The role of blankets is woven deep in the history of Native Americans. For centuries, they have been used for warmth and comfort, as a medium of exchange, for artistic expression and as an important part of ceremonies and tribal councils. The collectible Legendary Series honors this culture's special symbols, traditions and beliefs. Originally, Native Americans brought us their own designs, depicting their beliefs and legends. Today, we work closely with Native Americans to create high-quality blankets in vivid new designs. Each blanket is a lasting symbol of the mutual respect between Pendleton and our loyal first customers.
Today, legends live on as special gifts, astounding wall art or warm companions draped on a sofa or at the foot of a bed. However they are used,Pendleton's Legendary Blankets will be admired and treasured for their intricate, intriguing patterns and excellent quality. These original, exclusive designs were inspired by Native American art, legends, ceremonies and heroes. They are collectible heirlooms of tomorrow that can be used and enjoyed today.
Each year, we present a new commemorative pattern with a suede patch telling the design's story.
Created in partnership with Jemez Pueblo artist Joe Toledo, this USA-made wool blanket is a true work of art. A watercolor painting by the artist is rendered beautifully in pure virgin wool. The design represents the three elements: Earth, Air and Water. A herd of bison grazes on the Earth, offering prosperity and protection. A range of mountains stands behind, their snowy peaks covered with life-giving Water. Standing eagle feathers rise into the sky, joining together Earth, Water and Air.
Sun, the Creator, shines on the Backbone of the World, the homeland of the Blackfeet Nation. Below, Moon cradles their child, Morning Star, Bringer of Dreams. Between Moon and another symbol for the Star Child shine the Star Beings that make up the Big and Little Dipper constellations. The Lords of the Plains ride below. They wear sacred straight-up eagle feather headdresses. Their masked horses are painted with medicine symbols for protection in travel and battle. Below the riders, a teepee rests among symbols of the rolling hills of the homelands. Black, a power color, encloses the world of the Lords as they preserve their spiritual traditions and way of life. The design is by acclaimed Blackfeet artist Terrance Guardipee.
This design illustrates the relationship between mankind, Mother Nature and the creator of the universe whose medicine is love. It acknowledges our place between the sun and the full moon. The design is based on a painting by Starr Hardridge, a Muscogee Creek artist. Each blanket has a commemorative label telling the design’s story.
Buffalos are not typically associated with Navajo culture. So when contemporary Navajo artist Andrew Hobson discovered a story of how the buffalo evolved in Navajo creation stories, he was fascinated. Hobson’s original painting of the Buffalo-Who-Never-Dies of the White Buffalo Tribe inspired this Pendleton blanket. In the tale, Buffalo became angry with Holy Man for having two buffalo women as his wives. Holy Man killed the angry buffalo with magic arrows and wands. But to his dismay, all the buffalos began to die. Then sad, Holy Man brought the buffalo back to life and showed him how to revive all the other buffalo. The central figure shows the angry buffalo fractured in pieces to symbolize his death and journey back to life. Four buffalo tribes are shown inside protective medicine hoops, and the four sacred mountain ranges of the Navajo surround the central buffalo. The artist frames the work in the abstract rainbow symbolizing his personal Yeii, or protective deity.
The Way of Life is a visual representation of Pte Oyate – the Buffalo Nation. For many Plains Tribes, the buffalo sustained all life. Every part of the animal was used – the meat for food, and hides for robes, tepee covers and shields. Horns were crafted into bowls and arrow points. Fat was rendered for candles and soap. Swift horses, introduced by the Spanish in the 16th century, became essential to the buffalo hunt. For the Lakota, the buffalo story is held in their breath, their songs, stories and homes. In this unique design, a Pendleton Blanket serves as a buffalo robe, keeping the body warm and the spirit strong. The tepee and blanket strips signify the four winds, the world above and below, as well as night and day. This blanket is based on the art of Jim Yellowhawk, a member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux Tribe. Mr. Yellowhawk lives and works in the beautiful He Sapa Black Hills of South Dakota.For a century, Pendleton Woolen Mills has woven the legends and symbols of Native American tribes into beautiful blankets. Native Americans were our first and remain our most loyal customers. In the early 20th century, Pendleton was among the few American mills making blankets specifically for the Indian trade. A Pendleton blanket continues to signify honor and respect. For a hundred years, Native Americans have acknowledged births, deaths and major milestones and accomplishments with the gift of a Pendleton blanket. Each blanket has a sueded commemorative label telling the design’s story.
Shared Spirits is a brilliantly colored design incorporating imagery that is universal among the tribes. The sun, moon, stars and rain clouds represent an honored relationship with the spiritual world of the cosmos. Native American reverence for the natural world is represented by both flora - corn, squash, beans and tobacco - and fauna - buffalo, bear, elk and eagle. The dynamic central image is a sacred circle filled with a cross, a universal symbol of the origin of humankind and the four directions that guide us on our journey. For a century, Pendleton Woolen Mills has woven the legends and symbols of Native American tribes into beautiful blankets. Native Americans were our first and remain our most loyal customers. A Pendleton blanket continues to signify honor and respect. For a hundred years, Native Americans have acknowledged births, deaths and major milestones and accomplishments with the gift of a Pendleton blanket. Shared Spirits celebrates the commonalities of these diverse yet unified cultures and our lasting relationships with them.
Celebrate the Horse depicts a brave warrior astride a swift steed thundering across the plain, accompanied by wild mustangs perhaps yet to be tamed. Similar vivid images were painted on buffalo hides by Plains Indians in the 1800s. Our Celebrate the Horse blanket is based on a design from the Blackfoot tribe, expert horsemen who called the animal "elk-horse" for its great size. The arrival of the horse, brought to the Americas by sixteenth-century Spanish Conquistadors, changed forever the culture of Native Americans. Trading among tribes, herding sheep and hunting buffalo, following migrating game, even protecting territories became dependent on the horse for many Native Americans. Eventually Sioux, Cayuse, Nez Perce, Crow, Comanche, Cheyenne, Kiowa and other tribes were horse-based societies and cultures.
Our Creation Turtle blanket was made in recognition of the Iroquois Confederacy. Inspired by the Oneida, Seneca, Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga and Tuscarora Nations, the Turtle design represents the Iroquois legend that the world was created on the shell of the Great Turtle. The Turtle was the only one with enough strength who could support the earth on its back, says the legend. And the earth grew larger until it became the whole world.
Circle of Life / Elders is in honor of all tribal Elders; the Wisdomkeepers who hand down the teachings and spiritual direction to the children. This guidance gives the children a better understanding of their responsibility to the universe and The Creator, that all things are interrelated and an equal part of the whole. The design represents all colors of humankind, the color of Mother Earth, the sun and other circular celestial bodies and the four directions of life.