Arts of the Americas
The Navajo wove waterproof, striped wool blankets that became known as Chief Blankets and traded them to other tribes. In 1863 the U.S. Army forcibly removed the Navajo from Arizona to Bosque Redondo detention camp in New Mexico and killed the tribe’s churro sheep. Ingenious weavers combined commercial wool with unraveled army blankets to create new designs with colorful details, as seen here. During captivity, weavings became the primary source of income.
In 1868 the Navajo returned to their homelands, and weaving flourished with the advent of the railroad and the establishment of trading posts.
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Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund
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Navajo (Native American). Chief's Blanket, 1875-1880. Wool, dye, 43 x 56in. (109.2 x 142.2cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund, 50.67.45. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 50.67.45_PS5.jpg)
overall, 50.67.45_PS5.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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