Textiles  of the North American Southwest
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Hispanic Blanket
Early 20th century
New Mexico

Catalog Information

This blanket shows how textile traditions can be affected by economic factors. It was donated to the Smithsonian in 1938 as a Navajo weaving. However, its small size, fringe, central serrated diamond motif, and bands of narrow stripes near either end clearly reveal that it is a Hispanic New Mexican piece.

This confusion was due in part to the desire of Hispanic weavers to increase sales of their textiles to tourists. Many tourists considered Indian weaving more authentic than Hispanic weaving, so Hispanic weavers in northern New Mexico began producing textiles with design elements and color schemes like those seen here, which fit the tourists' stereotypes of Indian weaving.

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