Navajo Weaving in the Late Twentieth Century: Kin, Community, and Collectors

Aug 15th, 2005 | By | Category: 17-1: Telling Our Stories, Media Reviews

University of Arizona Press (2004), Tucson
145 pages
ISBN 0-8165-2412-2
Hardcover $35.00

Review by Duke Epperson

Navajo Weaving in the Late Twentieth Century presents a remarkable private collection of textiles produced between 1971 and 1996. Seventy-four color plates offer the public a clear view of the high level of artistic achievement reached by 60 skilled Native weavers.

Hedlund provides an overview of the development of regional and variant styles, plus insights into the family, community, and financial realities that contribute to the continuing evolution of the Navajo weaving tradition. Anecdotes and photos of the weavers and their families add a personal touch to the book’s exposition and make this an interesting read as well as an informative text.

Providing additional scope is a description of the collection’s development, plus a helpful look at the changing cultural environment of collecting itself. The author combines beautiful images of exemplary Navajo weavings with an educational and readable narrative. I recommend this book for tribal colleges and people interested in Navajo textiles and culture.

Duke Epperson has dealt in contemporary and historic Navajo weavings for 20 years. He lives in Salida, CO.

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