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.
We were delighted to open our BodyVox 2017 calendar and find some beautiful shots featuring Pendleton. March takes flight with this image.
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
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.
“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
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.
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
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.
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 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.
Naskan 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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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
We are honored to host Preston Singletary this Friday evening at the opening of our new Seattle Pendleton store. Singletary is an internationally reknowned glass artist who incorporates traditional Pacific Coast elements in his work. He draws upon his Tlingit heritage with a special concentration on motifs found in Chilkat weaving.
Traditional Northwest Coast tribal art uses formlines and ovoids fluid to create work that is vigorous and stylized; paintings, weavings, baskets, masks and totem poles and more. Singletary’s uncommon choice of media–glass and light—invests traditional motifs with breathtaking dimensionality and luminosity.
Works by Preston Singletary
At Pendleton, we have enormous respect for traditional arts done with traditional materials. Glass was traditionally only used in Native American beading. Anyone viewing Preston Singletary’s work in glass would probably agree with the artist when he says that glass “transforms the notion that Native artists are only best when traditional materials are used.”
Singletary’s show at the Museum of Glass left viewers in a state of awe.
Artwork photos used with permission from this show at the Museum of Glass. See more in this show catalog: ECHOES, FIRE AND SHADOWS
Glass may seem static, but it is extremely visually interactive with its environment. In this excerpt from a documentary by filmmaker Todd Pottinger, Singletary talks about his inspiration, his studio, and the crucial role of light in his work.
And here is his TED talk.
When Preston designed a blanket for the American Indian College Fund, he chose to tell the tale of Raven and the Box of Knowledge. You can see that this design carries the same glowing dimensionality of his art pieces, with ombred stripes of color that meet in the heart of the design to light it from within.
Raven and the Box of Knowledge: This intriguing blanket is based on a work by internationally renowned glass artist Preston Singletary. Mr. Singletary grew up in the Pacific Northwest–both of his great-grandparents were full-blooded Tlingit Indians. His works explore traditional images and legends of his Tlingit heritage translated into glass. The image on this blanket represents Raven, a shape shifter and trickster who often employed crafty schemes to achieve his goals. In the story, the old chief who lived at the head of the Nass River kept his precious treasure –the sun, the moon and the stars– in beautifully carved boxes. Raven steals the light, and making his escape carries the sun in his mouth. The sun is a metaphor for enlightenment or knowledge. The ombred background shades meet in the center in vibrant colors of sun and light. Mr. Singletary’s artworks are included in museum collections from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC to the Handelsbanken in Stockholm, Sweden. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Seattle Art Museum. A portion of the proceeds from this blanket will be donated to the American Indian College Fund.
You can meet Preston Singletary this Friday evening at the opening of our new Seattle Pendleton store. The artist will be on hand to discuss his work and sign your blanket boxes. Friday’s Grand Opening events are a fundraiser for the American Indian College Fund. You can help support the work of this fantastic organization through your blanket purchases, with Pendleton making an additional donation for every College Fund blanket sold.