According to the official government of the Navajo People, ” The Navajo Nation extends into the states of Utah , Arizona and New Mexico , covering over 27,000 square miles of unparalleled beauty. Diné Bikéyah, or Navajoland, is larger than 10 of the 50 states in America…Today, the Navajo Nation is striving to sustain a viable economy for an ever increasing population that now surpasses 250,000.” The Navajo Peoples have their own language, referred to as Navajo or Navaho, and whose native name is Diné bizaad.
Navajo Art encompasses several well known forms – woven blankets, turquoise jewelry, navajo patterned items, and ceramics. Because of impostors, any item produced after 1935 that is marketed using terms such as “Indian,” “Native American” or “Alaska Native” must be made by a member of a State or federally-recognized tribe or acertified Indian artisan. Navajo People’s oral tales tell us they learned to weave from Spider Woman and that the first loom was of sky and earth cords, with weaving tools of sunlight, lightning, white shell, and crystal.
It is said that Navajo Rugs and Textiles mirror the social and economic history of Navajo people. Navajo women wove their experiences and life lessons into the pieces they created, thus each pattern is said to be wholly unique and personal. Weavings were used to create shoulder robes, hair ties, belts, dresses, and blankets. Personal adornment and jewelry found in the southwestern area consisting of Arizona and New Mexico is thought to date back to the first half of the 1st millennium AD and was mostly seen in bracelets made from a shells, simple stones, and fibers. Silver did not become available through trade, or an important status symbol, until the 1800’s.