BodyVox and Pendleton

Dance and innovation

BodyVox, the innovative Portland dance company, creates work that breaks boundaries in the most beautiful ways. From their website:

Breathtaking productions rich in imagery, athleticism and humor: Led by Emmy Award-winning choreographers Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland, BodyVox is known for its visual virtuosity, distinctive wit and unique ability to combine dance, theater and film into breathtaking productions rich in imagery, athleticism and humor. Since its founding in 1997, BodyVox has toured to critical acclaim on stages around the world, developed 9 award winning films, 30 original shows and 3 operas, featuring more than 200 original dances.

The Calendar

We were delighted to open our BodyVox 2017 calendar and find some beautiful shots featuring Pendleton. March takes flight with this image.

A dancer from the BodyVox company leaps in the air with a Pendleton Water blanket.

Photo courtesy BodyVox, used with permission

Of course, you all recognize the Original Board Shirt made famous by the Beach Boys. The blanket is the Water Blanket from our series that benefits the American Indian College Fund.

The Water Blanket

The Water blanket.

Inspired by a blanket in an early 20th-century photograph by Edward S. Curtis, this blanket is inspired by the peerless weaving of the American Southwest. It incorporates classic Navajo elements in an eye-dazzling pattern. The central dragonfly, an emblem of water, symbolizes life.

See it here: Water Blanket

Shirts & beanies

Later in the calendar, we found this gravity-defying hackysack game.

Two BodyVox dancers leap in the air surrounded by hackysacks.

Photo courtesy BodyVox, used with permission

More Information:

You can check out our accessories here: Pendleton Accessories

You can see The Original Board Shirt here: Board Shirt (original Blue Surf Plaid)

And see the Water blanket here: The College Fund Water Blanket

The Peaceful Ones and Gift of the Earth

2017 blankets inspired by Hopi culture

“Hopi” is a shortened form of Hopituh Shi-nu-mu, or, “The Peaceful Ones.” The Hopi reservation covers almost 2.5 million acres of northeastern Arizona, near the Four Corners area east of the Grand Canyon. The Hopi reservation is completely surrounded by the Navajo reservation. Its 14 villages sit on three rocky mesas; First Mesa, Second Mesa, and Third Mesa. The Hopis have lived here for over a thousand years. They follow a yearlong calendar of rituals and ceremonies, and carefully maintain their traditions.

The first blanket is our newest American Indian College Fund blankets, Gift of the Earth, which celebrates Hopi pottery.

Gift of the Earth

Pendleton Gift of the Earth blanket

The Hopi have a sacred relationship with the ancient caretaker of the earth, Masaw, and respect every gift given to them. The clay they and their ancestors have sourced from the land for centuries is treated with the utmost regard. Because of this, the Hopi people maintain a beautiful and unique pottery tradition on the mesas in Arizona. Craftsmanship and creativity drawn from generations of knowledge flow through the potters today as they work. This blanket draws on the design elements from these brilliant pieces as a testament to learning from the past while moving into the future.

An antique Hopi clay pot glazed in tones of gold, rust, and black. Photo by Holly Chervnsik, used with permission

(source – photo by Holly Chervnsik)

Interesting facts about Hopi pottery:

  • The golden hues of early Hopi pottery might have sparked the tales of fantastic wealth that lured early Spaniards to the Seven Cities of Cibola.
  • Smooth, symmetrical vessels might appear to be wheel-thrown, but are formed by hand through “coil and scrape.”
  • The most common shapes are shallow bowls and flat-shouldered jars.
  • Paints are made from natural materials, such as tansy mustard and beeweed.
  • Hopi pottery is open-fired with sheep dung and cedar.
  • Today, most pottery is made on First Mesa.

Like all our College Fund blankets, sales of Gift of the Earth help support scholarships to Native American Scholars. Learn more here: The College Fund

Our second Hopi-inspired blanket for 2017 is The Peaceful Ones.

The Peaceful Ones

Pendleton The Peaceful Ones blanket

They call themselves Hopi, a shortened version of their true name: Hopituh Shi-nu-mu, the Peaceful Ones. Members of this Southwest nation follow the Hopi Way, based on the instructions of Maasaw, the Creator and Caretaker of Earth. The Peaceful Ones strive to be mannered, polite, and peaceable in all interactions. Their path will eventually lead to a state of complete reverence for all things. This design is based on an embroidered Manta, the garment worn by Hopi women in ceremonies that follow the lunar calendar. Through their traditional ceremonies, the Peaceful Ones hope to bring tranquility and harmony to the entire world.

A traditional Hopi manta, next to two women wearing Mantas.

Interesting facts about the manta:

  • The manta is a rectangular cloth, fastened at the right shoulder and held by a sash.
  • Mantas were originally woven of undyed cotton. Over time, dyed threads and geometric patterns added beauty to the garment’s simple shape.
  • The practice of wearing blouses or shift dresses under mantas came much later, under pressure from missionaries.
  • Once the everyday wear of Navajo, Pueblo and Hopi women, the manta is now worn during important ceremonies.

We are excited to be sharing these blankets here: www.pendleton-usa.com.

The Pendleton blanket label logo; an eagle with wings outstretched, with the words, Pendleton since 1863 - highest quality - made in the United States. This label is in red, white, and blue.

Pendleton Weaves New American Indian College Fund Blanket

NASKAN saddle blanket

Shondina Lee Yikasbaa with Naskan saddle blanket - posed on horseback

Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

We are proud of this year’s blanket to benefit the American Indian College Fund.  The Naskan Saddle Blanket tells the story of Johano-ai, the Navajo sun god, who begins his day in the east and rides one of his five horses across the sky to his post in the west while dragging his shining, golden orb – the sun. As his horse gallops across the sky, gorgeous hides and ornately woven blankets, known as Naskan, lie beneath its hooves.

aicf_naskan_saddleblanketNaskan Saddle Blanket derives its mountain pattern and name from sacred Navajo blankets. It joins a collection of ten blankets designed specifically for the American Indian College Fund, designed by Native artists. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of College Fund blankets provides scholarships for Native students to attend tribal colleges and universities. The College Fund has been the nation’s largest philanthropic effort supporting Native American higher education for more than 25 years.

Shondina Lee Yikasbaa with Naskan saddle blanket - posed on horseback

Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

The College Fund

Cheryl Crazy Bull (Sicangu Lakota), American Indian College Fund President and CEO, said “The American Indian College Fund is delighted with the  Naskan saddle blanket, the newest design in our collaboration with Pendleton Woolen Mills. Just as this blanket represents a path taken by a sacred being across the sky, our students also take a journey toward realizing their dreams by walking a sacred path toward success. We honor and celebrate both our students’ journey and our longtime successful partnership with Pendleton Woolen Mills as they work alongside us to make our students’ visions for success a reality.”

Shondina Lee Yikasbaa kneels hnear a horse draped with Naskan saddle blanket

Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

Today, slightly more than 13% of American Indians age 25 and older have a college degree, less than half the U.S. national average. What’s more, 40% of the American Indian population is under the age of 18.  The College Fund is helping more American Indians of college age to start and complete their college degree through scholarship support.  The College Fund also provides program support for students once they are in school to help them succeed both academically and in their careers.

Shondina Lee Yikasbaa leads horse draped with Naskan saddle blanket

Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

“Pendleton is proud to be a part of the American Indian College Fund’s mission, and its purpose to transform Indian higher education,” said Mort Bishop, Pendleton President.  “By creating an awareness of the unique, community-based accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities and offering students access to knowledge, skills and cultural values, the College Fund enhances their communities and the country as a whole.”

More Information

About the American Indian College Fund – Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for more than 25 years.  The College Fund has provided more than 100,000 scholarships since its inception and an average of 6,000 scholarships per year to American Indian students and a variety of programs to support their academic efforts ensuring they have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers.  The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators.  For more information, please visit http://www.collegefund.org.

Our stylist and model is Shondina Lee Yikasbaa of New Mexico. See more of her work on Instagram: @shondinalee