July 19, 2011

Cherokee Kids clothing line

Cherokee Nation introduces kids clothing line

By Jason Ashley WrightNew clothes rarely have an old story.

But the Cherokee Nation is weaving its history into two new lines of children's clothes inspired by animals and symbols that are culturally significant to the tribe.

"We definitely think it's one-of-a-kind," said Ben Elder, spokesman for Cherokee Nation Entertainment.

Promoted as a first for any Native American tribe, the lines include Cherokee Kids, a collection of youth T-shirts; and 3 Sisters Babywear, which includes baby bibs and infant onesies.

Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, which was created to preserve and promote the history and culture of the Cherokee people, identified the need to create a clothing line, Elder said.

It was important to develop something that would interest young people in the culture, said Molly Jarvis, vice president of cultural tourism at Cherokee Nation Entertainment.

"We felt like a clothing line and iconic images of the tribe would offer that opportunity," Jarvis said.

Among those images, which were designed by a Native American artist and screen-printed on apparel by Tulsa-based TGI Enterprises, are a turtle, duck, rabbit, deer, stick ball, water drum and water spider, Jarvis said.

The water spider, for example, stems from a story passed down from one generation to the next, she said. When the Earth was a cold place, larger animals tried and failed to bring fire to people. However, the water spider spun a web, placed it on its back, scurried across the water to place fire inside and brought it back to the people on Earth.
Comment:  Compare what actual Natives produce as fashion to what non-Natives think are Native fashions:

"Navajo Wolves" Spirit Hoods
"Cherokee chic" = generic hippie look

Not to mention:

AIM fights "Runs with Beer" t-shirt
Zazzle's "Indian name" t-shirts

For more on Cherokee business, see Cherokee Soap Factory and Cherokee Nation's Entrepreneurship Day.

Below:  "The Cherokee Nation has developed two new lines of children's clothing—Cherokee Kids and 3 Sisters—featuring symbols that are culturally significant to the tribe."

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