WALK IN BEAUTY: The Navajo and Their Blankets by Anthony & Mary Hunt Kahlenberg Berlant

WALK IN BEAUTY: The Navajo and Their Blankets

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A dramatically illustrated history of Navajo blankets which urges recognition of the blankets as works of art revealing ""the sensibility of the individual artist and the spirit of a people."" In tracing the evolution of weaving techniques, the increasingly complex patterns, and the types of blankets, Berlant and Kahlenberg have also written a history of the people--Southwesterners pursued and nearly destroyed by the US Army, rounded up and marched 300 miles to Bosque Redondo in 1864, then returned to their own land (though confined to a Reservation) in 1868. The discussion of color preferences also reflects these changes in physical circumstances: the limited early choices of brown, white, indigo, and a few pale pastels; the appearance of red--unraveled flannel, or bayeta--once the Spanish arrive; experiments with foreign yarns and synthetic dyes in the late 19th century; the introduction of ""Eye-Dazzlers"" and Pendleton-influenced combinations after trading posts came on the scene. Stunning reproductions--64 in full color, 80 in black-and-white--give ample evidence of bold, original designs in vertical and horizontal stripes, intricate diamonds, and occasional pictorial images.

Pub Date: June 30th, 1977
Publisher: Little, Brown