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The History of the Getzwiller Navajo Churro Collection

Master Weaver Elsie Bia has created yet another special weaving!  This piece took 1st place at the 2017 All Indian Inter-Tribal Ceremonial for its division.

In the 1990s the quality and uniqueness of Navajo weavings was on the decline.  Steve met with an old friend, Ray Dewey, in Santa Fe and they discussed how the quality of Navajo weavings could be improved.  The answer was improve the quality of the wool and dyes.

For hundreds of years Churro sheep have been the center of Navajo life.  Navajo churro wool was the first weaving wool of the Navajo Nation because of its low lanolin content, long staple and translucent qualities.  Unfortunately the churro sheep were nearly exterminated by outside forces.  

In the Getzwiller Historic Textile (GHT) collection exists beautiful pieces that are 100 years old, woven with Churro wool.  Which confirms churro wool is the best and only becomes better with time.  This conclusion planted the seed to bring Navajo churro wool back to the loom.  

Steve was able to find the source of the Navajo Churro Registry where the genetics were being perfected for a better fleece.

Next, Steve found dye artists to dye the wool by hand for what would later be called the 'Navajo Churro Collection'.  Though it seems like a simple thing, this took several years to put together. The final step was finding the best weavers on the Nation who were willing to use the Churro wool. The weavers were thrilled with the wool and loved the new colors (Indigo, Cochineal and the highest quality dyes from Switzerland). With that, the Navajo Churro Collection was born.

The Navajo Churro Collection celebrates the Navajo weavers and the art of the loom. The Nizhoni Ranch Gallery exclusively offers these weavings to the world, which represent some of the finest Navajo weavings ever made.  As it is a legacy well worth preserving.  

Sandpainting Churro 679 Helene Nez Churro # 679, Helene Nez, Sand Painting
1st place AND Best of Category AND Best of All Weavings awards!  
2006 Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial


Elsie Bia Teec Nos Pos Churro 1416Churro # 1416, Elsie Bia, Teec Nos Pos / Storm Pattern
1st place AND Best of Category awards!  
2015 Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial


large teec nos pos churro 1574 geraldine phillips
Churro # 1574, Geraldine Phillips, Teec Nos Pos
1st place Best of Category
2018 Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial

 churro 1470 celelia nez red mesa modern art navajo rug

Joe Ben Wheat Award and 2nd Place Best of Category
2016 Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial 
Joe Ben Wheat Award is given for exceptional Design

Bistie Sandpainting Marian Nez churro 1345
1st place Best of Category
2013 Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial