Weaving in New Mexico

“Weaving in New Mexico: The Ancestral Puebloan and Rio Grande Traditions” is in the Museum’s Traditions Gallery.

Discover the ancient textile creations of the Ancestral Puebloans and the jewels of Rio Grande weaving from 1850 to the present. The exhibit includes 48 artifacts – everything from rugs to looms and tools.

When most people think of Southwestern weaving, they think of the finely-woven textiles of the Navajo. Few are aware of the rich weaving traditions developed by Ancestral Puebloans more than 3,000 years ago, and the Hispanic weaving tradition introduced by the early Spanish settlers in New Mexico.

Ancestral Puebloans dressed in well-made woven textiles, and they used their weaving skills to make utilitarian items that made life easier. Weaving required an expertise and an understanding of the natural resources available in the environment and how to use them. The story of Pueblo weaving is a long and complex one, as a continuous thread from the past joins contemporary weavers. Today, Pueblo weaving, as a dynamic art form, continues as a vital part of Pueblo ceremonialism.

Hispanic weaving in New Mexico can trace its roots to Spain and the weaving influences introduced during the 800-year occupation by the Moors. The beauty of Hispanic weaving increased over the years because of cross-cultural exchanges that occurred among the Puebloan, Navajo and Hispanic weaving traditions. For four centuries, weaving has played a vital role in the economy and everyday life of the New Mexico people of Spanish heritage.

The exhibit will be on display in the Museum’s Traditions Gallery through July 9, 2017.

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