What Does That Blanket Mean? Old Pendleton Pamphlet Explains Symbols
Indian Country Today
The Portland Collection’s Tumblr blog has posted a couple of images that will be of interest to anyone who owns or admires Pendleton blankets. The pictures are photos taken of an “old Pendleton pamphlet” (no publication date given) called “The Processes of Woolen Manufacture.”
The pamphlet (at least what we see of it in the pictures) isn’t really about manufacture; it’s a guide to the symbols depicted on the blankets. Designs for all sorts of animals, concepts and familiar items are listed, and most are accompanied by a note about their meanings as well. Crossed arrows, for instance, are said to connote friendship; saddle bags or a horse indicate a journey; a thunderbird track symbolizes “bright prospects;” and a rattlesnake jaw stands for strength.
The guide to symbols is below (click it to see larger); for more cool stuff having to do with Pendleton tradition and innovative modern designs, visit portlandcollection.net and theportlandcollection.tumblr.com.