Five Generations in Pendleton Blankets

Five Generations

Today’s post is brought to you in honor of Native American Heritage Month. We received these photos from Sharon, and the words you read below are hers. We are honored to be part of this family’s traditions for five generations.

Five generations of Native American women wearing Pendleton blankets

Dear Pendleton;

“We are who we are because they were who they were”.

Since November is National American Indian Heritage Month, how fitting was it to take a picture of my daughter, Allie, in a beautiful Pendleton blanket. My parents have a picture of my Grandmother, Agnes, in a Pendleton blanket. I’ve always loved that picture and wanted to recreate it. Little did I know, my Mother, Christine, has a picture of her Grandmother, Ruth, in a Pendleton blanket. My mother and I decided to recreate the picture also.

Great-Grandmother Ruth

A painting of a Native American matriarch wearing a striped Pendleton blanket. Artist unknown.

 

Grandmother Agnes

A painting of a woman wearing a striped Pendleton blanket, holding a feather fan. Artist unknown.

 

Mother Christine

A Native American woman stands in the woods, wrapped in a striped Pendleton blanket.

 

Myself Sharon

A Native American woman with long, flowing hair stand

 

Daughter Allie

A young Native American woman with very long hair stands in a meadow

As you can see, we have worn Pendleton for generations. We are from the Otoe-Missouria tribe. Thank you for such quality and beautiful products.

A forever customer,

Sharon

Thank you, Sharon!

For those of you who are interested, Sharon and her daughter Allie are both wearing  Chief Joseph robes. This is our most popular pattern year-to-year, and has been in the line for over a century. Sharon has chosen to wear hers reverse-side out, which shows more bands of color, one of the beauties of weaving on a jacquard loom.

See them here: Chief Joseph blankets

Mother Christine, Grandmother Agnes and Great-Grandmother Ruth are all wearing serapes. Serapes are not napped, which allows the colors to shine. We have mostly woven serapes in ombred stripes over the years, as worn in the two paintings.  We are intrigued by the extra patterning in Christine’s blanket, and we would love to see that one laid flat!

See our serapes here: Serape blankets

5Generations

 

Code Talkers: Native Heroes, Never Forgotten

Native American History Month

As part of Native American History Month, we’d like to look back at a favorite blanket, Code Talkers (retired in 2012), which honors the exceptional valor and service of Navajo Code Talkers during WWII.

Pendleton Code Talkers blanket

The Code Talkers

The Code Talkers developed a code that could not be cracked, based on the Navajo language. The (now retired) design shows the Navajo words and their coded meanings, which remained impenetrable to German code-breakers throughout the war.

Navajo coders in uniform

The history of the code talkers  is more riveting than any film or any fiction.  You can learn more at their official site, and  at other sites that tell this fascinating story, which was told in the popular movie “Windtalkers”.

Navajo coders accept honors for their service

They don’t have a Pendleton blanket, but the Choctaw Code Talkers of WWI   deserve recognition for their role. This small group of Choctaw soldiers conveyed crucial information over tapped phone lines.  You can read more about them here, and see a full list of their names.

Choctaw coders in uniform

It is worth noting that these Native American soldiers fought for the USA before they were even granted official citizenship in 1924. In the year 2008, the United Sates Senate and House of Representatives passed legislation to recognize Code Talkers from several nations: Navajo, Choctaw, Comanche and more.

Choctaw coders pose with American flag

Blankets

As the years march on, there are fewer Code Talkers to honor, but these heroes will not be forgotten. Though Code talkers is no longer available, the Brave Star blanket celebrates the patriotism and military service of Native Americans.

Pendleton Brave Star blanket

This contemporary interpretation of the American flag is a celebration of the patriotism of Native Americans. In 1875 Indian scouts carried messages from fort to fort in the West. Native American soldiers saw action with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in Cuba. And soldiers from many tribes battled in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and Iraq. Five Native Americans have been awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery “above and beyond the call of duty.” The design marries modern asymmetry and vintage Americana. The unique striations, using pulled out yarns, reflect an era when dyes were made from plants.

To learn more about the role of Native Americans in America’s defense over two centuries, click here: Native Americans and the US Military

Pendleton Made in the USA label