Navajo men dating
In the 16th century, when the Spanish arrived and subsequently conquered the peaceful pueblo Indian cultures of what is now New Mexico and the American Southwest, the Navajo or Dine peoples which then lived north of the pueblos were seldom if ever seen by the Spanish and known mostly through the Pueblo Indian stories and encounters (often stories of raids by the Navajo on the pueblos) related by the Pueblo tribes.
The Navajo--who may have come together as an amalgamation of several tribal and clan cultures of the Southern Plains to form their own distinctive culture less than one hundred years before the Spanish Conquest-- are linguistic relatives (Athapascan) of the Apache and are generally considered to have had, in the16th century, a culture more similar to Plains nomadic hunter-raiders than to the Pueblo sedentary-agrarian cultures.
The "Chief's Pattern", especially the Second and Third Phase pattern, continued to be used after the Transition period and is even found in modern "Revivals".
These heavier pieces, more rug than blanket, each reflect the time period in which they are made.
The Pueblo tribes grew cotton and wove blankets and garments on a distinctive pueblo loom hundreds of years before the Spanish arrived (these weaving skills perhaps brought up by Indians from what is now Mexico and Central America), yet it was the Spanish who first introduced sheep to the Southwest.
******* "Chief's blanket" is something of a misnomer as the Navajo did not have "chiefs" within their social structure.
The term came to be used because only a relatively wealthy person (such as a chief in a Plains Indian tribe or the Utes who especially liked and traded for these weavings) could afford the extravagance and cost of these beautiful weavings.
Chief's Blankets, especially in the Third Phase form most desired by collectors of that time, continued to be made past the Late Classic Period and into the Transition Period.
"1800-1860" or "pre-1860") as more specific dating may be impossible at present time.
The collectibility of rare and early Navajo Blankets has long attracted the wealthy and celebrated collector from William Randolph Hearst --who over a period of a decade or so before 1920 collected more than 200 important 19th century Navajo blankets-- to the leading actors, filmmakers, recording artists , politicians and business tycoons of today who seek similar items.