Symbolic Geometric Design
A well-known Navajo rug style often associated with the western reservation, the Storm Pattern appears to have originated at the Crystal Trading Post. The trader there, J. B. Moore, published several catalogs and sales leaflets at the beginning of the twentieth century. His “Plate IX”, obviously a Storm Pattern but not labeled as such, was first printed between 1903 and 1911.
The Storm Pattern is not built around a central diamond, but is a very recognizable geometric composition with a strong, often rectangular central element connected by diagonal stepped lines to elements in each of the four corners. This design is said to be highly symbolic and associated with the all-important rainstorms in the growing season. Individual components include representations of the Navajos’ four sacred mountains, lightning bolts, snowflakes, and waterbugs. Storm Pattern rugs are woven in an unlimited variety of colors.
Notable contemporary Storm Pattern weavers include Tina Conn, Lily Touchin, Betty Ann Nez, Elizabeth Tso, Lucinda Jody, and Betty Lou Begay.