New Mexico Art Tells its History

Navajo Chief's Blanket

Navajo (Diné) Chief's Blanket, variant of Third Phase design, 1875-80
Unidentified Navajo Weaver
wool 42 1/2 x 57 11/16 in. (108 x 146.5 cm)
Museum of Indian Arts & Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology, Department of Cultural Affairs

After the railroad was completed, trading posts and other businesses were set up in Native American and Hispanic communities. Handmade objects, such as this Navajo Chief’s Blanket could be traded for staples and manufactured items. Then weavings, pottery, jewelry, baskets and other Native American arts were sold to anthropologists and tourists. Navajo rugs are highly valued for their exceptional quality, bold designs and vibrant colors.

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