Louie Gong Set to Launch Line of Wool Blankets, the First Ever to Be Produced by Native-Owned Company in United States

Comments

1
Nice!
2
"In case you didn't catch the irony there: Because the market is already saturated with "Native inspired" blankets, actual Native people have to perpetuate cultural appropriation so that they can participate in their own culture. They're being forced to buy back what was taken from them."

I'm not sure this is accurate. Have Native Americans ever MADE blankets? There is a tradition of bedazzling them and wearing them, but that doesn't pre-date contact with the west, does it? I thought the blankets themselves were trade goods in the Fur industry, i.e. Smallpox. If they've always bought or traded for them, then you're saying they're being forced to buy back their DESIGNS?

3
Max, the Navajo have a long tradition of weaving very fine blankets and some of the best examples are in museums. I have seen some for sale for tens of thousands of dollars. Antiques Road Show featured one worth several hundred thousand.
4
@3: right, right, I forgot about those - but those aren't NW native blankets, which I think is the goal here.

I don't think there ever was a domesticated sheep culture up here. clothing tended to be hides, furs, and woven cedar for rain protection, right? the blankets I've seen up at UBC are trade blankets with buttonwork.
5
Those are nice fucking blankets. There is a 100% chance I will be buying one.
6
Yea, When did NW Indians make Blankets for Trade/Sale?

Did this guy's tribe ever make blankets? If not, why is he?

Is there a blanket shortage within Indian families?

Don't most Indians, like everyone else get their blankets at Target, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penny's, Costco, etc?

Is he going to refuse to sell to Whitey? As they might use the blanket in a inappropriate way. Like to stay warm.

He should publish who buys more blankets. Indians, and Non-Indians.

7
I wonder, hrmm

1) if his blanket are going to be made in China. Or, Mexico, Canada, on a Reservation with Native Labor.

2) Union, or Non-Union labor.

3) 100% Wool? Or a synthetic blend?

4) From Free Range Sheep?

5) Where is his wool coming from? China perhaps?

6) Is he going to get his wool from Natives? Or buy from Whitey?

7) Will he insist on a "Fair Wage" for the people involved in the Wool collecting, spinning, and weaving processes?

I Wonder.......
8
Ditto to everyone else pointing out that Pendleton-style trade-blankets were not part of indigenous culture prior to contact with Europeans.
9
Lots of NW Indians use/wear Pendelton products. So I guess they don't have a problem with it. Only this gong dude.
10
@2, 4, 6, 8:

Maybe you're new to this whole Interwebs thing, but there's this special place called teh Google (or teh Bing if you're of a certain type), where you can type in a question or phrase, such as "native american blanket making", push a button and within a matter of microseconds receive literally tens of thousands (or approximately https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=c…">970,000 in this particular case) responses, many of which will provide you with a direct answer to your question or relevant information about the phrase you entered, and all without: A.) having to ask someone else; or B.) look like an ignorant moron. It's fast, easy, and you can learn an awful lot from it. You should totes give it a try sometime.
11
Also, to the unusual amount of skepticism pronounced in the comments here—yes, Northwest tribes did make blankets. Very nice ones that you can see at the Museum of Natural History if you're in NY anytime soon (including a seriously badass Tlingit blanket). Perhaps not the designs shown in this pitch, but if that really bothers you, then you got problems, man.
12
comte teh, I want you to show your superiority. You need to do that. that's why you post the things you do. Without you, I'd never know there was a google. Or a bing.

I need you and your intelligence. I can't answer my own questions. That's why i'm asking you comte teh. So flex those little grey cells and show us all how you are right, and know where everything is.

It seems like you don't have any answers to my questions. If you had, I'm sure that'd you'd share them to show your intellectual superiority to us mere mortals.

comte teh, show me the way. Give me the answers I seek. You're so smarrrrrrrrr.........
13
This is a brilliant smallpox payback plan if I ever heard one.
14
Well...the Navajos were making blankets from locally-sourced cotton for a long while before the Spaniards showed up with Churro sheep. They quit making blankets for trade and profit [which is where the term "Chief robe" comes from, because the Navajos were selling them to a lot of Plains tribal leaders!] because they got priced out of the market by cheaper, machine-loomed trade blankets produced by several makers, Pendleton being the most famous. The story goes that Lorenzo Hubbell obtained Oriental rugs and showed them to the Navajo ladies and encouraged them to make rugs instead, Hubbell being in the midst of a serious cash flow issue due to the fact that the Navajo people loved them because they didn't have to spend serious time and effort making them themselves! Not to mention the aforementioned Plains chiefs...we Indians also loved the metal cooking pots and metal knives that were provided by the traders. However, we've continued to buy and use Pendletons over the years. There was actually a Navajo-owned blanket company back in the 1980s and 90s if memory serves - it too went out of business, but I have one of those blankets, being as I like to support my fellow NDN entrepreneurs. And somebody on this thread is correct, Northwestern tribes have also produced blankets for centuries. We're really happy to see Louie continuing this tradition!! However, with this history, the story may want to read that this is the first Native-owned blanket firm in a long time...thanks for reading this very long comment! Yours truly, Deb Krol [California Indian journalist and media maven, see my page at http://muckrack.com/debra-krol]