The Morning Star peeks above the horizon, casting its light on a Grizzly bear below. These two beings of dusk and dawn share the same twilight hours; one a powerful creature here on earth and the other a powerful beacon in the sky above. Piikani/Blackfeet artist and Inspired Natives® Collaborator John Isaiah Pepion has combined the symbols and stories of both in his Bear Claws Throw Blanket for our Waymaker Series of 100% wool blankets sustainably made by a vertical mill.
“This Bear Claws design is influenced by the war shirts of the Blackfeet and Plains peoples,” shares John. “There were different ways to earn a war shirt, from going to war, telling a story, or stealing horses. Some had special powers, like being bulletproof.” John has adapted this war shirt design to grace our beautiful, 100% wool Native-designed blanket. The sharp triangles in this blanket represent bear claws, specifically those of the Grizzly bear. "Grizzlies are one of the most sacred and powerful animals for Blackfeet people," says John. "They represent protection, medicine, and power."
The cross or plus sign in this design represents the Morning Star. The three brightest natural objects in the sky—the sun, the moon, and the “Morning Star” Venus—are a family in Piikani lore. Sun married Moon, who gave birth to Morning Star, a great hero who went on to have many legends told about him. As a symbol, Morning Star appears on Piikani art as a cross made of four triangles, and is often painted on medicine lodges. “The Morning Star design shares good medicine,” says John. “It brings you luck, positive dreams, and blessings.”
Bordered by a creamy yellow stripe, the neutral-toned all-over pattern of John's Bear Claws Throw Blanket is an elegant touch to any room, and looks particularly striking folded over the back of a couch or a chair. More than just an artistic accent, however, our Bear Claws Throw Blanket brings a lightweight warmth when cuddling under it, thanks to its 100% UK-milled wool. As part of our Waymaker Series, our Bear Claws Throw Blanket is made in a vertical mill, making it one of the most sustainable choices in wool blankets on the market.
About the Waymaker Series Native people have always made our own way. From creating paths and connection across our beautiful homelands, to forging new ways to retain Indigeneity in the face of a colonial landscape, Native people have always been trailblazers. In our Waymaker Series, we have partnered with a completely vertical mill in the United Kingdom to create a collection of 100% wool blankets that are as sustainable as they are beautiful.
“Care for Mother Earth is a foundational Native value,” says Eighth Generation CEO Colleen Echohawk (Pawnee, Athabascan). “Eighth Generation is committed to caring for our world, and forging new paths toward sustainability. With our Waymaker Series, we are working with a vertical woolen mill to create wool blankets with lower environmental impact—the next step forward on our path to greater sustainability.” In a fully “vertical” process, a woolen mill does all parts of the manufacturing process, from processing the raw wool, to spinning the wool into yarn and weaving the textiles, to finally finishing the blankets fully. That eliminates materials transportation emissions created in many other manufacturing processes; additionally, this partner mill adheres to a rigorous eight-point internal sustainability policy.
The blankets in our Waymaker Series represent our company’s continued commitment to the Native value of sustainability while bringing authentic Native cultural art to a global audience. Our Waymaker Series blankets are 100% English wool, produced in England, and are a lighter weight with a gorgeous drape.
Made in a vertical mill in England
Fabric content: 100% UK wool
Authentic Native design by John Isaiah Pepion (Piikani/Blackfeet)
Blanket size: 47.24 in x 74.8–77.95 in / 120 cm x 190–198 cm
The finished length varies from 190 cm to 198 cm due to natural variations in the milling process
Colors include natural white, tan, and pale yellow
Thank you for supporting Inspired Natives™, not "Native-inspired."
Spot clean only; hand wash and air dry; lay flat to dry away from direct sunlight
Clean liquid stains immediately with warm water and mild detergent
Never use harsh chemicals or scrub wool
Steam to de-wrinkle
Store blanket away from direct sunlight
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