Southwest textiles are a true American art form
where diverse traditions and cultures have blended to produce new, unique
expressions of beauty. The
weaving tradition rooted in the American Southwest for over 1000 years, began
with the Ancestral Puebloans (also known as the Ancient Ones or the Anasazi) who
worked with native cotton on an upright loom. In the 1500’s, the Spanish
introduced sheep and the horizontal treadle loom to the southwest. About 300
years ago, the Navajo began to weave. While Pueblo, Navajo and Hispanic peoples
who live in this region each maintain their cultural heritage, each tradition
also shows its influence on the others.
In the Pueblo tradition, weaving was originally the work of men; in the Navajo tradition, weaving is often passed from grandmother to mother to daughter; and Hispanic weaving often takes place within a family workshop. However, in today’s mobile culture, these patterns are becoming blurred as weaving and weaving technology is taught in school-sponsored programs, craft cooperatives and over the Internet.
Southwest weaving today blends traditional techniques with indigenous cotton, wool introduced by the Spanish, contemporary materials and shared designs. People’s ability to adapt assures that the Southwest textile tradition remain an active and vital art form. The beauty, creativity and skill shown by the textiles in The Durango Collection® chronicles this remarkable achievement.