Native American Textiles

Native American textiles are some of the most collectible treasures of the Southwest for their use and great beauty.

They consist of rugs, sashes and blankets woven of wool. Much of the wool used today in making the textiles is from sheep raised by the Navajo. In prehistoric times, textiles such as belts and leggings were woven of human hair. Of all the Native American textiles, Navajo rugs are perhaps the best known. Weaving is a traditional woman’s art among the Navajo.

Pueblo Indians are neighbors to the Navajo. It is very likely that they taught the Navajo to weave when they moved into the Four Corners area before the Spaniards arrived.

The weavers are the men in the Hopi tradition. Most of the clothing of the early Southwest Indians were either cotton or woolen manta dresses or animal skins. These beautiful textiles are still used today. Many prized pieces are worn in wedding ceremonies and burial.

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