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Chief-Style Blanket, Second Phase

Artist Culture
Diné (Navajo)
Date
c.1880
Material
Wool and dye
Made in
Southwest, United States, North and Central America
Classification
Textiles
Current Location
Not on view
Dimensions
71 1/4 x 55 1/4 in. (181 x 140.3 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Elissa and Paul Cahn
Rights
Public Domain
Object Number
221:2017
NOTES
In this blanket, charcoal-gray bars and dashes float on a red ground, establishing massive patterned bands that balance against the dominant white-and-black stripes. This type of textile captivated 19th-century Native peoples from the Plains and Mountain West, who valued these striking blankets not only for their unusual form and materials, but also because they originated far away, as is often the case with luxury items. Diné peoples traded blankets like this one with neighbors in the Pueblos of Pecos and Taos, centers for Native trade networks. Starting in the 1820s, American traders also transported blankets from the Southwest to a series of commercial forts across the Plains. By the late 19th century, when the railway brought waves of travelers to the Southwest territories, these blankets circulated in the developing national market for Native art. Thomas Dozier, an art and curio dealer based in the rail town of Española, New Mexico, displayed this blanket at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.
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