The eyed dazzler style of weaving emerged in the last quarter of the 1880's during a period of difficult transition for the Navajo. They were adjusting to their new life on the reservation after a devastating four-year forced confinement by the United States government at Bosque Redondo, a desolate area on the Pecos River in eastern New Mexico.
During Bosque Redondo, nearly one in four people would die due to malnutrition, exposure or rampant illness. in 1868, they were allowed to return to their ancestral lands in Northeastern Arizona and Northwestern New Mexico. However, they were no longer able to provide for themselves without assistance from the U.S. government; Keith Carson had destroyed their crops, poisoned their water holes, stolen their horses and killed their shop years earlier in an effort to starve the Navajo into submission.
These radical hardships affected all areas of Navajo life, including their weaving. Since the majority of Navajo weavers no longer had their Churro sheep on the reservation, most Navajo women could no longer clean, card and spin their own yarns, which forced them to search elsewhere for materials. In the 1870's , there were two main sources of material available on the reservation for weaving: Germantown yarns and unraveled yarns from coarse American flannel cloth called Bayeta. Germantown yarns were synthetically-dyed, commercial yarns.
A catalog was printed to preserve the exhibit, as some pieces find new homes.
Weavings featured in the Dazzled Eye Exhibit which are available for sale are listed below. As always, if you have any questions please call us at 520-455-5020.