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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Diné Textiles: Nizhónígo Hadadít'eh, They are Beautifully Dressed

Diyogí n’teel, a Navajo chief-style blanket by an unknown maker.

20 N Main St, Providence, 02903, United States

Hózhó (pronounced HOZH-oh) means balance, beauty, and harmony in Diné Bizaad, the language of the Diné—Navajo—people. There is no direct translation for the word “art,” but hózhó describes a creative expression that is distinctly Diné in its emphasis on symmetry, geometric patterns, the interplay between dark and light, and the preservation and perpetuation of the practice through matriarchal teaching. “Diné Textiles: Nizhónígo Hadadít’eh, They are Beautifully Dressed” showcases more than 20 works of Diné apparel design from the last 150 years. Shaped by culture and politics—from the introduction of Churro sheep by Spanish colonists to the 1868 Treaty of Bosque Redondo, which subjected Diné to U.S. federal government rule and forced assimilation—the evolution of Diné textiles tell a story of beauty and resilience. —Nyla Gilstrap

Photo courtesy of the RISD Museum

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