This weaving was owned by the Hubbell Trading Company’s wholesale house in Winslow, Arizona. J.L. Hubbell Jr. owned this company and operated between 1924 and 1953. Merchandise to be offered at wholesale to dealers like the Fred Harvey Company, was moved from Hubbell Trading Posts around the reservation to Winslow, which was on the railroad route.

About 20 years ago, a woman in Phoenix called me about selling some of her father’s rug collection. When I went to visit, I was amazed at the number of large rugs that she had in her home. It turns out that her father had purchased the Winslow operation when the company declared bankruptcy in 1954. She had most of the weavings from the store. The Hubbell empire of trading posts and businesses was reduced to the post at Ganado. Hubbell’s son Roman ran it until he died in 1957. His wife Dorothy ran it until 1967 when Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater arranged a sale to the National Park Service on the condition that the trading post continue to be operated as a traditional post.

Today, Hubbell’s is a National Historic Site and is still an active trading post worth visiting.


The large weaving featured here was likely sold to the post in Ganado. When I visited the woman in Phoenix, she had the weaving in her home. We were unable to unroll inside, so I only saw half of it. At the time, she felt it was worth a lot more money than I felt I could sell it for, and she was really hoping a museum would buy it. We kept in touch for many years, and we did sell a lot of the smaller weavings she had. At the time, I probably was not creative enough to figure out how to get the weaving to the perfect customer.


The weaving then went to her son. I believe he donated it to the La Posada Hotel, the restored Fred Harvey Hotel built in 1929. It was at this hotel that the video accompanying this weaving was taken. It shows a heartfelt moment when the weavers of the piece were brought back together with this rug. I hope you enjoy it! Special thanks to Jack Barry and Carole Ehrhardt for bring it to my attention!

I might be wrong, but I don’t think this is actually the World's largest Navajo weaving, as there was a multi-pattern rug woven by a group of women from the Chilchinbito Chapter near Kayenta that is larger, but this is the largest single pattern Navajo weaving and was made by one family.