Grey Hills Design
Two Grey Hills Navajo weaving: This handwoven Contemporary Navajo Rug is the design of Two Grey Hills woven by Larry Nathaniel on a traditional Navajo single upright loom with 100% wool. The Two Grey Hills weaving measures 31″ x 48″
History of Two Grey Hills
I put the spirit line in every time I weave. You weave a line going out and in again. Your design is your thinking, so you don’t border that up. It’s your home and all that you have. And so if you close that up, you close everything up-even your thinking and your work. — Mae Jim, Woodsprings, Arizona
History of Navajo Weavings
There is an ageless beauty to Navajo weaving. Navajo weavings are many things to people. Above all else, Navajo weavings are masterworks, regardless of whose criteria of art is used to judge them. They are evocative, timeless portraits which, like all good art, transcend time and space. Navajo weaving has captured the imagination of many not only because they are beautiful, well-woven textiles but also because they so accurately mirror the social and economic history of Navajo people. Succinctly, Navajo women wove their life experiences into the pieces.
Navajo people tell us they learned to weave from Spider Woman and that the first loom was of sky and earth cords, with weaving tools of sunlight, lightning, white shell, and crystal. Anthropologists speculate Navajos learned to weave from Pueblo people by 1650. There is little doubt Pueblo weaving was already influenced by the Spanish by the time they shared their weaving skills with Navajo people. Spanish influence includes the substitution of wool for cotton, the introduction of indigo (blue) dye, and simple stripe patterning. Besides the “manta” (a wider-than-long wearing blanket), Navajo weavers also made a tunic-like dress, belts, garters, hair ties, men’s shirts, breechcloths, and a “serape-style” wearing blanket.