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Chief Blanket (Third Phase)

A work made of wool, single interlocking tapestry weave; twined edges; corner tassels.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of wool, single interlocking tapestry weave; twined edges; corner tassels.


c. 1860/65


Navajo (Diné)
Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, United States

About this artwork

Navajo (Diné) blankets made using fine churro wool and natural dyes are valued as works of special artistic and cultural significance. The design of this blanket, which features a steeped diamond in the center, quarter-diamonds ar each corner, and half-diamonds in the center of each side, was first introduced during the 1860s. The stripes of white, black-brown, and red reflect the continued use of pattern elements typical of earlier blankets. Although such textiles are known as “chiefs’ blankets,” prominent men from tribes as far away as the Northern Plains, Southwest, and Great Basin wore them draped over their shoulders as a sign of their wealth and status.

The Navajo believe that the deity Spider woman taught women how to weave and continues to work through today’s artists by directing the growth and beauty of each textile they make. Finished blankets are thought to have life forces of their own, radiating a sense of vitality and harmony—essential to the Navajo philosophy of hozho in which every individual strives to live in balance with the world.


Currently Off View




Navajo (Diné)


Chief Blanket (Third Phase)


Navajo (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1855–1865


Wool, single interlocking tapestry weave; twined edges; corner tassels


149.6 × 173.9 cm (58 7/8 × 68 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Robert Allerton Endowment

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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