Star-blanket: White Bird Woman

October 26, 2019

Star-blankets were given to people during a time of change such as weddings , births, deaths,  conquests. They were given to honor visitors, elders, and those who had done great service to the people.

The star on the star-blanket is a morning star; symbolic of a new day, new beginning. It was often believed that if you saw the morning star you were given another day of life. Just as the shape is important, the color choices tell a story as well.

When creating a star-blanket it is done with deliberation. This blanket was created for my Cocum, my grandmother, Ann Callahan. Her given name; Wapi-ski-piw-piyesis-iskew. (White bird Woman)

When I start a star-blanket I start with a sketch. To help me with this, I created a color template to use! It helps me visualize the final product and in calculate how much material I will need for each color used.

Here you can see I used white to accent the bird woman and to mirror my Cocum’s name. Surrounded with the medicine wheel colors of black, red yellow, and white. Orange was included to provide a transition from yellow to red.

In the final product, measuring 108″x 108″ (this blanket was large!) was accented with a green background; a color used to represent healing.