Rare Circa 1870 Navajo Child's Manta

In early classic times, only Chief’s blankets and Mantas were wider than long. Mantas were used and pre-dated dress halves. Dress halves were also used in a pair and when combined were wider than long. What all of these items have in common is the use of brown wool. Brown or black was not used in classic times in Serapes, except those found with slave influence and later Mokis. The Indigo dyed center on this piece along with aniline and cochineal and the fact that it has no brown wool, may make it one of the only child sized or small womens Mantas known. This Moki is a rare and beautiful example!

Note: When Navajo weavings are made, the vertical continuous frame strings are called a warp. When the blanket is wider than long, these vertical frame strings contained in the blanket are wider than the length of the blanket. When the blanket is a Serape, the vertical frame strings are narrower than the length. Put another way, when the weaving is a rug or blanket, you will see the loom with the frame strings (warp) going up and down. A wider than long lom is used for the Chief’s blankets, Mantas, etc. A taller than wide loom is used for Serapes, most rugs, etc.