FROM SHEEP TO LOOM:
THE BEAUTY OF NAVAJO WEAVING
These Navajo rugs are currently on display,
and just part of the woven collection at the Gilcrease Museum.
These traditional rugs were each hand woven
on vertical log looms, of handspun wool
from tribal sheep that are considered
an important part of the Navajo family.
Wools are hand dyed from natural, vegetable dyes.
Each Navajo rug takes 4 to 12 months to weave.
Weavings were originally used for blankets,
as well as door coverings for "hondo" winter dwellings.
Smaller rugs were woven and sold to
the tourist trade starting in the 1930s and 40s.
Original, older Navajo weavings from the
late 19th century can be worth $50,000 and more,
especially in excellent condition.
Each design has special spiritual significance
and represents earthly and heavenly powers.
Many of these rugs were purchased directly
from the Navajo weaver, or family,
by Thomas Gilcrease.