If you haven't heard of Eighth Generation Blankets based out of Seattle Washington, welcome to the obsession.
Many natives are opting for Louie L Gong's blankets over other wool blankets because of the recent call to support Native Designers in a movement titled “Buy Inspired Natives, not native inspired.”
Gong has spent recent months working and collaborating with Native designers on blankets honoring multiple cultures in Indigenous America.
“This partnership represents Native people working together to pursue economic sovereignty, which ultimately creates a cycle of support that benefits Native communities, artists, and art. Eighth Generation Founder Louie Gong (Nooksack) says, “This cycle of support includes consumers, who strengthen cultural art when they buy from Native artists and Native-owned companies.”
Today's release by OXDX owner and designer Jared Yazzie is a tribute to his culture that started by walking into his grandmother's closet and finding designs she made herself to inspire him.
Yazzie says, “While my grandmothers are no longer with us, these patterns and colors remain to tell us the story of where they come from. I felt it was important to show tributes to their design through my new work. It makes me feel as if I am passing along their legacy.”
The “Tribute” wool blanket pays homage to traditional rug designs woven by Jared's grandmothers. Within Navajo weaving, clues to where a rug has been woven can be found in patterns originating from specific areas, or colors of yarn dyed from particular plants.
Eighth Generation Project Manager, Serene Lawrence (Anishinaabe/Hopi) says, “We are excited to be partnering with Jared, an artist that’s both grounded in community and shooting for the stars. Together we will highlight a fact that is lost on large companies that profit off of fake Native art – that authentic Native art, artists, and stories add value.”
Jared Yazzie is a self-taught graphic artist, and if you follow him on Instagram and Facebook you are aware of how much work he puts into his designs. He prints his t-shirts by hand and has even got buyers in on the process. He has been featured on CNN, Huffpost, Smithsonian Institute, and The Wall Street Journal.
Head over to Eight Generation to buy your next powwow blankets, and support Inspired Natives in your own communities.
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