Red Mesa Dazzler
Vintage Ganado Red Mesa Dazzler woven circa 1930.
It measures 2’10” x 5’1″.
History Red Mesa
Red Mesa rug history begins in the late 1800’s when Navajo wearing blankets were transitioning to Navajo rugs. Sharply moving away from the simplicity of Navajo chief blanket weavings during the Classic Period (1650’s to 1870’s), the introduction of an almost endless palette of commercial dyes and pre-dyed yarn colors laid the foundation for bold new expressions in Navajo weaving in general and Red Mesa rugs in particular.
Most typically, the Red Mesa weaving design consists of a line of chevrons running down the vertical middle of the weaving surrounded by radiating serrated diamonds. The most extreme eyedazzler effect is created by laying a line of contrasting color against a lighter or darker color. The border of Red Mesa rugs will appear to come in from each of the vertical sides to meet the outward radiating pattern.
History of Eye Dazzler Rugs
Elaborate weavings boasting gorgeous jelly bean colors, Eye Dazzlers became one of the very first Navajo weaving styles beyond blankets and serapes. Between the change in hues and tones, geometric patterns, and even wool’s available for weaving, this groundbreaking rug style set the stage for weavings, tapestries and Navajo weaving expansion for more than a century.
A Guide to Navajo Rugs
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.