Random Appropriation of the Day! (Crate & Barrel "Hogan" Rug)

In crate and barrel, hogan rug, Navajo, random appropriation by Adrienne K.2 Comments

Another Random Appropriation courtesy of my parent’s house in San Diego. My mom got some beautiful new rugs for our bathroom from the Crate & Barrel outlet, and I don’t know if you can read it, but this style of rug is called a “Hogan” rug.

Still missing the Native connection? This is a Hogan:

 (image source)

Hogans are the traditional home of the Navajo–which are definitely still widely in use today for ceremonial purposes, driving through the Navajo Nation you often see a hogan next to the more “modern” homes.

Just I thought it was a random name for a rug, and immediately thought of the Navajo/weaving/rugs connection. But I’ll admit, it could be an appropriation of another Hogan:

 (image source)

I mean, that bandanna looks kinda like the rug… :)

But here’s the screen grab of the Crate & Barrel rug:

I’m beginning to be more and more intrigued by the use of Native names/imagery in product naming, even when the product has nothing to do with Natives.

  • Native names and imagery are used because the broader society consumes anything that falls outside the established purview of consumerism. What’s appealing about a manufactured rug which populates thousands of homes? Crate and Barrel should just name their rug “#3,394”. Exotic infatuation with other cultures is exactly why something like this would be named after a more obscure traditional dwelling. Because the need to devour other cultures is essential to creating new ways of marketing old ideas and products.

  • B

    Very well said, redstar, and so true. It’s odd how much names of merchandise really do count in the marketing. I’ve been thinking about that lately, as there’s a necklace at a store I frequent I’ve had my eye on, though I really don’t NEED anymore necklaces. But it’s very pretty, and in my favorite color: purple. I happened to see it in a catalog, and saw that the color is officially “heliotrope.” And somehow that seems prettier, and more desirable. (But I’m still resisting buying it. For now.)