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Arts of the Americas

 Diné women wove waterproof wool blankets that were worn around the shoulders. In 1863 the U.S. Army forcibly removed the Diné from Arizona to Bosque Redondo detention camp in New Mexico and killed the tribe’s churro sheep. Ingenious weavers combined commercial wool with unraveled red flannel to create colorful designs.

During captivity, weaving became the Diné’s primary source of income, and when they returned to their homelands in 1868, it continued to flourish with the expansion of the railroad and the establishment of trading posts. This man's chief-style blanket has a variant pattern with black and white stripes and white and blue serrated zigzags on a red ground.
MEDIUM Wool, dye
DATES 1880–1890
DIMENSIONS 54 5/16 x 66 15/16 in. (138 x 170 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
CREDIT LINE Anonymous gift in memory of Dr. Harlow Brooks
PROVENANCE Prior to 1936, provenance not yet documented; before 1936, acquired by Henry Harlow Brooks of New York, NY; by 1943, acquired from the estate of Henry Harlow Brooks by an anonymous donor; October 26,1943, gift of an anonymous donor to the Brooklyn Museum.
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Blanket with two bands of white and black stripes and three bands of stepped zigzags in blue and white on a red ground. Condition: good.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Navajo. Blanket, 1880–1890. Wool, dye, 54 5/16 x 66 15/16 in. (138 x 170 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift in memory of Dr. Harlow Brooks, 43.201.190. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 43.201.190_PS5.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 43.201.190_PS5.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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