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Traditions & Encounters: Art of Africa, Oceania & Native North America

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Rug

2004
36 x 24 in. (91.4 x 61 cm)

Isabel John
Native American (1933 - 2004)

Object Type: Textiles
Medium and Support: Wool, pigment
Credit Line: Loaned by Vee Angle
Accession Number: 18.2009L
Location: Currently on view
Link to this object

The current Navajo Nation covers 27,000 square miles over a large chunk of Arizona, part of New Mexico and a section of Utah. Known as one of the finest weavers of Navajo pictorials, Isabel John lived with her family at Many Farms, Arizona. Navajo pictorials, a deviation from traditional rugs showcasing geometric patterns, originated in the mid-twentieth century and incorporate scenes from daily life.

John learned to weave from her mother and began weaving pictorials in 1972. Using both vegetal and commercial dyes, and store-bought as well as handspun wool from her own sheep, it often took her a year and a half to make one rug. This rug illustrates the actual weaving of a pictorial rug and the people and landscape that inspired it.
[Gallery label text, 2009]

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