After the Navajos had been exiled by the U.S. government in 1864 to Bosque Redondo at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, they were finally allowed back in 1868 onto their ancestral homelands where today’s Navajo Reservation lies. Early on, the Navajos traded wool and sheep at the trading post for Anglo products like coffee, sugar, flour, etc. Later they began to trade rugs, jewelry, baskets, and pottery. You can read a more complete history in the Wikipedia article about the post.
Today the Hubbell Trading Post site consists of:
- The Visitor Center, where you can watch demonstrations of Navajo rug weaving, see a small museum display, and purchase books.
- The Hubbell family home, which you can tour during the summer months.
- The fully active trading post, which still trades with members of the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, and other tribes. There are rugs, baskets, jewelry, and other arts and crafts, such as kachinas, drums, and pots offered for sale.
There are two Native American arts and crafts auctions at the trading post each year; the next will be on Saturday, May 10, 2008.
Here’s an interesting fact. The trading post is on the Navajo Reservation, which recognizes Daylight Savings Time; the state of Arizona does not, and continues on Mountain Standard Time year round. Remember that during the months April-October, the reservation is thus one hour ahead of the rest of the state.
If you would like to look at some truly unique documents, see the drawings, photographs, newspaper articles about the Hubbell Trading Post in the Library of Congress American Memory Collection. Go to http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html and search “Hubbell Trading Post.” You will be directed to 13 pages of lists of primary source and archival materials. The site is slow, but worth the wait.
Friends of Hubbell: http://www.friendsofhubbell.org/
Hubbell Trading Post on DesertUSA: http://www.desertusa.com/hub/
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbell_Trading_Post_National_Historic_Site
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