Millicent Rogers (1902-1953) was a woman of wealth and style who had the foresight to collect and preserve Southwestern blankets and rugs. This Chief Blanket was acquired in 1947 and is the signature weaving of her outstanding collection. Woven around 1890, it represents a transition between blankets designed for Indian use only and those woven for trade.
Bold colors and primitive elements give this kilim a Southwestern feel. Derived from a wide variety of influences, from Native American to middle Eastern Nomadic Tribes. The earth-tone colors would have been created in small batches, from natural sources such as vegetables, plants and local minerals.
From the 16th century until the middle of the 19th century trade between New Mexico and Mexico flourished. Although there were a variety of woven goods produced as part of this trade, the single item in greatest demand was the Rio Grande blanket, a general term encompassing the entire weaving tradition of Hispanic New Mexico. Rio Grande blankets demonstrate great variety in design, but many, such as the one that inspired this MouseRug/CoasterRug, feature elements borrowed from the weavings of “Saltillo-style” serapes, made in many places in Mexico. Some of those ”borrowed” elements are evident in this rug: the serrated central diamond, bold geometric patterns and striped borders.