Textiles  of the North American Southwest
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About This Site

This website explores the weaving traditions of the American Indian and Hispanic residents of the North American Southwest. Composed of modern day northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, the North American Southwest is one of the most important centers of handwoven textile production in the world. Over the past 2,000 years, weavers in this region have created a wide variety of textiles that express, in both design and technique, the changing circumstances of their lives and the extensive flow of ideas across cultural frontiers. The weavings presented here, drawn from the extensive textile collections of the Smithsonian Institution, testify to the skill and creativity of these weavers and to the dynamism of their weaving traditions.

The site—a collaborative undertaking of the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies, the Department of Anthropology of the National Museum of Natural History, and the Mexico-North Research Network—was made possible by a generous grant from Brother International Corporation, Inc. Its creation was directed by William Merrill, María Sprehn Malagón, and Michelle Smith. Patty Housman and Tiffany Larbalestier edited the site and Troy Whitbread designed it. Sabina Aguilera Madrigal and Michelle Morton, Smithsonian interns in the summer of 1999, completed initial research for the site, and Helen Lucero provided crucial technical assistance. Additional technical information on the textile collections of the Department of Anthropology was drawn from unpublished research reports of Joe Ben Wheat and Robert Sayers. Don Hurlbert produced the photographic images of the items included from these collections.

Many others contributed to the completion of this website. They are, in alphabetical order: Richard Ahlborn, Betsy Anderson, Annie Brose, Suzanne Peurach, Andrew Connors, Margaret Dittemore, Elizabeth Eubanks, Paula Fleming, Martha Graham, Candace Greene, Greta Hansen, Ann Lane Hedlund, Deborah Hull-Walski, Kristen Kerstos, Robert Leopold, Gillian Moss, Felicia Pickering, David Rosenthal, Joanna Scherer, David Shayt, Joyce Sommers, James Sousa, Lou Stancari, Vyrtis Thomas, Lisa Trujillo, Stephen Velasquez, and Jane Walsh. Their assistance is gratefully acknowledged.

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