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Zuni Diamond Twill Manta

Zuni Diamond Twill Manta

Department: History
Date: 1870-1890
Medium: Wool (fabric), indigo
Dimensions:
40 1/2 × 47 1/2 in. (102.9 × 120.7 cm)
Classification: Personal Objects
Credit Line: Albuquerque Museum, museum purchase, 1997 General Obligation Bonds
Object number: PC2001.54.1
DescriptionZuni manta or wearing blanket, 1870-1890. Blue and black wool, diagonal and diamond twill, dyed indigo blue and natural brown (almost black) wool, not overdyed.

Attributions:
Tom Begner: Seller. Ends and selvage are diamond twill in indigo. Center is natural brown diagonal twill. Definitely not churro. Rambouillet wool would go back into the 1870's-1880's; it's definitely not as late as 1890, otherwise it would be denser like the Pueblo weavings in the Dewey Gallery, not as fine, priced at $3500-$5500.

David Irving. According to the Begners, is one of the top two collectors of Pueblo weavings in the country. Knows the former owner, Chuck Arnold, and is familiar with the piece. "Probably 1870's, attributed to Zuni based on the looseness/softness of the weave. No reason it couldn't be 1840-1850, or as late as 1900."

Mark Bahti: (as described) "Given condition, you have a gem there. I rarely hear of them coming on the market."

Marian Rodee: "Maybe a girl's dress or a boy's manta. Not churro, more kinky like rambouillet. Could be as early as 1890 or as late as 1910. Need to test to determine for sure that it's indigo, as aniline can look like indigo."

Deb Slaney & Marilee Schmit Nason: Weft and warp are single ply, Z-twist. Cords, tassels, and selvedges are 2-ply S-spun, Z-twist.
Not on view
Label Text:Leekya farmed and raised sheep—two of the two most common ways to make a living at Zuni, before the rise of the jewelry and lapidary industries. Sheep or their fleeces could be sold to the traders or woven into mantas (wearing blankets). Woven in a diagonal and diamond twill weave, this textile could have been a girl’s dress or a boy’s manta.


Pueblo weavers, using natural brown and indigo-dyed wool, wove complex diamond and diagonal twill patterns into functional textiles that served as head or body coverings. In order to change the pattern, the weaver had to re-warp the loom, with a challenging but rewarding result. You will see the pattern change if you look closely at the transition from brown to blue.