Contemporary Moki Pattern Blanket


Item Number: DR 657
Tribal Affiliation: Navajo
Artist: Alberta Shorty
Medium: Wool with natural and aniline dyes
Age: Circa 1980s
Dimensions: 31” X 51”     weft 44   warp 11


SKU: DR 657 Categories: , ,


Navajo blankets are splendid microcosms of the Southwest’s cultural richness. This example has two old Navajo designs: the diamond pattern and the striped moki pattern. Moki’s origin is unclear. It may have come from Pueblo peoples, from whom the Navajo learned weaving after migrating to the Southwest from Canada. Or it could have come from the Spaniards, who arrived in the Southwest in 1540, not long after the Navajo. Though the patterns are old, this beautiful blanket was woven by master weaver Alberta Shorty in the 1980s.

The weave is very tight and the colors a quite vibrant. Along with the deep blue and brown/black bands, this rug has the easily recognized crosses and half crosses as well as bands of diamonds and arrows, this rug has always been hung and never on the floor, according to the original owner.

Easily one of the most well-known styles due to their value to early settlers, Moki weavings began as blankets around Coronado’s expedition in 1540. Originally, they were designed by Spanish weavers and adopted by the Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi.    Moki blankets became as valuable as food, due to their durability and ability to keep you warm on those frigid winter nights.

Though generally created with standard hand-spun native wool they were also woven with Germantown yarns.  It’s the distinct style and uniform texture that captures the artist’s techniques making them easier to weave, certainly, but also allows a more appealing and thoughtful uniqueness to each rug that can be experienced differently by each person, especially when worn.

Condition: Excellent – original condition with original Hubbell Trading Post tag attached. Although the hand written label indicates this is a chief’s blanket, the design is definitely Moki.

Provenance: From the private collection of a gentleman in Texas