Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Weaving Ceremonial Blankets - Rug Show Theme For 2015

by Linda Myers

In the Navajo culture Pendleton blankets are used in many ceremonies and are presented as special gifts to honor dignitaries and leaders as well as birthdays and special occasions.

The traditional Elders wear these blankets during ceremonies, and many of the Pendleton blanket designs come from the patterns found in Navajo rugs.

Many of the symbols that are used in Pendleton blankets come from the different symbols of many tribes. Each tribe has a blanket that carries their own sacred symbols - mountains, birds, baskets, animals, and totems.

This year's rug show will feature Navajo rugs that the Elders have woven from Pendleton blanket designs. Some of the Elders chose to weave the pattern of the blanket that they wear during ceremonies. Others have chosen some of the newer designs.

We have received many beautiful rugs featuring their choice of designs and symbols which they have woven into their creations.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Packing Rainbow Food Boxes 3/7/15

by John Aldrich

When it's time to begin packing the Rainbow Food Boxes, we know that the spring food runs can't be far off. Saturday was the first of two Saturdays where this task will be completed. After delivery of the food several weeks ago there was still much work to be done to prepare the warehouse for food packing. There were giveaway projects to complete as well as rearranging things in the warehouse. On top of that, when volunteers arrived on Saturday they found that C.J. had engineered a new box loading procedure. The routine we have been used to for many years had changed. Would we be up to the challenge of learning a new way of doing things?

With an outstanding turnout of volunteers, both old and new, we found that old volunteers can indeed learn new tricks - quickly and easily.

The morning began with a Navajo prayer and a few instructions:

The above time-lapse video shows how it all worked as 10 minutes of warehouse activity is compressed into 12 seconds.

Our hero who made all this happen is C.J. Robb, assistant director of ANE. He spent countless hours preparing the warehouse for the day as well as designing the logistics. And it all worked beautifully. Near the end of the morning he paused next to the boxes that had been packed for the Many Farms and Tsaile food runs.

Given that "many hands make light work", we finished about an hour earlier than projected. This photo shows most of the group that provided all those hands.

Here is a collection of pictures taken throughout the morning:

If it looks like people are having fun, it's because they were. Come and be part of the fun as we complete the project of packing all the Rainbow Food Boxes next Saturday morning starting at 8:00 a.m. at the warehouse.

For more details visit the Volunteers Activities Page of our web site.