The only marked difference that I have observed between the mechanical appliances of the Navajo weaver and those of her Pueblo neighbor is to be seen in the belt loom. The Zuni woman lays out her warp, not as a continuous thread around two beams, but as several disunited threads. She attaches one end of these to a fixed object, usually a rafter in her dwelling, and the other to the belt she wears around her body. She has a set of wooden healds by which she actuates the alternate threads of the warp. Instead of using the slender stick of the Navajos to elevate the threads of the warp in forming her figures, she lifts these threads with her fingers. This is an easy matter with her style of loom; but it would be a very difficult task with that of the Navajos. Plate XXXVII represents a Zuni woman weaving a belt. The wooden healds are shown, and again, enlarged, in Fig. 58. The Zuni women weave all their long, narrow webs according to the same system; but Mr. Bandelier has informed me that the Indians of the Pueblo of Cochiti make the narrow garters and hair-bands after the manner of the Zunis, and the broad belts after the manner of the Navajos.
[Illustration: PL. XXXVIII.—BRINGING DOWN THE BATTEN.]
[Illustration: FIG. 59.—Girl weaving (from an Aztec picture).]
Sec. XI. I will close by inviting the reader to compare Plate XXXVI and Fig. 59. The former shows a Navajo woman weaving a belt; the latter a girl of ancient Mexico weaving a web of some other description. The one is from a photograph, taken from life; the other I have copied from Tylor’s “Anthropology” (p. 248); but it appears earlier in the copy of Codex Vaticana in Lord Kingsborough’s “Antiquities of Mexico.” The way in which the warp is held down and made tense, by a rope or band secured to the lower beam and sat upon by the weaver, is the same in both cases. And it seems that the artist who drew the original rude sketch, sought to represent the girl, not as working “the cross-thread of the woof in and out on a stick,” but as manipulating the reed-fork with one hand and grasping the heald-rod and shed-rod in the other.