This beautifully unique and functional artistry has gone through many iterations throughout time, so it’s important to remember how the Navajo have transitioned from the traditional “Chief” blankets in the beginning, preceding the Trading Post Era, to the regional pictorials of today.
The historic period of Navajo rug weavings really began in the very early 1700s and ran all the way to the 1850s. Weavers, learning from the Pueblos, Spanish and traders, created blankets, dresses, rugs and tapestries that have set the foundation for what has been a momentous artistic and cultural movement for the Navajo people.
Weaving changed rapidly from the 1850s to the 1940s. In fact, the Navajo transitioned through six periods in that time, including: late classic, the Bosque Redondo or “Long Walk” interment, transitional, rug, revival and finally the regional Trading Post styles.
The most important thing to remember is that when you’re dealing with authentic Navajo weavings, be it blankets, transitional work, or specific pieces like Germantown, Dazzlers, Two Grey Hills, or even Pictorials, that these are original one-of-a-kind artworks that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.