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Variant of a First Phase Chief Blanket

KMA, Variant of a First Phase Chief Blanket, Unknown weaver

Variant of a First Phase Chief Blanket

Unknown weaver

c. 1880

 

Shimá: This blanket was used by males and females, and the jagged middle designs represent rain clouds. The spacing of these lines come from the weaver’s use of four fingers and also two fingers. This blanket is from many years ago when there was no conveniency to buy blankets for bedding. This was the only way to keep warm and it was used as bedding—not as a blanket but as the actual bed.

Bob: When Shimá talks about the jagged lines as rain clouds, the shifting colors there (coming from variations in the natural dyeing) remind me even more of the rainclouds growing up in New Mexico. The coming of the rain across the Rio Grande valley was so special that it was common to open the garage door and put out lawn chairs to watch the storms roll in. Looking at these jagged lines, I can feel these clouds, and the distinct sheets of rainfall sweep across the valley floor toward the Sandia Mountains.