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Posts tagged ‘solar eclipse’

Return of the Sun

IG_08_21_GiveawayImageThe Path of Totality has tracked across the United States, and the moment of total solar eclipse has passed. Millions of eclipse watchers were watching the skies of North American, which will not see another eclipse like this until April 8, 2024. We’re celebrating the return of the sun with an Instagram giveaway. Click here for details: INSTAGRAM

And if you win that giveaway? Consider treating yourself to a Return of the Sun Blanket.

erturn of the sun blanket

The traditions and activities of the Iñupiat, today, as in the past, revolve around the changing of the seasons. This blanket, inspired by the artwork of Larry Ahvakana, celebrates the arrival of the sun back to the Arctic and the start of hunting season. The Iñupiat mark this special time with the Messenger Feast—a ceremony where the spirits of the past season’s harvest are ushered back into the spirit world. Today, the celebration fosters cultural pride and the regeneration of traditional values. This blanket is a collaboration between Pendleton Woolen Mills and the American Indian College Fund to honor and reawaken a vital part of Native history.

Return of the Sun was designed for the American Indian College Fund Blanket Series by Alaskan artist Larry Ahvakana. Born in Fairbanks, Larry was raised in Point Barrow until the age of six, when his family moved to Anchorage. He left behind his grandparents, his native tongue, and many of the traditional cultural influences that had shaped his childhood. But these have re-emerged through his art, becoming the basis for his inspired work. He works in a variety of media, including stone, glass, bone, metal and wood. His masks bring tradition to life with mythic imagery in old-growth wood.

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mask image courtesy of the Blart Museum

Larry has been a working artist since 1972. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also studied at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. Larry is widely recognized as an educator, instructing over the years at the Institute of American Indian Art, heading the Sculpture Studio at the Visual Arts Center in Anchorage, Alaska, and founding a teaching studio for glass blowing in Barrow, Alaska. His works are included in a large number of major museums, corporate collections, private art collections and as public art commissions. You can learn more about his work here. And you can see all of the AICF blankets here. The sale of these blankets supports scholarships for Native American students.

As for the sun? Welcome back.

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Sky Stories: Pendleton Blankets for the 2017 Eclipse 

If a beautiful Pendleton blanket is part of your plan to celebrate and commemorate the upcoming full solar eclipse, we are here with some suggestions! We’ve been weaving blankets that tell stories for over a century, and some of our most beautiful designs celebrate the night skies. All of these wool blankets are made in the USA.

Here are our Sky Stories.

Night Dance

ZE493-53339-Night-Dance-RobeNight falls as dancers gather on the Square Ground for the Stomp Dance, performed by many tribes: Caddo, Seneca, Muskogee, Cherokee, Shawnee, Seminole and more.  Against the dark blue of the night sky, the bright flames of the ceremonial fire rise.  Mother Fire is considered a sacred being who watches over the dancers and receives their songs and prayers. The Chief calls upon his medicine man and speaker to help him lead this sacred gathering. Men take their places in arbors built facing each of the Four Directions. With traditional and treasured turtle-shell rattles fastened to their legs, dancers begin their shuffle and stomp. Strong medicine and the repetitive steps of the Stomp Dance lead them to an inspirited, meditative state. The night echoes with the haunting call and response of their special songs. The Stomp Dance lasts until morning arrives to fill the sky with colors of Dawn.

Full Moon Lodge

ZL494-53137_legendary_full_moon_lodgeThis design was created in partnership with Muscogee Creek artist Starr Hardridge, and is part of our Legendary Collection. This design illustrates the relationship between humankind, Mother Nature and the creator of the universe, whose medicine is love. It acknowledges our place between the sun and the full moon. Full Moon Lodge is part of our Legendary Collection, which honors stories and symbols of Native American cultures.

Pueblo Dwelling

ZD435-53055_heritage_pueblo_dwellingThis is a vintage design from 1923, the heyday of Native American trade blanket production. Dazzling colors and geometric designs tell a story. Arrows symbolize the paths of life and power. Stars centered in squares echo the bright Morning Star, a spirit honored by many pueblo dwellers. This blanket is part of our Heritage Collection.

Star Wheels

ZE493-53049_jacquard_star_wheelsHigh atop the Big Horn Range in Wyoming sits one of the best-known medicine wheels or sacred hoops. This spoked circle of stones was created by Plains Indians between 300 and 800 years ago. Astronomers have noted that during the summer solstice, the spokes of the wheel point to the rising and setting of the sun, and four bright stars, a discovery celebrated by astronomers.

Northern Lights

ZE494-53415-Northern-Lights-FThe Northern Lights are as mysterious as they are glorious. Native legends offer intriguing explanations for these shining bands of transparent color that dance across the night skies. To the Fox tribe of Wisconsin, the lights were an omen of war, spirits of enemies rising up to do battle again. To their neighbors, the Menominee tribe, the lights belonged to torches carried by the manabai’wok, giant spirits of hunters and fishermen that were out spearing fish.  Northern lights are most visible at midnight in the extreme north, and occasionally seen as far south as America’s Gulf Coast.

Gatekeeper

 

ZD485-51109_heritage_gatekeeperThe Gatekeeper is an original Pendleton design from 1935. This USA-made wool blanket is a beautiful example of a Center Point pattern, which contains a primary design element that falls within a band through the center of the blanket. The eight-point star is a common motif in Sioux culture and often represents the morning star, signifying a new beginning with the break of dawn. As gatekeeper of the morning, it shows the way to the light and knowledge of the day.

Stella Maris

ZE493-53247-Robe-Stella-MarisStar of the sea, or Stella Maris, represents the guiding presence of the North Star. As a ‘pole star,’ it shines an abiding light by which sailors have navigated for as long as man has traveled the sea. The graduated palette of indigo, lapis, turquoise and ivory unfolds in a dynamic chevron pattern that evokes the emanation of starlight in the night sky, recalling the traditional craft of Star Quilts. Designer Alyssa Pheobus Mumtaz is an American artist known for her multimedia drawing practice, inspired by iconography of traditional textiles. Her work is exhibited worldwide and recognized by numerous fellowships and grants.

 

Journey West

ZE493-52773_jacquard_journey_westThis dynamic blanket celebrates the pioneering spirit of our founder, weaver Thomas Kay, who journeyed to America from England, arriving in Oregon in 1863. Its design was inspired by a blanket discovered in a 19th-century European mill which included the designer’s notes and calculations handwritten neatly along the sides. The pattern highlights the universal appeal of geometric shapes and lines. The hooked patterns inside the large diamonds are common symbols of luck and prosperity. Its quality and beauty is a tribute to the generations of weavers that have continued Thomas Kay’s legacy of quality and excellence.

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We’re having a gift card giveaway on Instagram over the weekend–starting tomorrow. If you win, which blanket would you choose?