History And Symbolism Of Native American Rugs
Navajo blankets and rugs are the most popular traditional textile art widespread in various parts of North America. They are expensive but quite impressive with the traditional Mexican and southwest US style. The colored threads form complicated geometric designs and are woven by kneeling in front of a vertical loom made of wooden frame.
The Navajo tribes have come together with a combination of tribal and clans of Southern Plains and have formed their own culture. The Spanish brought in a type of sheep called Churro, which is a breed having long, smooth, silky stapled wool which was perfect for weaving. It came in various shades like cream, tan and dark brown.
Originally, the Navajo rugs and blankets were woven with hand-spun threads made of cotton but after the Spanish brought the wool from domestic sheep, people started using Churro wool for spinning. Even today, finger-weaving is prevalent in various parts of North America and finger-woven tapestries, blankets and clothing are made by many tribes over generations.
The handmade American textiles and rugs take many months to create. The tradition dates back to 300 years when the Navajo tribes started weaving. The art also consisted of wall hangings. Over a period time, despite many attempts for improving breeding, the modern descendants are not able to produce top-quality wool like in the olden times. They are shorter in length.
There are many experts who are pushing this tradition to the next level with their new and innovative designs. Some of the other notable developments include reintroduction of Navajo-Churro wool, silk, alpaca and other materials included in traditional Navajo blanket weaving.
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