Navajo people

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This Navajo rug is a variation of Ganado-style rugs. Most of the modern or post-1940 Ganado rugs have large central medallion motifs; sometimes two or three diamonds are featured in the center. The colors in these rugs are camel-beige, grey, white, black, and deep red; the last two colors were dyed with synthetic dyes.

This rug, however, is an interesting variation of its type. The central stepped diamond has been divided in half and placed to the sides. The two vertical borders are placed in the middle, changing the traditional design and breaking the rules of border and medallion motifs known to appear in this type of rug. Four stepped arrows are depicted in the corners, and the Spider Woman, a Navajo deity, is depicted four times in the middle section. This mythical figure, who according to legend taught the Navajo the art of weaving, is formed by a cross with square blocks at the end of each arm.

Mrs. J. Irwin (Xenia S.) Miller [1917-2008], Columbus, Indiana; given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1987.

Object Information

Navajo people
creation date
wool, cotton, dye
79 x 61-1/2 in.
accession number
credit line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. Irwin Miller
Public Domain
Textile and Fashion Arts

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