Germantown Dazzler – c. 1900

In 1868 the Navajos were removed from their homeland and forced on the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo. Thousands of the Indians died of disease and starvation and most of their herds of sheep were decimated. With no source of wool for weaving, the government issued commercial clothing as well as as yarn from the mills in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Hence the name “Germantown” was applied to weavings made from this very fine yarn that came in dazzling arrays of colors which were formerly unavailable to Navajo weavers. These yarns, combined with the serrated design influence of Mexican Saltillos, resulted in a new style of weaving called “Germantown Dazzlers.” With the new colors, designs and their great imagination, the weavers produced highly innovative, bold rugs and blankets.