November 16, 2009
‘ “Beauty” is a quality that the Navajos particularly appreciate; it is a repeated theme in their songs and chants and it is manifested directly in their weaving and jewelry… Set in a dry and austere environment where food and water are scarce, the seminomadic Navajos are all the more remarkable for their artistic accomplishments. They directed their creative energy toward blankets… and items of personal adornment that they could take with them since they were constantly on the move.’ – author Larry Frank
I am so fascinated by the Navajo’s sense of balance, harmony and beauty. It’s a deep and abiding appreciation that my Dad inspired in me that has only grown since I began frequenting the Southwest. I feel fortunate with each visit to return home with a special piece of a culture that I have utmost reverence for, and to give each piece a new life beyond the four walls of a store or glass case.
Recently in Santa Fe, Dad took a plunge and procured what may be the pièce de résistance of our family’s collection, after many years of teetering on the desire to do so.
Third Phase transitional Chiefs Blankets c. 1890 (two of ’em — one for each daughter, me and my Sis)
… this one with incredibly aged blue-dyed yarn that reminds me of the world’s most perfectly worn in pair of vintage Levi’s…
This one features an Eye Dazzler pattern in the center serrated diamond.
120 years old, still so strong and vivid.
For more information about Chiefs Blankets and Navajo weavings, and the different phases and values of weavings, www.chiefsblankets.com offers a great informational read.
The strength of these weavings, derived from the people who made them, seems never to wear away.