Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Navajo weavers turn art to profit at Crownpoint Rug Auction

On the second Friday of every month, two very different groups of people, most of them New Mexicans, get together at a school on the Navajo reservation for one of the state's most unique commercial customs. The Crownpoint Rug Auction got started in 1968 as a way for Navajo weavers to profit more from their hand-spun and woven textiles that were once used casually as saddle blankets, but were quickly becoming expensive works of art. By 4 p.m., when the doors open to the Crownpoint Elementary School, more than 100 Navajo weavers and their families begin moving into the gymnasium with the results of months of work rolled up in plastic containers. By 5 p.m., the bidders, almost all of them Anglos, begin to arrive and look through what will be for sale. The biggest contingency is from Albuquerque, with a few from Santa Fe, Rio Rancho, Farmington, Gallup, Las Cruces and other New Mexico towns, a handful from the contiguous states, a smattering from other states, and one European couple...more

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