Archive for the ‘Navajo Rugs’ Category

Incredible JB Moore Navajo Rug #992 Featured December 2017

Friday, December 1st, 2017

Incredible JB Moore Navajo Rug #992

The Rug of the Month is a JB Moore Crystal Trading Post Catalog rug # 992, one of the nicest JB Moore rugs we have had in a long time.

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Great Old Bisti Navajo Rug for Sale August 2017 Rug of the Month 809

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Great Bisti Navajo Rug

The rug of the month for August is #809 a great old Bisti Navajo rug 38″ x 62″ Circa 1930s.

Navajo Rug Weaving
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Eye Dazzler Rugs As the Perfect Accent for Your Home

Monday, December 21st, 2015

While patterns like the Yeibichai, Yei, Tree of Life, and other culturally significant symbols have their origins in Navajo sandpainting rituals, eye dazzler rugs were always meant primarily to do just what their name implies: dazzle the eye through intricate patterns and vibrant colors.

eye dazzler rug

Eye Dazzler Rug, circa 1950

During the Transitional Period, approximately 1880-1900, Navajo weavers began weaving textiles that were meant for commercial sale, not just for personal and tribal use. Navajo weavings were initially used as blankets, but as the market grew for these traditional weavings, they transitioned to being made more for use as rugs and wall hangings. Mill-spun yarn also became widely available at this point, meaning that weavers suddenly had access to more finely spun and brightly colored yarn, and therefore could weave more complex and colorful patterns.

Eye dazzler rugs incorporate geometric designs and bold colors–things that apparently appealed to those early trading post owners and tourists as much as they do to our modern eyes. These weavings can provide a beautiful accent piece in your home either as a rug, wall hanging, or bed cover. Because their bold designs and bright colors can be used as a complement to a range of styles – from traditional Western to organic modern – we think these are a great entry into Navajo rug ownership.

If you have any questions about eye dazzlers or specific rugs, please contact Charley at charleysnavajorugs.com.

CNR Featured in Cowboys and Indians Magazine

Friday, December 18th, 2015

cowboys and indians magazine

We are very excited to announce that an article about Charley was recently published on the Cowboys and Indians magazine website. This is one of our very favorite magazines, so we were thrilled that they were interested in Charley’s story and his motivations for starting Charley’s Navajo Rugs. It’s not everyday that a bareback rider-turned-accountant starts a rug company, so we can see why they thought their subscribers would be intrigued.

Head on over to the site to check out the article.

Male and Female Yei Symbols in Navajo Rugs

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

The Yei symbol is a frequently used pattern in Navajo rugs. In Navajo mythology, the Yei spirits mediated between the Great Spirit and humans (the name Yei derives from Yeibicheii, meaning the Holy People. Yeibichai rugs depict the ceremony in which dancers attempt to call the spirits). Yei spirits were believed to control natural elements such as the rain, snow, wind, and sun and to have healing powers.

In paintings and weavings depicting the Yei spirits, male deities are generally pictured with round heads and female deities with square heads. This distinction does not always hold true, though. In some cases, round heads are given to the more dominant spirits, regardless of gender. And there are other clues you can look for to determine whether a spirit is male or female. For instance, crooked lightning is often seen on the male spirits. Colors can also indicate gender, with black and yellow more associated with male figures and blue and white with females.

Yei Navajo Rug Sandpainting

Male Yei Sandpainting Navajo Rug, circa 1930/1940

It can be considered sacrilegious to weave in the eyes and mouths of the Yeis, so these are often embroidered on after the rug is woven. In fact, these rugs were initially considered sacrilegious in general. Yeis were initially depicted in sandpaintings that would be erased at the end of the ceremony, so when weavings depicting the deities began to be made in the 1930s, there was some controversy over turning this ritual into a permanent and commercial art form. However, other Navajos argued that it was important to preserve the traditional art of sandpaintings through permanent sandpaintings and weavings.

Female Yei Navajo Rug

Female Yai Navajo Rug, circa 1930

We think that these beautiful weavings are a wonderful way to honor the spiritual beliefs of the Navajos and to preserve traditional symbols and myths. If you have any questions about specific Yei rugs, please contact Charley at charley@charleysnavajorugs.com.

For a very detailed overview of the various Yei legends, see this very informative post from Twin Rocks Trading Post.

Happy Anniversary to Us: Charley’s Navajo Rugs Celebrates 7 Years

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Charley’s Navajo Rugs started 7 years ago as a kind of happy accident. While Charley always loved Native American art and its connection to the Old West, it was never his plan to make a business out of it. He has owned a successful CPA firm in small-town California for over 30 years, and he still considers that his “day” job. But this is only one part of Charley’s history: before he ever entered the accounting world, he was a bareback rider in the rodeo.

happy anniversary charley's navajo rugs

Charley as Rodeo Rider

“I always loved the West,” says Charley, “It held a lot of attraction for me from a young age, and I loved watching Western movies. That led me to the rodeo—and I had a lot of fun doing that.” But once he had to hang up his rigging, he started looking for other ways to immerse himself in that historical period, and he fell in love with the beauty and history of Navajo rugs.

After learning about and purchasing many Navajo rugs as a hobby, he realized that he could share his knowledge and collection with a larger audience by opening a business. He was excited to start Charley’s Navajo Rugs as an online retail store, which allows him to sell his rugs at very reasonable prices compared to a brick-and-mortar retailer.

He currently sells authentic Navajo rugs worldwide, and he is constantly on the hunt for rare, high-quality rugs to add to his collection. He travels throughout the western United States every year, making new friends, catching up with old ones, and continuing his education on these unique pieces of art.

“We cater to the true collector and Native American art afficianado,” says Charley, “But we also increasingly see customers who are just drawn in by the beauty of the rugs themselves.” The current trend toward pared-down, modern décor that emphasizes high-quality natural materials is a perfect fit with the flat-woven, colorful wool rugs that CNR specializes in.

So happy anniversary to Charley’s Navajo Rugs! Here’s to another fantastic 7 years.

Contemporary Navajo Rug in a Late Classic Period Design

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

This month’s Rug of the month is 827B a contemporary rug with a late Classic Period Design, with a small discount for December.

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Traditional Navajo Dresses, AKA Biil

Monday, November 30th, 2015

In addition to rugs and saddle blankets, Charley’s Navajo Rugs also carries several fine Navajo dresses, or biil. Though these can certainly be used as decorative pieces (they work wonderfully as wall hangings), the biil dress is actually still worn by Navajo girls and women for special occasions like graduations and weddings.

This is an example of a Navajo dress panel–there would need to be an identical back panel to truly make this a dress.

Navajo dresses dress panel

Below is a dress that may have been worn for a Navajo wedding. You can see that it is made of two panels that have been stitched together, with arm and neck holes left open.

navajo dresses biil

Navajo dresses are woven in the same style as a rug would be, but they are often more finely woven. You can see in the detailed picture below that the dress shown above is very tightly woven–as befits a textile that is to be worn rather than used as a rug or blanket.

navajo dresses biil detail

Navajo dresses, or biil, are still primarily produced by Navajo weavers either for their own use and to sell to other Navajos–they are not a commercial item like most Navajo rugs. This is a very traditional form of dress–the oldest known example of a biil dress was the one worn by Juanita, wife of Chief Manuelito, around 1868.

If you have additional questions about traditional Navajo dresses, or biil, please contact Charley at charley@charleysnavajorugs.com.

Decorating with Navajo Rugs: Tips and Ideas

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Decorating with Navajo rugs is really limited only by your creativity and square footage! You can of course use Navajo rugs as floor coverings, but (especially with rarer or more delicate pieces) they are also lovely on the wall or even draped on a couch or used as a table runner. They work well in homes that have a more traditional style, but they work equally well in more modern, clean-lined homes–offering a pop of color and pattern.

Ideas for Decorating with Navajo rugs

As a floor covering in a bedroom:

decorating with navajo rugs

As a couch blanket/headrest:

decorating with navajo rugs

As a table runner:

decorating with navajo rugs

The sky is really the limit when it comes to decorating with Navajo rugs. A runner in front of the kitchen sink, a wall hanging in your study, a large-scale rug in your living room. If you need more inspiration, check out Pinterest (you can follow Charley’s Navajo Rugs on Pinterest, as well, for updated rug offerings and new design ideas) or Houzz (not all rugs shown here are authentic Navajo rugs, but there are some good ideas on how to incorporate Navajo rugs into your decor). Just search something like “decorating with Navajo rugs” or “Southwestern decor.” There are some truly beautiful ideas out there. You can also find additional decorating inspiration on our site.

We’d be happy to help you find the perfect rug to go with your home or office decor. You can contact Charley directly at charley@charleysnavajorugs.com.

 

Navajo Rug Resources

Friday, November 20th, 2015

One of the best things about becoming a Navajo rug afficianado has been joining the amazing community we have found that shares our love of all things Navajo rug. If you are looking for Navajo rug resources–from tips on cleaning, to preservation help, to just learning more about the art form, look no further than the list of Good Businesses and Friends on our site.Navajo rug resources

While in other industries some of these people might be considered “competitors,” this bunch has always been more about sharing Navajo rug resources and history and about celebrating successes than about fighting over sources and customers. Instead of competitors, we think of each other as fellow collectors–all driven by the same mission to promote and sustain the Navajo rug art form.

We joke that once you are bitten with the bug, there is no turning back, and because of our shared passion, this community is always willing to help one another out. Luckily, we can share some of the benefits of this community with our customers. If you have any specific questions about Navajo rug resources, we are happy to answer them, or check out the list linked above.