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Swept Under the Rug: A Hidden History of Navajo Weaving (University of Arizona Southwest Center Book) Hardcover – November 8, 2002

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Product Details

  • Series: University of Arizona Southwest Center Book
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; 1st edition (November 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826328318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826328311
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,973,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"It breaks new ground. . . "Swept Under the Rug" is a thought -provoking examination of a complex and challenging subject made even more interesting because of this book."

From the Publisher

Debunks the romanticist stereotyping of Navajo weavers and Reservation traders and situates weavers within the economic history of the southwest.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Dragonfly on November 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book I would have been proud to have written, but Kathy M'Closkey has done it exceedingly well. She has told a long overdue and in-depth history of Navajo weaving that binds together themes usually glossed over or ignored in most academic texts--both art historical and ethnographic--and sets the record straight. One of her central and most telling points is that, given the past (and still current) Anglo-dominated marketing and auction systems, the more Navajo women wove, the poorer they became.
The author also addresses the problem of knockoffs of Dine' creativity and design seen today in the increasing number of overseas copies (from Mexico, India, Europe, and elsewhere) of Navajo weaving designs being marketed in the U.S. and sold worldwide.
Richly documented from the records of traders, trading posts, government, and other original sources--especially the testimony of the Dine' (Navajo) weavers themselves--the author gives voice to a history too-long hidden from the general public and now made clear and plain. "Swept Under the Rug" reveals how the weavings were severed from their makers' stories and how, because of this, the prevailing and standard "history" of Navajo weaving does not reflect Dine' values, but rather those of an externally controlled access to the public and marketplace. Fair-trade grassroots indigenous initiatives and cooperatives such as Black Mesa Weavers for Life and Land, Sheep Is Life, the Dine' College Navajo Textile Project, and others, are starting to bring about change and empower the Dine', through the work of their own hands, to reach the market directly, reclaiming the present and a future for the wool and weavings at the core of their culture and economy.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jan Norvold on June 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
the book was rather difficult to read and to maintain interest while reading. the author uses lots of obscure language, complicated sentence structure, grafts, and numbers to impress the readers. I was annoyed to have to keep looking up definitions in dictionary. it is more of a sociology text for sociologists than usable information for novice fans of Navajo textiles. the authors premise is that weavers have always been inadequately compensated for their work first by the post traders and now by investors who overvalue classic weavings at the expense of contempary work.
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