Vintage Navajo Weaving: Two Grey Hills, 2’11” x 3’7″


Style Number: XCB-121819-6 Categories: , , Tags: , ,

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Two Grey Hills

This handwoven Vintage Navajo Rug is the design of Two Grey Hills. The Two Grey Hills weaving measures 2’11” x 3’7″

History of Two Grey Hills

   True Two Grey Hills rugs are woven of natural, undyed, hand spun wool in designs of white, black, and brown. Weavers produce subtle shades of these basic hues by carding together wool from different sheep. The wool is often quite fine, requiring more weaving time but resulting in an exquisite rug.
Because of the considerable time and effort required to prepare hand spun wool, rugs made from it may cost twice as much as those of comparable size made from commercial yarns.
   The design does not represent hills. Two Grey Hills rugs are named for a village in New Mexico. They tend to have a plain, dark border, but the patterns are often more complicated than those of a Ganado or Klagetoh. Like other styles with borders, many Two Grey Hills rugs have a spirit line.
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.