Woven by the Grandmothers: Nineteenth-Century Navajo Textiles from the National Museum of the American Indian

January 1, 1996–January 1, 1997
New York, NY

Woven by the Grandmothers made its debut in 1996 at the National Museum of the American Indian's George Gustav Heye Center in Manhattan. After a highly successful run at the GGHC, the exhibition traveled to the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona. Since then, this unique exhibition has also been shown at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and The Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. Woven by the Grandmothers also completed a 14-month tour of Latin America, where it was shown in museums in Montevideo, Uruguay; Guatemala City, Guatemala; La Paz, Bolivia; Santiago, Chile; and Mexico City, Mexico. It is the first exhibition in recent years to bring Smithsonian collections to venues outside of the United States. Drawn from one of the world's largest collections of Navajo wearing blankets woven between 1825 and 1880, the forty objects presented in Woven by the Grandmothers include chief blankets, finely woven poncho sarapes, traditional two-piece dresses known as biil, women's shoulder blankets, mantas, shawls, and soft utility blankets, called diyogí.