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Friday, November 8, 2019

A Visit To The Crownpoint Navajo Rug Auction

Above, some of the Navajo rugs on display for bidders. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This evening, I headed off to Crownpoint, New Mexico for the monthly Navajo Rug Auction (that is held on the second Friday of each month). I've been wanting to check it out and finally went today.

Above, the Crownpoint Elementary School, where the auction is held. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I wasn't in the market for a rug, but they have vendors present selling Native American arts and crafts. I thought it would be a good place to start Christmas shopping.

Above, inside the gymnasium the vendors tables were set up. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I arrived at around 4:00 at the Crownpoint Elementary School gymnasium.and found most of the vendors were already set up at their tables. In another room (actually a hallway), rugs from different artisans (weavers) were on tables with tags so that potential bidders can see which ones they like.

Above, more rugs on displacy for bidders to look at. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The vendors had jewelry, pottery, rugs, knitted goods, drinks, sweets, artwork and other things. The cafeteria kitchen was open and was serving Navajo tacos, among other delicacies.

Above, Claude (Acoma Pueblo) and Theda (Laguna Pueblo) at their table. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I found two vendors (Claude & Theda and Karen Miller) with pottery and nic-nacs that were etched and painted. The craftsmanship of these items were outstanding and with fine detail. I bought items from both vendors and took photos of them (posted here).

I looked at some of the rugs and many of them I wouldn't mind having. Every vendor I talked to were very nice and friendly.

Above, if I were a bidder, I would definitely bid on this rug. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I didn't stay for the actual auction (which starts at 7:00) as it was very dark out and I don't particularly like driving on pitch-black highways in my, uh, advanced age. It was a 42 mile drive back to Jamestown with 30 miles or so of it on a two-lane winding road.

On the way back to Jamestown, I was nearing the town of Thoreau when I saw red flashing lights up ahead. My first thought was accident. But it turned out to be a sobriety checkpoint (in both directions) by the New Mexico State Police (New Mexico's equivalent of the California Highway Patrol).

Above, Karen Miller from the Acoma Pueblo (left) and her daughter. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

When I pulled up to the checkpoint, I rolled down my window to speak to an officer and got a blast of very cold air. It gets very cold quickly here once the sun goes down. Of course, I had no problems with the checkpoint and they were very courteous. They just asked a few questions, checked my driver's license and I was on my way. I managed to get home around 6:30.

I think the next time I go to the rug auction it will be during the summer months when there is still daylight at that time and not cold outside. Still, I accomplished what I set out to do and enjoyed going there.

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