Style: Eye Dazzler & Optical

Award Winning Eye Dazzler design by Master Weaver Frances Begay

Before the turn of the century, the Navajo switched from making traditional Native American blankets to weaving thick, brilliantly colored rugs with hand-spun wool. This dramatic shift featured “eye dazzling” geometric shapes and color palettes never before seen in such a medium, giving birth to what is now known as the Eye Dazzler rug.

 

History of Eye Dazzler Rugs
Elaborate weavings boasting gorgeous jelly bean colors, Eye Dazzlers became one of the very first Navajo weaving styles beyond blankets and serapes. Between the change in hues and tones, geometric patterns, and even wool’s available for weaving, this groundbreaking rug style set the stage for weavings, tapestries and Navajo weaving expansion for more than a century.

 


View a Navajo reservation map of the origin of each of the regional rug styles
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Spirit Influences Freedom

Though not always considered the epicenter of the Navajo culture, Eye Dazzlers offer weavers the chance to express their individual artistry, freedom and ceremonial musings. Thus inspire those who purchase them to be influenced by the weavers infusion of spirit into their designs, creating a common bond with the artist and collector.

 

Bold, Complex Designs
Believe it or not, there is no word for “art” or “sacred” in the Navajo language (most likely because everything natural is artful and sacred to them), and yet, both words accurately describe both the form and function of the Eye Dazzler. In years’ past, the bright, tightly-woven yarns and intricate designs may have been predicated on the aesthetic preferences of traders; however, the Eye Dazzler of today embodies the early classic period so well that their intricate designs have been auctioned off for up to $50,000!

 

Colorful Nostalgia
Eye Dazzlers may very well have been known for their commercial appeal so long ago, but today they offer a unique look at contemporary modernism thanks to rich, colorful designs you won’t find in other traditional Navajo weavings. And while the Navajo may not claim it as a traditional piece of their culture or history, it’s done well to give their other styles a voice within the global community.