Sometimes referred to as a Navajo folk art, these representations of recognizable objects occasionally have been designed into Navajo weavings at least since the middle of the nineteenth century. Unlike the geometric designs of more traditional Navajo rugs, these delightful pictorial images include scenes from everyday life, animals, landscapes, spelled-out words and designs of ceremonial significance. The pictorial weaving are shown through hundreds of color photographs with new as well as older examples. Here are familiar and imaginary animals, birds, people, religious designs and multiple weavings of fantastic detail. They convey, through dynamic color schemes and bold designs, images important to the Navajo weavers: the light and happy reflections of their scenic lands. The pictorial rugs are arranged chronologically within design groups to demonstrate the evolution of styles. Whenever known, the weavers are identified by name and region. It is their creativity that breathes life into these pictorial images and conveys the lively spirit of their lives.
Nancy N. Schiffer is an art historian whose interest in jewelry has evolved from studies of porcelain and decorative arts. She has written other books on jewelry and various fields of popular culture. She lives in Pennsylvania.