Zapotec Mexican rug – Navajo rug replica, 29″ x 61″, $149
This Zapotec rug resembles the classic Wide Ruins Navajo rug pattern and employs traditional Chief blanket colors of red, black, white and gray. The Navajo Chief Blanket design theme is simple; and may include full or partial diamonds or stepped blocks, serrated zigzags and stripes or bands, and an occasional cross or whirling log. Wide Ruins became visible as a regional style during the Revival Period 1920-1940. Weavers in the Wide Ruins area make use of banded, unbordered designs reminiscent of Navajo Indian blankets; and colors were derived from all-vegetal dyes.
In recent years, Zapotec weavers, indigenous to central Mexico, began reproducing simplified versions of Navajo textiles; that can be sold at a much lower price than a truly authentic Navajo rug or blanket. Zapotec weavers have their own tradition of rug and blanket manufacture that is even older than the Navajo. Most scholars of pre-Columbian and American Southwest history, believe that many of the geometric design elements one finds in the Navajo textile patterns have their origin in link with the Aztec and Zapotec cultures of central and southern Mexico. The southwestern United States and Mexico are not viewed as two culturally distinct regions; but as a heterogeneous yet unified cultural area, in which deep-rooted regional traditions are linked by common beliefs and art.