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Antique Navajo Classic Serape

SKU: 900114837

A1663 – Navajo Classic Serape


This remarkable Navajo textile was almost certainly woven during the Navajo internment at Bosque Redondo. In 1863, under General Carleton’s orders and led by Kit Carson, thousands of Navajo’s were forced to march nearly three hundred miles from their homeland to a barren and desolate “reservation” in Eastern New Mexico. Many did not survive. This beautiful and finely woven blanket is a bittersweet testament to what the Navajo call ‘The Long Walk’. Bitter because it reminds us of the unimaginable hardships this weaver and her people endured. Sweet because the art of this weaver represents the dignity, resilience, and unquenchable heart of a people who would not succumb. The Navajo returned to their homeland in 1868 to become the largest and most prosperous Native American community in the United States. Designed with a central column of cross-filled diamonds flanked by zigzag patterns. This finely woven blanket contains cochineal-dyed raveled and commercial English 3-ply reds, hand spun indigo blue, and various other shades of 3-ply English commercial yarns. Certain 3-ply commercial yarns used in this blanket are specific to those distributed to the Navajo at Bosque Redondo from the Fort Sumner supply post and were issued at no other time. Measures 71" by 55". Provenance The De Menil family collection; Tony Berlant Collection, Santa Monica, CA Illustrated Berlant, Anthony and Yoshinobu, Kotani, 1984, p. 35, fig. 18 Exhibited "19th Century American Indian Dyeing and Weaving: the Berlant Collection of Navajo Blankets", 1984, a three-city Japanese exhibition
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