Ganado Red: Navajo Textiles

Style: Ganado, contemporary | Size: 46”x31” | Artist: Rafina Bitsui, Four Corners
| Kel Darnell and Marc McDonald Collection

The Ganado Red style of weaving is likely the best known of all Navajo rugs, inspired by Juan Lorenzo Hubbell (founder of the Hubbell Trading Post in 1878 and National Historic Site in Ganado, Arizona). Hubbell was one of the most well-known and respected traders among the Navajo people of his time. Hubbell disliked chemical dyes, which became more widely available around the turn of the century, and encouraged the use of the deep maroon that later became known as Ganado Red.

The Ganado weavings of today feature deep red backgrounds with black, grey, white, and brown accents. They often are enclosed by striking black borders and contain central serrated diamond designs and in each corner. This style is considered the direct contrast to the Klagetoh style, which has a grey background with a large central diamond motif and red, black, and white accents. 

“The People’s Tapestry: Weaving Tradition in Navajo Culture” is now on display at the Moab Museum, featuring a variety of styles of Navajo textiles, including the Ganado Red. In this column throughout the summer, the Museum team will feature a variety of weaving styles and their associated backgrounds and stories.  

This exhibition is a celebration of the magnificent weavings created by the Diné (which means “the people” in Navajo). The significance of Diné textiles transcends artistic expression; weavers beautify their world through the spiritual act of weaving and integrate their art into the web of everyday life. The Navajo weaver’s song declares, “with beauty, it is woven.”

This article was originally published in the Moab Sun News on July 7, 2023.