Miss Navajo Nation Pendleton Blanket Introduction

When Miss Navajo Leandra Thomas and Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise unveiled the special edition Miss Navajo Pendleton Shawl to the public on Friday, the more than 100 people in attendance whispered "ohhs" of surprise and offered their applause.

 They were astounded by the colorful Pendleton shawl, which is officially called "Naabeeh— Asdzáá Bééhániih" in the Navajo language. "Ayoo shil bahozho," said Thomas in Navajo about the first-ever specialty shawl manufactured by Oregon-based Pendleton Woolen Mills.

The shawl, which is dedicated to all Navajo women, consists of maroon fringes and on the front of the blanket tells the story of primordial creation with solid stripes of black, blue, and yellow representing the three underworlds in Navajo Creation. The six sacred mountains of Diné Bikeyah-- Blanca Peak, Mount Taylor, San Francisco Peaks, Hesperus Peak, Gobernador Knob and Dzil-Na-O-Dith-Hle - are also embedded into the blanket and depicted by six geometrical maroon designs commonly found in Navajo rugs across the blanket.

The shawl, which comes with a description tag like most Pendleton robes and shawls are adorned with when purchased, has a white background representing the present Fourth World, or "Glittering World." In the center of the shawl is the official logo of Miss Navajo, along with some elements of the Navajo Nation Seal Ð the rainbow representing sovereignty and arrowheads for protection and the 50 states in the United States.

Around the seal of Miss Navajo are two corn stalks, and according to Thomas, the shawl is dedicated to the sacredness and beauty of all Navajo women. On the description tag, Thomas wrote, "This blanket symbolizes the sacredness and beauty of a Navajo woman. The Miss Navajo logo is placed in the center because she personifies two female deities in Diné culture.

"White Shell Woman and Changing Woman are also represented by the white shells. Surrounding the logo is a rainbow, which represents sovereignty of the Great Navajo Nation, with an opening to the east, the direction in which the Diné greet the morning sun.

"The six sacred mountains are embedded; the arrowheads act as shields of protection and also represent the 50 states of the U.S.A." On the reverse side of the blanket, the design is similar with the only difference being a turquoise back ground with a white and turquoise Miss Navajo logo in the center.

Responses to "Miss Navajo commemorative shawl honors all Diné women (VIDEO)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely beautiful...I was only speaking yesterday to a friend about the qualities of the shell as part of a teaching about life and its interdependence and yes the feminine qualities of allowing the flow of love, life, emotions, laughter etc like a shell open yet protective, nurturing and the opposites and all the imagery, care and love gone into this beautiful project honouring the sacredness of who you are..thank you for sharing this with all of us....alie marie..on the changing woman journey....

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