni ranch gallery
A capacity crowd at the Nizhoni Ranch Gallery as Steve Getzwiller takes the crowd through a personal tour of the Timeless Treasures of Two Grey Hills Exhibit.

Timeless treasures of two grey hill exhibit special reception nizhoni ranch gallery Elsie Begay and grand kids
Master Weaver Elsie Bia with her two grandchildren, Dylan and Natalie all demonstrating their weaving skills. Dylan and Natalie are both weaving their first rugs.

Below is a little more information about the exhibit:

Historically traders encouraged unique signature designs for Navajo rugs in their particular area, in this case Toadlena and Two Grey Hills, to enhance marketability and cultivate regional styles. Sheep and their wool were vital to the livelihood of the Navajo. Using this natural resource of the sheep's wool to make rugs, weavers created a viable economic collaboration with post traders. The traders helped the Navajo by marketing the rugs they made beyond the borders of the reservation to the rest of the country. This brought "beeso" or money to their artisan economy by turning the sheep's wool into decorative and functional goods.

Design innovation and progression by osmosis...J.B. Moore, the resident trader at Crystal (1896-1911), influenced the early Two Grey Hill rug design. The weavers from the Two Grey Hill area had summer camps for grazing their sheep in the Chuska Mountains.

J.B. Moore generally offered to pay a very fair price to these weavers depicting the designs presented in his mail order catalogs. The catalog designs along with the Two Grey Hill area weaver's preference to use the natural wool colors of their sheep, brought the design style of J.B. Moore to the Toadlena and Two Grey Hill areas, located on the east side of the Chuska Mountains.

The J.B. Moore designs, such as the storm pattern, influenced the Ganado and western reservation area weavers and contributed to the evolution of other regional styles such as Teec Nos Pos and Bistie. The Two Grey Hills regional style became more clearly defined by the 1920's, evidenced by the progression of the styles presented in this exhibit.

Historically Master Weavers from the Two Grey Hills area have been some of the most talented of the Navajo Nation. The elegant simplicity of the color palette, intricate geometric design, and expert carding and spinning made their textiles some of the best and finest examples of Navajo rugs and tapestries to emerge from the Navajo Nation.


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  • Ben Schmid