The Hubbell Trading Post at Ganado, Arizona

The Hubbell Trading Post at Ganado, Arizona

It is largely accepted that Juan Lorenzo Hubbell was among the most successful and influential traders with the Navajo. Born to an American father and Mexican mother, Hubbell purchased his first trading post in 1876, and in 1878, he purchased a post at Ganado, Arizona. Although he (and his sons) would go on to own twenty-four trading posts and a warehouse to serve them all, it was at Ganado that Hubbell and his family would call home until the site was designated a National Historic Site in 1967.

Like many traders, Hubbell employed native artisans to produce goods which he sold to his non-native clientele. He insisted on quality weavings, and at least early on, favored traditional design motifs, but encouraged his weavers to use black, white, natural gray, and a deep, rich red, forgoing some of the vibrant colors used by other native weavers.

When Juan Lorenzo Hubbell died in 1930, his sons, with whom he had long been partner, took over the Hubbell Trading Post at Ganado. It was also at that time that Hubbell weavings had abandoned traditional designs in favor of large central diamonds with multiple borders. However, they continued to use the simplified color palette, and the distinctive deep red became a signature of Ganado regional weavings.

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