Early American, Contemporary Paintings, Sculpture and Fine Antique American Indian Art.

Crystal Navajo RugsRead about Collecting Navajo Rugs, Part 1  |  Read about Collecting Navajo Rugs, Part 2
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J.B. Moore, who owned the trading post at Crystal, New Mexico from 1897-1911, was another visionary trader who exercised enormous influence over early Navajo rug design. Perhaps his most important innovation was to introduce weavers in his region to Oriental rug patterns. Motifs probably derived from oriental rugs include repeated hook shapes (often called latch hooks), the waterbug shaped like an X with a bar through the middle and, in a small number of weavings, rosettes. An even more lasting and fundamental influence was the concept of a large central motif in one, two or three parts, that covers almost all of the ground between the borders. Even the concept of the border itself, usually in two or three layers with at least one in a geometric pattern, is probably traceable to oriental carpet design. Though introduced in the region around Crystal, these motifs and ideas quickly spread to other areas of the Reservation and are found on many rugs woven throughout the past century. One of the most popular patterns that likely resulted from Moores work at Crystal was the Storm Pattern. This design is generally defined as a central rectangle connected by zig-zag lines to smaller rectangles in each corner. The storm pattern often is said to have symbolic meaning: the zig-zags are lightning, the corner rectangles are the four sacred mountains of the Navajo or the four directions or the four winds, etc. The storm patterns precise origin is uncertain one story suggests it was developed by a trader on the western side of the Reservation but the weavers at Crystal developed this concept into one of the most popular and lasting of all Navajo rug patterns.
Permission to reproduce photos and paintings in this online catalog secured by J. Mark Sublette. All rights reserved. No portion of this online catalog may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from J. Mark Sublette, Medicine Man Gallery, Inc.

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