Style: Ganado and Klagetoh
Among the most popular of all Navajo rug designs are the Ganado and Klagetoh styles, considered “contrasts” of one another, these distinct rugs complement each other in more ways than one. The Ganado Red was inspired by early trader, Juan Lorenzo Hubbell, founder of Hubbell Trading Post in 1878 (which is now a National Park), these bold and colorful rugs were modeled after paintings by the renowned artist E.A. Burbank, that can still be seen today in the Hubbell Rug Room. Hubbell operated over 20 Trading Posts at one time across the Central Navajo Nation.
History of Ganado and Klagetoh Rugs
When Hubbell set out to motivate weavers to match his vision for new and unique Navajo rugs, he set them to task based on paintings he found especially moving; the first of which was the Ganado design with deep red dyed wools. Incorporating the same gorgeous Navajo design elements, the Klagetoh was the reverse color scheme in terms of background and central motifs. One of his initial primary goals was to replicate the styles and quality of the wearing blankets of the classic period. He then went on to promote the bold and distinctive bordered geometric designs with double dyed dark red that they are known for today.
Separated by mere color patterns, today’s Ganado rugs still feature the deep red backgrounds with accents of black, grey, white and brown, while the Klagetoh is woven with grey or tan backgrounds and highlighted by the red. Both rugs can often be found with, black borders, serrated diamond designs in the middle, and “stair step” designs in each corner.
A Style All Their Own
Though Ganado and Klagetoh have so much in common, they’re quite distinct among their Navajo rug peers. Boasting rare hook patterns, diagonals, and cloud or stair borders, weavers specializing in these two patterns have spent a lifetime honing their skills to create something not found anywhere else. In fact, when lined up with popular rug patterns like the Two Grey Hills, you’ll immediately see the difference in colors, patterns and styles.
Inspiring Artistic Expression
We at the Nizhoni Ranch Gallery are grateful that Hubbell and past weavers created the beautiful Ganado and Klagetoh rug styles, because the tradition of weaving these amazing works of art still stands strong today. Here at the Nizhoni Ranch Gallery, each of our rugs are made using traditional techniques and follow the colors, patterns and stylization developed so long ago. Remember to stop by Hubbell’s historical site to see the paintings that inspired a movement!