This exhibit highlights differing phases of influence on the Navajo weaver. Showcasing textiles we have collected over the years, as well as those commissioned from weavers we have worked with over the last 45 years.
Historically traders encouraged unique and 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 their 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.