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Recommended Books About Navajo Rugs and Indian Blankets

One Hundred Years of Navajo Rugs
Marian E. Rodee
This history of Navajo rugs is a revised, expanded, and updated version of Marian Rodee's 1981 classic Old Navajo Rugs: Their Development from 1900 to 1940.  Designed for the general reader or Navajo rug collector, it offers a guide to identifying and dating Navajo rugs by means of weaving materials.  Wool quality, the author explains, is the single most important clue to the date of a rugs manufacture.  Rodee also provides historical background on the great Navajo rug weavers and especially on the Indian traders who bought rugs from the Navajo - Cotton, Moore, Hubbell, Bloomfield, McSparron, and others - all of whom had some influence on the development of the craft and patterns of Navajo rug weaving.  Since the first edition of this book, more information about collections of Navajo rugs has become available, and this new edition includes a greatly expanded section of color plates in addition to sixty-four black-and-white photographs.  Rodee has also added a map of the Navajo Nation showing the location of trading posts and outlet stores.  For anyone who enjoys looking at Navajo rugs, and especially for those considering buying them, this book is an indispensable and informative guide.

A Guide To Navajo Rugs
Susan Lamb

This Navajo rug book describes the basic characteristics of 17 styles of Navajo rugs.  Each of the Navajo rugs is described in full detail and accompanied by a color photograph.  A great value and a terrific little Navajo rug reference book with concise and accurate information about Navajo rugs.  42 pages; 19 color photographs; paper.

Rugs & Posts
Story of Navajo Weaving and Indian Trading
H. L. James

The classic study of Navajo rugs and the trading posts associated with each unique rug style.  New information helps explain and display the beauty and craft of Navajo rugs. Rugs and Posts traces the history of the Navajo rug as well as the Navajo people and their rugs.  160 pages; 120 maps and prints; soft cover.

Navajo Weaving, Three Centuries of Change
Kate Peck Kent

Lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched this classic introductory text traces the history of Navajo weaving from about 1650, when loom processes were first learned from the Pueblo Indians, to the present day, when Navajo rugs have became world renowned and highly collectible for their beauty.  115 pages; 104 illustrations.

Navajo Textiles
The William Randolph Hearst Collection
Nancy J. Blomberg

Written while the author was Assistant Curator of Anthropology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Co. and before she became Curator and head of the Dept. of Native Arts at the Denver Art Museum.  "The rich visual feast of nearly 200 illustrations of a previously unpublished collection would be cause enough for celebration.  But Blomberg has not been content to provide her readers only with photographs of beautiful and interesting weaving.  She has used the collection as a point of departure to discuss and analyze this important era in the history of art…" "American Indian Arts"  245 pages; nearly 200 color, b&w photos; paper. 8.5" x 11

Navajo Weaving Tradition 1650 to the Present
Alice Kaufman and Christopher Selser

This book on Navajo textile art presents the stunning artistry of Navajo weavers in over 200 beautiful color plates of rugs and blankets. The Navajo Weaving Tradition is a detailed history of this unique art form. 150 pages; 200+ color plates & archival photos; paper 8.5" x 11"

Woven by the Grandmothers
The National Museum of the American Indian collection of 19th century Navajo weavings, one of the most comprehensive in the world, includes chief blankets, poncho sarapes, mantas, and Navajo rugs.  With 80 color illustrations, this book showcases not only the collection's earliest and best documented pieces but also those that most vividly represent its variety and depth.  Essays by Native and non-Native authors explore the spirituality of Navajo weaving.  209 pages; 80 color illustrations; paper 9" x 10"  Edited by Eulalie H. Bonar

Reflections of the Weaver's World
The Gloria F. Ross Collection of Contemporary Navajo Weaving
Ann L. Hedlund

Catalog for the exhibition of Navajo weaving that ran through 4 Oct. 1992 in Denver.  It traveledl to Phoenix, DC, Omaha, and NYC during 1994 and 1995. The show comprises the Gloria F. Ross Collection of Contemporary Navajo Weaving of the Denver Art Museum.  Fine color photos of the work with biographical sketches and comments of the weavers.

Weaving of the Southwest
Marian Rodee

This book presents important information on Pueblo Indian, Navajo, Rio Grande, and Northern Mexican weaving styles of the Southwestern U. S. region.  Traditional and modern styles of blankets, clothing, and rugs are identified and explained in detail, with brief accounts of some of the old trading posts that sold them.
Today, Navajo weaving remains an important domestic craft that is intimately linked with what it means to be a traditional Navajo woman.  The new edition of the classic book includes up-to-date advances in the materials and a trend that increasingly includes men as weavers.  The evolving weaving styles are explained, including a caution for identifying foreign copies. New marketing ideas are also discussed.  All weavers, collectors, dealers, and historians will welcome this new edition.

Navajo Saddle Blankets: Textiles to Ride in the American West
Edited by Lane Coulter

This beautiful, well-researched book offers extensive information on a relatively unexplored area of Navajo weaving.  Using essays by seven experts — Lane Coulter, Joyce Begay-Foss, Susan Brown McGreevy, Byron Price, Marian Rodee and Bruce Shackleford — the book is easy to read for the most part.  The first book to discuss the manufacture and artistry of Navajo saddle blankets, "Navajo Saddle Blankets" traces their history from the earliest example of such weaving to contemporary works. In the process it offers interesting observations about the American West and its cowboys, the art and economics of Navajo weaving, the role of trading posts in promoting or discouraging trends and designs, and the persistence and vitality of Navajo culture and its artistic heritage.

Southwest Textiles
Kathleen Whitaker

The significance of Pueblo and Navajo textiles transcends simple artistic expression.  Through the spiritual activity of weaving, male and female weavers beautify their world and integrate their art into the "web of life."  Both the Pueblo and the Navajo believe that the culture hero Spider Woman has taught them to create with patience, understanding, and sensitivity.  Yet over the centuries Pueblo and Navajo textiles have developed along distinct paths which reflect the unique historical and individual experiences within each culture.  The textiles collection of the Southwest Museum illustrates the rich interplay between these two peoples and their art. "Southwest Textiles" tells the fascinating story of the history and evolution of Pueblo and Navajo fabric arts.  Over 250 outstanding examples from the Southwest Museum's collection are reproduced in full color, along with 125 illustrations showing details of these works and historical photographs of Native American Indian craftspeople.  Also included are absorbing accounts of the early collectors of these superb textiles and some of the colorful individuals who were instrumental in founding the Southwest Museum and shaping its collections.  An accompanying CD-ROM includes comprehensive charts of the fiber and construction analysis performed on each of the textiles illustrated in the book.

 
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