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Object Monday: Eye Dazzler weaving

Eye dazzler weaving

Eye dazzler (MMA 63.34.125)


Eye Dazzler weavings are known for their bright colors and intricate designs. The availability of brightly colored aniline dyed wool yarns from commercial mills in Germantown, Pennsylvania in the late 19th century introduced a new suite of colors to Navajo weavers. It was during this time that railroads first reached the borders of the Navajo Nation and weavers shifted from weaving blankets to weaving rug and smaller textiles for traders and the growing tourist market. Eye Dazzlers are most associated with this “Transitional Period” in Navajo weaving (1880-1895). This stepped diamond design of this bright Eye Dazzler was woven of natural and analine-dyed handspun yarns and yellow commercial yarn.  It was purchased by archaeologist Earle Morris in 1895 and later acquired by Gilbert and Dorothy Maxwell, who subsequently donated it to the Museum that bears their name.

Interested in learning more about Navajo weavings and supporting contemporary artists?  Come to the Maxwell Navajo Rug Auction on November 20, 2021 at the Prairie Star Restaurant at Santa Ana Pueblo (Bernalillo, NM)

Object: Eye Dazzler weaving
Artist:  unknown
Culture: Diné (Navajo)
Size: 211 x 126 cm
Date: 1880-1895
Collection: Ethnology, Donated by Gilbert and Dorothy Maxwell
MMA 63.34.125

See also: Marian Rodee, 1987, Weaving of the Southwest From the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. West Chester, PA:  Schiffer Publishing.