Return of the Sun

Against the sunset, the words "return of the sun #giveaway"

It’s A Wrap

The 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 blanket that celebrates it:  Return of the Sun Blanket.

Return 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.

Courtesy-the-Blart-Musem-Alaskan artist Larry Ahvakana and one of his gorgeous wooden masks

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.

Return of the Sun blanket hanging on a wall

Pendleton and the College Fund -Blankets with a Cause

Working together for an important cause

Pendleton has been supporting the goals of the American Indian College Fund for years. To understand why this makes us so proud, please watch this video.

If this is a cause you can get behind, you might want to consider our AICF blankets for 2015 as a way to contribute. Both blankets were designed by Larry Ahvakana (Nupiaq/Eskimo) from Barrow and Point Hope, Alaska.

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.

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. 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.

Larry is also widely recognized as an educator. He has instructed at the Institute of American Indian Art. He headed the Sculpture Studio at the Visual Arts Center in Anchorage, Alaska, and founded 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.

Thunderbird and Whale child's blanket by Pendleton

Thunderbird and Whale Crib Blanket

The image on this baby blanket is inspired by the artwork of Larry Ahvakana and the Iñupiat legend of the Great Spirit Eagle. Legend states that there once was a massive thunderbird so large and powerful that it could hunt and carry a whale—the main source of sustenance for the Iñupiat. To honor the whale, the Iñupiat created the Messenger Feast. The ceremonial dancing and feasting prepares the community for the coming year and ensures the success of future generations. 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. A portion of the proceeds will help provide scholarships for students attending tribal colleges.This blanket is a collaboration between Pendleton Woolen Mills and the American Indian College Fund.

The Return of the Sun blanket for the College Fund, by Pendleton

The Return 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.

PWM_USA_label with eagle