An introduction to the brief history of the october classic

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An introduction to the brief history of the october classic

With a pronounced resolve, Kit Carson led a "Scorched Earth" campaign in —4, destroying food caches, herds and orchards, ending in Navajo people surrendering.

For five years the people endured incarceration with shortages of supplies, food, and water.

Their culture changed dramatically during this period, not least in weaving. To substitute for their lost flocks, annuities were paid which included cotton string, commercially-manufactured natural- and aniline-dyed yarns as well as manufactured cloth and blankets.

Infour thousand Spanish-made blankets were distributed to the Navajos as part of their annuity payment. The combination of widespread availability of yarns and cloth and the influence of the Spanish Saltillo designs were probably a direct inspiration in the dramatic shift in weaving during the Bosque Redondo years, from the stripes and terraced patterns of the Classic period to the serrate or diamond style of the Transitional period.

It is testimony to the resiliency of Navajo culture that a period of internment could produce a robust period of change and continuity in weaving. Wefts and warps, natural and carded colors. Blaire Clark Inthe Navajo were allowed to return to their beloved mesas and canyons.

In exchange for their return they promised to cease aggressions against neighboring peoples, and to settle and become farmers. Reservation life brought further dramatic changes to Navajo culture, including a growing reliance on American civilization and its products.

The sale of weavings in the next thirty years would provide an essential vehicle for economic change from barter to cash. Annuity goods included yarns, wool cards, indigo dye, aniline dyes, and various kinds of factory woven cloth. Skirts and blouses made of manufactured cloth replaced the woven two-piece blanket dress.

Manufactured Pendleton blankets displaced hand-woven mantas and shoulder blankets so that by the s, there was relatively little need for loom products in Navajo society. US government-licensed traders began to establish themselves on the new Navajo Reservation.

Whatever their motivation, adventure or commerce, the traders became the chief link between the Navajo and the non-Indian world. While wool and sheep were important to Navajo people for weaving and meat, they were also important to the economy beyond the Reservation.

Wool was in great demand in the industrialized eastern US for coats, upholstery, and other products. Traders bought wool by the pound and sold it to wool brokers in Albuquerque and Las Vegas, New Mexico. The sheep purchased by traders were herded to the nearest railhead and on to the slaughterhouses.

The herds grew substantially and it became more profitable for Navajo people to sell wool rather than utilize it in weaving. The railroad reached Gallup, NM inestablishing a tangible connection between the Navajos and the wider market, with the traders acting as middlemen.

A Brief Social History of Navajo Weaving

The completion of the railroad signaled the closing of the American Frontier which, in turn, stimulated a nationwide interest in collecting American Indian art.

The railroad made travel to the vast reaches of the west easier and thus opened the area for tourists. The traders recognized these new markets and began to influence weaving by paying better prices for weavings they thought more attractive to non-lndian buyers.

By the s, trading posts were well established on the Navajo Reservation, and traders encouraged weaving of floor rugs and patterns using more muted colors which they thought would appeal to the non-Indian market. Bymany regional styles of Navajo weaving developed around trading posts. The history of Navajo weaving continues; over the past century, Navajo weaving has flourished, maintaining its importance as a vital native art to the present day.

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Between the eighth and eleventh centuries, the Vikings surged from their Scandinavian homeland to trade and raid along the coasts of Europe. Their influence extended from Newfoundland to Baghdad.

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Pre-Social Security Period.

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An introduction to the brief history of the october classic

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THE COLLECTOR’S GUIDE: A BRIEF SOCIAL HISTORY OF NAVAJO WEAVING