*** 46th Anniversary 1969-2015 of our American Indian Art Gallery now located in Aliso Viejo, California ***

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Len Wood's
Indian Territory, Inc.

Jeff Wood, President
The Nation's largest

selection of Navajo Rugs, Indian Baskets and Antique

American Indian Art


Len Wood's

36 Argonaut , Suite 120

Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

phone: (949) 497-5747 
orders: (800) 579-0860
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Gallery Open By Appointment Only

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From Arizona's famous Heard Museum and their website at heard.org:

(Note the last Germantown weaving photo which shows a weaving nearly identical to our ID# "R1M-15" in the Pre-1900:Medium section of this website.)

Brilliant: Navajo Germantown and Eyedazzler Textiles

Through January 2002

Exhibit Explores Dramatic, Innovative Period in Navajo Weaving

Brilliant: Navajo Germantown and Eyedazzler Textiles showcases pieces from an innovative period in Navajo weaving traditions when weavers began to have access to a wide range of colored yarns. Using the new palette, weavers began to experiment with new designs.

"Navajo textiles are brilliantly executed," says Ann Marshall, director of collections, education and interpretation for the Heard Museum and curator of the exhibit. "In each piece, you see an impressive level of mastery in both design and technique.

"In some pieces the quality of the weave carries forward the technical skill of the earlier Classic period," Marshall notes. "In all, there is an exuberant burst of color that has captured the eye of modern-day collectors."

Brilliant draws from the collections of the Heard Museum and private collectors. Several of the textiles displayed are drawn from the museum's original collection, acquired by Maie Heard for use in her home and to be displayed in the new museum she founded with her husband, Dwight. Other textiles in the exhibit were collected by the Fred Harvey Company and given to the Heard Museum in the 1970s. The textiles displayed are supplemented with interpretive text by curator Ann Marshall and contemporary weaver Marilou Schultz, Navajo. Schultz weaves in the Eyedazzler and Germantown styles, and her comments provide an intriguing glimpse into the design process and accomplishments of the weavers whose work is displayed.

The Germantown & Eyedazzler Textile Traditions The Germantown and eyedazzler periods developed between 1870 and 1910, and they were characterized by vivid experimentation with color and design. Eyedazzler textiles are noted for their dramatic designs and bright colors, designs that may include optical illusions. Germantown is a generic term applied to textiles woven with commercial yarns of the period. The term references the area in Pennsylvania where much of the yarn was produced.

These textile traditions arose out of the changes the Navajo experienced upon returning to their homelands following imprisonment in Bosque Redondo in Southern New Mexico from 1864 to 1868. During the Bosque Redondo era, Navajo weavers were exposed to the Hispanic textile traditions of Northern New Mexico, which included colors and designs very different from traditional Navajo designs. Colors and shapes on commercial products brought West by the railroad also served as inspiration for the weavers. This access to new colors, the influence of Hispanic textile designs and market forces led weavers to create new designs and develop textiles for uses in addition to utility.

Commercial yarns were imported from Pennsylvania to supplement the shortage of sheep wool, which came out of the warfare, forced marches and disease preceding and during Bosque Redondo. The U.S. government continued importing commercial yarn following the Navajo's return to their homelands. The wide range of colors available made it possible for weavers to pictorially depict images with a clarity and crispness not previously possible.

Following Bosque Redondo, the Navajo had greater access to commercial products, decreasing the reliance on hand-woven garments. However, the need for income remained, and weavers could now explore a greater imaginative freedom.

Navajo Textile, 1880s
Germantown wool yarns
Collection of the Heard Museum


Navajo Textile, 1880s

Germantown wool yarn
Collection of the Heard Museum


Navajo Pictorial Textile, c. 1890-1920
Germantown wool yarns
Collection of the Heard Museum




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