Teec Nos Pos Trading Post

The community name of Teec Nos Pos (pronounced Tease-Nhas-phas) is an English variation on the Navajo words Tiis nazbas, which has a Navajo meaning of "circle of cottonwood trees". 

Hambleton Bridger Noel was the last of four brothers to move west to Indian Territory (Fort Defiance, Arizona) in 1898, from Essex County, Virginia. His decission to move to this area was strongly influenced by health concerns. Noel had tuberculosis and he hoped the dry air of the high desert would have a positive influence on his health.

It was a common practice for the Noel Brothers and other traders to take trade goods out to the various scattered gatherings of Indians. It was in 1905 that Noel drove a wagon loaded with trade goods, north to a canyon beyond the Carrizo Mountains. The canyon had a large stand of cottonwood trees and was a favored gathering spot for the NavajosHere he founded the first trading post in this part of the Navajo Nation.

Not all of the local Navajos were in agreement for allowing this biliganna (white man) to establish a trading post at Teec Nos Pos.. A few years earlier in Chaco Canyon (60 miles southeast of the Teec Nos Pos area), Noel had the good fortune to have befriended a sick and hungry Navajo named Black Horse. Black Horse was a large man with a fierce and demonstritve disposition. He was neither a chief nor head of a clan and for good reasons, clearly disliked the biliganna. However, in 1905 he was at the Teec Nos Pos area and remembered the kindness of Noel and spoke quite strongly on behalf of the trading post being built. In addition the Navajos appreciated the convenience of having a trading post to avoid travel in bad weather, to buy trade goods, or sell sheep, wool, or hides.

In 1911 Noel married Eva Foutz. The dry air at Teec Nos Pos did have a positive affect on Noel's tuberculosis, however, by 1913 it had reaccured and he was confined to bed. This forced them to sell the trading post to Bert Dustin.

Brothers Bert and  Shel Dustin, with their brothers-in-law, Al and Junis Foutz, formed the Progressive Mercantile Company. This company helped the Foutz family to create a trading dynasty on the Navajo Nation, with owning more than 20 trading posts during the 1930's.

In 1949  Russell and  Helen Foutz assumed ownership and residence at the Teec Nos Pos Trading Post. They came to the post with 3 small children.

1955 Teec Nos Pos Trading Post

In  1959 the  Teec Nos Pos Trading Post was destroyed by fire. The first highway in the area was in the planning stage, so Russell elected to build the post near the area were the proposed road would, hopefully, pass the Teec Nos Pos community. It was a succesful gamble and this is were the current Teec Nos Pos Trading Post is located.

In 1994 Kathy Foutz, Russell and Helen's daughter, and her husband John McCulloch took over ownership and residence at the Teec Nos Pos Trading Post. Kathy left for Farmington, a few years later, and John McCulloch become the trading post owner. He has maintained the tradition and relationship with the Navajo as was done by the Noel and Foutz families.

Teec Nos Pos Trading Post 1959

Nearly all the old fashion trading posts have been closed or turned into convenience stores. The Teec Nos Pos Trading Post has continued to be a valuable asset for the Navajos. This is where the Navajos shop for their daily needs and sell their unique artistic creations; rugs, silver and turquoise jewelry, kachinas, bead work, and a variety of traditional items. Buckskins and baskets for Navajo traditional ceremonies are bought and sold (recycled). The Teec Nos Pos Trading Post has become a valuable resource for the Navajo sheep herders who sell their wool and mohair. It is the only remaining buyer on the Navajo reservation. Typically, over 160,000 lbs of wool and mohair are purchased each year from Navajos who come from as far away as Page, Lake Powel, and Grand Canyon (Arizona).

This trading post is a general supply store and also has an extensive supply of books, with children books in Navajo  and English. The collection of Navajo hand woven rugs is extensive. An additional special feature of this trading post is the owner (John McCulloch) has an on-site presence through living in a home on the Trading Post property.

We hope you enjoy the information and presentations at this site, and will have an opportunity to visit the Teec Nos Pos Trading Post.

The following two references are reccommended for adduitional details concerning the history of Teec Nos Pos, the trading post, and the world famous Teec Nos Pos Navajo hand woveen rugs.

Belikove, Ruth K. "The Rugs of Teec Nos Pos, Jewels of The Navajo Loom", Adobe Gallery, Albuquerque, NM, 1994. ISBN 0-9633710-1-0.

Hannon, Kerry. Trees In A Circle, The Teec Nos Pos Story, ISBN 0-9671788-0-0 



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Shiprock Peak 

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Navajo National Monument

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Full Size Statue
"End Of The Trail"
End Of The Trail Full Size Statue

Carrizo Mountains Teec Nos Pos
Carrizo Mountains Teec Nos Pos