The Navajo tribe migrated from Canada to the American Southwest about a thousand years ago. By the 15th century, Navajo were widely settled there, particularly in the northeastern region of Arizona and bordering areas. When the Spanish returned to region in 1692 to squash the Pueblo Revolt, many Pueblo people sought refuge with the Navajo.

This cultural exchange had a profound and lasting impact on Navajo culture. From the Pueblo peoples, the Navajo learned how to weave blankets from wool and how to make pottery. In the late 19th century, these wool blankets would morph into the now-famous Navajo rugs, which were extremely popular with white tourists. Similarly, the early polychromatic Pueblo-style pottery developed into brownware. In addition, Navajo craftsmen became famous for their fine jewelry.

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