Navajo; North American Indian
Man’s wearing blanket (Chief blanket, phase II)
Navajo; North American Indian southwest, Man’s wearing blanket (Chief blanket, phase II), 1855-1863, Wool and cotton tapestry weave; 179.1 cm (70 1/2 inches) (length), Gift of Mrs. Murray S. Danforth 45.083
By the mid-nineteenth century, the Navajo had come to dominate the weaving trade among western tribes. Woven by Navajo women, Chief blankets were widely traded as shoulder blankets or wrapped cloaks for men of status (but not necessarily chiefs) in many western and Plains Indian tribes. During this period, before their internment at Bosque Redondo, New Mexico, from 1863 to 1868, the Navajo unraveled red yarns from commercially woven trade blankets and respun them to use in their own weaving, as they had no locally available sun- and wash-fast red dye.