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Pendleton Adds Two New Blanket Designs to Benefit College Fund

April 8, 2015

Pendleton Woolen Mills added two new blanket designs to its American Indian College Fund line.
Thunderbird And Whale Crib Blanket
The first, a crib blanket for babies, is titled the Thunderbird and the Whale. The image 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.

Return of the Sun BlanketThe second is a full-size blanket titled The Return of the Sun. 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.

These blankets are 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 of blanket sales will help provide scholarships for students attending tribal colleges. To order these blankets or others, visit the Pendleton Woolen Mills web site.