Navajo (Dine) Germantown blanket


Navajo (Dine) Germantown blanket


with Moki and Spiderwoman designs
circa 1870s
56" wide x 77 1/2" long

price on request 

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ex: Marcy Burns American Indian Arts; Private Collection

This "Revival" blanket features a "moki" or "Moquis" design, referring to the traditional use of narrow black and blue stripes on Hopi and Pueblo blankets. The Navajo learned to weave from the Pueblo, who generally wove blankets and clothing for their own use. This design is a clear influence from the Pueblo and Hopi.

After the railroads arrived in the Southwest in the 1880s, the Navajo began to weave blankets for sale. The best weavers were encouraged by traders to weave blankets in traditional wearing blanket designs.

Factories in and around Germantown, Pennsylvania produced the finest wools in America. These wools were brought to the best of the Navajo weavers by traders via the railroads. Before this time, wool from Europe and the American factories in Germantown, Pennsylvania was scarce among the Navajo. It was primarily brought to them by adventures and traders via horseback. The availability of fine wool in colors they liked allowed the Navajo to create textiles of  innovation and quality.

These textiles were highly valued and sold through the traders to visitors who came to the Southwest via the railroads. They represent the finest of the Navajo textiles being woven at that time and they are "blanket" fine. 

Please note the traditional stylized crosses which are referred to as "Spiderwoman crosses". In Navajo creation tales, Spiderwoman was the central figure in the creation story of the Navajo.  She encouraged the people to "walk in beauty".