Ter’Ran Benton
AM IN 210
4/15/11
American Indian Weaving
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Weaving has been in American Indian culture for tens of thousands of years. Many American Indians express their spiritual beliefs into the weaving, and express it by putting different patterns, in a spiritual way, on the rug to show others how the spirits control them while weaving the rug. The Spaniards, in the 16th century, have migrated southwest of the United States to invade the Pueblo’s Indians and kidnap them to make them their slaves. It was not easy as the Spaniard thought, so making agreement to share land. The Spaniards taught the Pueblo’s different ways how to hunt, farm, and weave. Navajo Indians migrated from Alaska and Canada to the southwest of the United States and started their new lives there. The Navajo connected with the Pueblo’s and were taught how to survive. Weaving was the most popular craft that was taught to the Navajo tribe. Pueblo’s taught the Navajo Indians how to weave with cotton, wool, animal skin, and anything that will look good for the rugs or blankets. Navajo felt like they know more than the Pueblo’s and invaded their lands and took everything from them.
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Navajo Indians believe that a god taught them how to weave by the name of Spider woman. Many did not want to call spider woman a god, because a woman cannot be a god. Weaving blankets and rugs was not the only craft that was has been done with the American Indians. Some tribes weave chief uniforms, in the way to show acceptance to their tribe. Finger weaving was another kind of weaving that has helped American Indians. Basket weaving have been around ten thousands of years, and some of them are in museums today. What makes basket weaving popular today is because it is made our of natural materials like grass, and animal remains. Weaving baskets helped the American Indians carry supplies and crops around because it was hard for them to carry everything at once while farming or even hunting.
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Today Navajo’s has the biggest reservation in the country and still standing strong today. 1890 the United States government federally licensed trading post for the Indians was established. The clothing, blankets, rugs were very popular during the winter, were the white man did not know how to do much in making clothing for their backs. Receiving help from the Navajo’s to keep warm help bring money to their reservation, and send out the message on how their clothing, that they weave, is helping keeping the white man warm. Even though many tribes did not like the help they were given to the white man, they did believe that they are needed for help. Even today many have been in display to show how precious the blankets look, and how a machine cannot even do work that a human hand can do.
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This research was an eye opening to me, because I really do not think about how Indian tribes put in so much work in something that a machine can easily do. I did research on the Navajo’s and how weaving was a big thing in their tribe. Not only in the Navajo tribe, but they are more popular about the weaving the clothing, rugs, and blanket. I did not go in depth with the information with the Navajo tribe, because they were not the only ones who perfected the weaving. Different techniques have been use in different parts of the country, because of the weather is different that crops, tress, and grass is grown differently than others. This is something I can easily do more research on, because I now know that the American Indians have put a lot in this world.














Sources on Weaving

1. http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/basketry/sebaskets.html
The article gives the readers a brief explanation about how Native American women Indian group come together and weave baskets, keeping the basketry culture alive in Oklahoma. The group of women has been doing this since June 16, 2001.
2. http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=157421
This article explains how much weaving is put into the Navajo society. Also talks about how the Navajo women weave most of the chief uniforms, and also how when there is nothing else to do the first thing they will start doing is weaving.
3. http://southwest.library.arizona.edu/inbl/body.1_div.20.html
This article is Chapter XIX in the book of Pueblo Indian Weavers, and it explains how the Pueblo’s started weaving when they migrated to New Mexico and Arizona. Pueblo’s use wool, cotton to make their ceremonial customs, and how each design was made for a specific person “showing their character.” Also explained about some designs in some blankets and how they were made with different accessories including nylon, and silk.
4. http://www.americana.net/rugs_article.html
This article explains how weaving was the most popular thing that the Navajo’s had ever done. Even though they were taught by the Pueblo’s, no one thought that anyone can weave like the Navajo’s. Also talked about how the design in the rugs, blankets, and clothing was a good way to express your self.
5. http://www.navajorugsblankets.com/history.htm
This article give the readers two different sides on how weaving was taught to the Navajo’s. One story was how the spider woman taught a woman, while the woman was lost in the woods. The other story was the Pueblo’s taught the Navajo when they came to United States.
6. http://www.barryfriedmanblankets.com/wool.html
This article give the readers a brief explanation about the Indian trade blankets, and how they are use for clothing, bedding, warmth, ceremonial dances in the Native American culture. Also talks about how different kinds of weaving were going around in the United States and how every tribe feed off each other weaving techniques. Than there are pictures of different designs that were made.
7. http://www.crownpointrugauction.com/navajo-rug-weaving.php
This article talks about how Navajo rugs still being sold today and many being auctioned for thousands of dollars. Articles go in detail on how the loom is made, what materials are used. The article also talks about how weaving been changing and how in the 19th century the white traders influenced the Navajo’s to put patterns and design into the rugs.
8. http://www.americanindian.si.edu/subpage.cfm?subpage=collaboration&second=community
The article gives the readers a brief timeline about American Indians rare-wearing blankets form the National Museum of American Indians, and how they put the blankets on a fourteen month tour from Latin America to Mexico. The article also included Native Americans and Guatemala exchange activities during the tour.
9. http://.native-languages.org/rugs.htm
This article talks about how Navajo women weave the rugs with cotton, sheep, and wool. Weaving is a unique way to express their culture without having to explain anything. Tlingit people received their ideas from the Navajo weaving and started finger-woven Indian blankets.
10. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/111484/Chilkat-weaving
Chilkat weaving is a garment woven by these people, which speak Tlingit language. Chilkat weaving is a rectangular shape robe made with mountain goat or sheep, giving more warmth to the people in North America
11. http://www.canyonart.com/rugs-s-w.htm
Navajo weaving is the most popular American Indian artifact around the world today. Even though many still talk about the spider woman giving them the gift to teach them how to weave, the designs in their weaving makes the rugs, and blankets stand out and receiving money for selling them.
12. http://www.historyofquilts.com/Navajo_rugs.html
This article gives the readers one side of how Navajo’s were taught by spider woman, and how woman are holy for weaving the way they do. Than the article gives the fact on how Pueblo’s taught the Navajo’s and how the Navajo’s invaded the Pueblo’s and took a lot of their crops.
13. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24166
American Indian Basketry was another finest in the world made by American Indian weavers. They were used for a lot of things and even help us invent things today. Different tribes have their own kind of basket weaving to fit their culture.
14. http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/articles/article/USA/American-Indian-Baskets-/3773
Basketry is one of the oldest crafts practiced by the Native Americans. Different parts of the country they have different style like Sweet grass braided all around in the North, bundled pine needles in the South, willow wood and tightly coiled sumac in the south western part.
15. http://www.native-languages.org/baskets.htm
This article explains how basket weaving is the oldest Native American craft and how today many are still being made. Also talks about how in different parts in the world that they use different techniques into their basket weaving.
16. http://www.nativetech.org/finger/belts.html
This article talks about Native American Indians finger weaving yarn belts and sashes, instead of only rugs, blankets and baskets. Than it will go into detail in how they use the nature instead of harming animals.
17. http://blog.nmai.si.edu/main/2011/04/come-try-your-hand-at-weaving.html
Native Americans have been weaving for hundreds of years and having many cultures adopting it. This article tries to explain that in Native American world they come together and weave as one to understand how much effort they put into it, and how today it would be a great way to bring the family together.
18. http://michaelsmithgallery.com/node/66
This article briefly explains how the Spaniards, in the sixteenth-century, came into Southwest America to discover many agriculture practices the Pueblo Indians have been doing. Weaving was the most popular craft they had discovered and made profit out of it.
19. http://www.native-net.org/na/native-american-indian-rugs.html
Native American Indian rugs have been in history for thousands of years. American Indians started weaving blankets, than to finger weaving baskets, than to rugs. The designs in the rugs are spiritual, and have symbols on them that we will never understand.
20. http://waterturtleweaver.com/weavingcircle.html
This article talks about women getting involved with other women, and look into different cultures, and experimenting American Indian weaving and showing newcomers how to weave. It does not matter what race you are, they just want you to join the weaving circle and enjoy the time you are there.