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What are some traditional designs for Native American blankets?

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Quick Answer

Some traditional designs for Native American blankets include Metis weaving, buffalo blankets, Chilkat blankets, star quilts and Navajo blankets. The Navajo blanket pattern is characterized largely by horizontal lines, while the Chilkat blanket pattern is made of a collection of figures.

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Metis weaving is a type of traditional blanket pattern made by the Metis nation that is created by finger-weaving. The pattern is made up largely of horizontal lines of varying colors with long fringes on the ends.

Buffalo blankets are made by Plains Indians in either the Arapaho or Shoshone styles. Both include traditional symbols painted on buffalo hides and embellished with beads. The art of the buffalo blankets nearly became extinct with the endangered buffalo. The star quilt, a pattern used by the Sioux along with other Native American tribes, consists of an eight-pointed star in the middle of the quilt surrounded by smaller eight-pointed stars in the corners.

The Chilkat blanket is not only a pattern, but also a type of blanket made of cedar bark and goat hair. The five-sided pattern starts with a horizontal top with two perpendicular and parallel sides that wind into two diagonal sides that meet at a point at the bottom. The figures stitched into the five-sided pattern include a killer whale and two ravens.

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