Nizhoni Ranch Gallery and our website navajorug.com, is much more than just a premier resource for Navajo weavings, wall hangings, and rugs made by traditional Navajo weavers. A premier source for the finest Historic Navajo Weavings, textiles and blankets.
Our company owner, Steve Getzwiller, for many years not has actually been leading the charge to reintroduce Churro wool into Navajo weaving. Mr. Getzwiller, for many years now, has done a great deal to encourage the breeding of Churro sheep, and even more significantly, to get Churro wool into the hands of Navajo weavers on the Reservation. He has also created an important market for these Navajo-Churro weavings with the introduction of The Navajo Churro Collection.
Each weaving sold from The Navajo Churro Collection is accompanied by a certificate. This certificate includes the weaving’s Registry Number (as each item from The Churro Collection is numbered sequentially), archival information about the weaving, and a photo of the work and its artist. Our clients love these photographs, which help them feel connected to the brilliant artist who created their unique weaving.
By the time a Navajo weaving from The Churro Collection arrives at your door, the artist will have spent many hours at the loom creating it. Your purchase is really more an adoption than an acquisition; the rug, blanket, or wall hanging is the artist’s baby, and the photograph helps reinforce the bond between creator and collector.
What is Navajo-Churro wool and what makes it so special? The Spanish brought Churro sheep to the Americas in the 1500s. When the Navajo began weaving in the 1700s, they used Churro wool. Churro fibers are long, lustrous, and straight, qualities which make them perfect for hand weaving. Churro wool is also low in lanolin, which helps Churro weavings stay clean without much effort. Intentional destruction of Churro flocks by the U.S. military in the 1860s and congressionally enforced stock reduction in the 1930s severely reduced the once plentiful Churro sheep. Steve Getzwiller has felt a driving force within himself to help this beautiful Native American tradition flourish again- from working with the Navajo Weavers, to the sheep breeders, herders, and extended families in any way he can.—-and you can be a part of it.