Chinle style, developed at the mouth of Canyon de Chelly, was the inspiration
of trader Cozy McSparron, his wife Inja and Boston scholar Mary Cabot Wheelwright.
Wheelwright, who went on to establish the Wheelwright Museum of Navajo
Ceremonial Art in Santa Fe, helped provide the funds and encouragement to
support weavers who were, for the first time, working exclusively with vegetal
dyes. McSparron was a major influence on Sallie and Bill Lippincott at Wide
Two young anthropology graduates from the University of Chicago spent the summer of 1938 as Park Rangers at Canyon de Chelly. They were befriended by Cozy and Inja McSparron, traders from Chinle, Arizona. At the end of the summer, they decided that they loved the Navajo country and the people but didn’t like working for the government. McSparron convinced them to buy a trading post and they did, purchasing the Wide Ruins post,18 miles north of Chambers, AZ. There they worked with weavers and developed a unique style of banded rugs colored with vegetal dyes.