Germantown Navajo Rug : Historic : PC 285

The Navajo were rounded up by Kit Carson and led to Bosque Redondo where they were held prisoner from 1863-1868. Referred to as “the Long Walk”. Navajos lived in very harsh conditions, but were the only Native American Tribe that were able to return to their homeland. Headman Manuelito went to Bosque to negotiate their release in 1868.

Germantown yarn (from Germantown Pennsylvania) was first introduced to the Navajo at Bosque Redondo, so the women would have some material to weave their highly prized rugs. The Navajo Indians were allowed to return to their reservation (1868), where the weavers continued to use the popular Germantown yarns because they liked working with the vast array of colors. During the early years 1864-1875 Germantown yarn was 3 ply and was 4-ply after 1875. This yarn was provided as an annuity by the U.S. Government until 1878, after that the local Traders supplied Germantown and other yarns.

Here we have a piece from this period, woven in the 1890s in excellent condition. It is an exceptional example, finely and tightly woven using 4-ply Germantown yarn.
Highly influenced by Hispanic blankets woven during this time frame, the weaver wove sharp serrated edges in a multitude of color.

Style Germantown 
Weaver Unknown Navajo
Date circa 1880
Size 54″ x 78″ 
Item # PC 285
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Type: Germantown

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