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Pendleton AICF Blankets

Since 1995 Pendleton has sponsored scholarships to attend tribal colleges in Washington and Montana. The Pendleton Endowment Tribal Scholars has also been founded and funded by Pendleton Woolen Mills to provide scholarships in perpetuity for Native students attending college throughout the United States. The Pendleton American Indian College Fund line of blankets was offered to help fund these endeavors.

Today the Pendleton AICF line incorporates 12 blankets with a part of each sale going to fund scholarships and other needs of Native American students. Below you will find a little information about the most popular of these blankets.

Pendleton Water Blanket AKA Navajo Water Blanket

The Water Blanket is loosely based upon a photograph taken by the famous western photographer Edward Curtis. The saw tooth design elements come from the eye dazzler weavings of the Navajos and they have incorporated the dragon fly which is a symbol of water. People of the southwest have a very deep connection to water as it can be difficult to find.

Pendleton AICF Navajo Water Blanket

Pendleton AICF Navajo Water Blanket

Pendleton Hidatsa Earth Blanket

The Hidatsa Earth blanket also is loosely based upon a photograph taken by Edward Curtis. The blanket contains four crosses which represent the four cardinal directions present in the folklore of many Native Americans. Geometric elements represent the earth, sky and mountains while other geometric elements represent wheat, grass and seeds.

The Pendleton Hidatsa Earth Blanket

The Pendleton Hidatsa Earth Blanket

The Nike N7 Blanket

The Nike N7 blanket was the inspiration of Nike designer Derrick Roberts. Starting with design elements in Native clothing he first started at the corners of the blanket and worked inward. In the middle you will find three sets of arrows. The first set points to the left representing those that came before us, the next points to the right representing future generations and finally the middle set which points up and represents the current generation. Done in monochromatic black and white the reverse side is an exact negative of the front.

Nike Front

Pendleton Nike N7 Blanket

Pendleton AICF Ribbon Dance

The Pendleton Ribbon Dance blanket celebrates the opening ritual of the Seminole tribe’s Green Corn Festival. The women of the tribe dance around the sacred fire while clad in patchwork clothing and swinging ribbons in an effort to assure the sacred fire will burn into the coming year. This ritual is known as the Ribbon Dance.

Pendleton AICF Ribbon Dance

Pendleton AICF Ribbon Dance

All Pendleton Blankets

The History of Hopi Jewelry

It is generally believed the establishment of the art of silversmithing in the Hopi tribe began with a trader named Sikyatala. The Zuni and Hopi Pueblos had long before established a trade route whose trail covered a 100 miles. Lanyade a Zuni trader and silversmith was thought to have thought Sikyatala how to make silver in the late 1800’s. Given that the two Pueblos had regular trade relations it would not have seemed strange that the art of smithing would have been shared, especially with Sikyatala who was a member of the Mustard Clan which has Zuni associations.

Sikyatala would go on to teach many Hopi men who then would share their knowledge with others. The style of jewelry created by the Hopi smiths would resemble that being made by the Zuni and Navajo peoples. The production of this style of jewelry would continue until the late 1930’s when a new actor would emerge and initiate a new style of Hopi jewelry.

In 1926 Dr Harold Colton and his wife Mary-Russel Colton moved to Flagstaff, Az from Pennsylvania. Dr Colton was a professor of zoology and Mary was a recognized artist having studied and the Philadelphia School of Design for Women.

In 1930 the Coltons established the Hopi Craftsman Exhibit at the Museum of Northern Arizona. This exhibit was created to showcase Hopi artistry and to promote excellence in their work. Early exhibits mainly featured basketry, weaving and pottery.

In 1938, according to letters written by Mrs. Colton, they turned their attention to Hopi jewelry. In letters to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board she suggested that Hopi jewelry must be absolutely unique and in doing so a unique market could be created just for Hopi jewelry.

With this in mind Mrs. Colton had Virgil Hubert of the MNA research historic pottery and basket designs which could be incorporated in to this new style of Hopi jewelry. The designs required the use of many different smithing techniques including appliqué, cutout, filing and stamping.

Mrs. Colton then sent a letter to 18 Hopi silversmiths inviting them to make jewelry utilizing the new techniques and designs on behalf of the museum. While the new style and designs created some trouble with the smiths, the Hopi Craftsman Exhibit of 1939 did contain jewelry of the new Hopi style.

More of the new style jewelry was created between 1939 and 1941 but the advent of World War II delayed the proliferation of the new Hopi style jewelry.

After the end of World War II Fred Kabotie a Hopi silversmith and art teacher arranged an exhibit of Hop Crafts at Shungopavi. This exhibit was attended by Willard Beatty, Director of Indian Education, who knew of the previous encouragement by the MNA. The following day Beatty met with Kabotie and Paul Saufkie and arranged for the G I training programs to sponsor an 18 month silversmithing course for Hopi veterans. The program would pay for the cost of tools, training and living expenses for the veteran and his family.

Classes began in February of 1947 with Paul Saufkie being hired as the technical instructor and Fred Kabotie was the design instructor. The designs suggested by the MNA were used by the trainers but there was also a slew of new designs taken for the large variety available in Hopi culture.

The techniques used to create the jewelry were varied but one particular method was developed that is now thought of as typical “Hopi” in style. Some of the designs suggested by the MNA were created by appliqué which is when a design is cut out and applied to a base of silver. The piece left over could also be used by overlaying it on another base which resulted in Hopi “overlay” jewelry.

Hopi Kachina Societies

Hopi Kachinas-Katsinas

Kachina Society
In the world of the Hopi all things have both a spiritual and physical form which they believe provides balance. Kachinas represent the spiritual aspect of this natural balance. This belief extends to a wide and varied range of Kachina spirits ranging from local game to even death itself.

In the Kachina Society it is the male members of the Hopi that dress in costumes and masks to portray the Kachina spirits. Through their costumes and actions these men give shape and substance to the Kachina which they are portraying. These men are believed to be invested by the specific Kachina portrayed.

The kachina season begins in late December with the Soyal as several kachinas wake and emerge from the kivas. (Kivas are underground ceremonial rooms which are believed to provide entry from and to the Underworld) These kachinas perform rites which improves the bonds and well being of the Hopi people and their villages before returning to their kivas.

As early or false spring approaches in February the Powamu ceremony is held. This ceremony and its’ kachinas ready the world for a new season of planting and growth. Great numbers of kachinas emerge from the kivas escorted by guards and warriors. Trailing them are the clowns with their constant irreverent behavior. This ceremony also represents the time when children are initiated into the kachina cult.

The Niman ceremony, which is held in mid summer represents the end of the kachina season. The kachinas dance in the plaza carrying stalks of corn and bearing gifts for the children. This is a time of thanks and appreciation for the harvest which the kachinas helped provide as well as a time to bid them farewell. With a final ceremony the kachinas are sent off to their mountain homes to await the renewed cycle of the coming year.

Kachina Dolls (Katsina) or Tihu
While the Hopi men have a substantial degree of “contact” with the Kachinas through their impersonation the Hope women do not enjoy this same degree as contact. Perhaps in a way to satisify the women’s needs, the men carve an impersonation of the Kachina called a Tihu and give it to mothers and their infants as well as females of all ages. The tihus (Kachina Dolls), which are believed to embody the spirit of the Kachina they represent, are than taken home and hung from the wall or perhaps a beam so as to ensure the preservation of what is considered a valued possession.

Kachina & non Kachina Ceremonies for the Hopi

• Pamuya -Kachina : These dances are held in January and are also called the Kiva Dances.
• Powamu – Kachina: Held in February these dances are called the Bean Dances.
• Anktioni – Kachina: Repeat dances held in March.
• Soyohim – Kachina: Plaza dances held in April-May
• Niman – Kachina: Home dances held in July.
• Snake or Flute Dances – Non-Kachina: Usually held in August.
• Marau – Non-Kachina: Womens Society held in Sepember.r
• Oaqole – Non-Kachina: Womens Society held in October.
• Wuwuchim – Non-Kachina: Tribal initiation held in November.
• Soyala – Kachina: Held in December .