It’s time the humble blanket made a comeback and Ginew has the perfect place to start.
It is not that long ago that a blanket was as indispensable as a good pair of boots or your blue jeans. They were strapped to saddles, stowed in pickups and slung over the shoulders of the wanderer. But in modern times, the humble blanket has given way to the soulless sleeping bag and the camping mat. It’s time for a revival.
Meaning woven into the fibres
A blanket is more than a method of keeping the cold at bay. Woven into the fibres are memories of summer picnics and long winter evenings in front of an open fire. The more you use it, the more it becomes yours and yours alone. So when you are purchasing a blanket you better make sure you’re getting one you’ll like for a long time.
One of the finest we’ve seen comes from Native American-owned apparel co. Ginew of Portland, Oregon. Their “We Walk Together” wool blanket has tradition, meaning and fusion of tribal cultures woven into it by the renowned Pendleton Mills.
Exploration of tradition
The design was an exploration by artist Dyani White Hawk.
“It was a wonderful experience to work with Erik and Amanda, owners of Ginew. In a very collaborative process, we worked to achieve a design that spoke to each of their tribal backgrounds, their individuality, their partnership, and their vision for high quality, finely crafted, culturally rooted products.”
A deeper meaning
The blanket has a deeper meaning for Native Americans as the founder of Ginew Erik Brodt explains:
“It is customary in our communities to wrap a newly joined couple in a blanket to symbolize their union. The blanket colours represent the sacred day (sunrise to sunset) and wampum belt (purples), teachings which impart values to guide us in our life together. The lodges are in the shape of traditional Ojibwe and Oneida dwellings. The crest fuses timeless symbols from each of our tribes, the dwelling (Ojibwe) and Skydome (Oneida). Together, the colours and symbols represent how we value our traditional beliefs in our home as we walk this journey of life together.”
You might recognise the design from a story a few weeks ago. A few yards of the blanket found its way into the Ginew lined denim jacket.
Second time around
This is the second time that the blanket will be made available and to celebrate this, photographer Amanda Leigh Smith travelled up to Pendleton, OR and the Umatillia Indian Reservation. She spent time shooting the Harris Sisters Anna & Katie, capturing images that evoke the spirit of the blanket itself.
The We Walk Together Blanket is woven of pure virgin wool and cotton. Each wool blanket is 64” x 80”, un-napped, felt-bound with a custom suede patch. They are available over on the Ginew website.