There’s a Story with Each & Every Navajo Rug
Some stories date all the way back to the time of the traders and the bridges they built.
In this day and age, with what our country is going through, with so much turmoil and hurt, I have been thinking about what I can do in my life to be the “bridge” between cultures, races, religions and so forth. The traders at the Posts were “a bridge” to and for the Native Americans in many aspects. JB Moore, one of the most famous traders, did just that and much more.
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s people were coming out to the Wild West. It was an exciting time and a gamble…traveling into the unknown. Moore brought new design elements that are unmistakably of Turkish inspiration because that was what many of these people coming out west were used to seeing. He then blended this with distinct Navajo designs and a Southwest feel. In 1903 and again in 1911 Moore published catalogs of Navajo rugs to be distributed back east. One could flip through the pages and pick a plate like “XXV” and send in your money and months later you’d get your Navajo rug. He even said that they would try to accommodate modifications if possible.
This Trading Post Era and the responsibilities of the traders rest deep in my heart, as my family were traders at a Post. There was great respect and honor on both sides. JB Moore and other traders were the connection between these people coming out west and to the Navajo people. The traders were a way of helping provide, protect and regroup the Navajos’ lives from previous hardships.
Winston Churchill said,
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
Many of these rugs have stories if we dare to find the courage to listen to them.