Excerpt: Oklahoma artist joins NIKE to create Native inspired clothing By Dana Attockne, Native American Times
“ An outline of a Native American warrior comes to life with layers of orange, black, yellow and red paint on a 36”x 48” canvas. With each brush stroke the warrior’s eyes show determination, and the only tangible weapon he carries is a basketball… Echo-Hawk, created a live art painting Aug. 20 at the Nike Factory Store in Oklahoma City…The shirts reveal a Native American warrior holding a basketball; the warrior spirit, halted in a strike pose…
Bunky Echo-Hawk painting from his website
Echo-Hawk said the series celebrates the student athletes in Indian country who are leading healthy lifestyles, accomplishing positive things and know they are students first and then athletes…
Nike Ad for Echo-Hawk’s N7 T-shirt.
The mission for Nike’s N7 collection is to inspire and assist Native American and Aboriginal people in North America to participate in sports because, involvement in sports and physical activity leads to greater self-confidence, enabling youth to be a force for positive change in their communities.
When one generation realizes its potential, future generations are much stronger for it… The intent of the collection is to raise awareness beyond Native American and Aboriginal communities for the N7 Program and the N7 Fund…
Bunky Echo-Hawk with his painting. Photo- Native American Times
Echo-Hawk said Nike N7 executives found him online through his Web site… In 2009 he was invited to the Nike world headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. and met some of Nike’s top designers. They asked him to paint a live art piece and after seeing everything Nike was trying to do with the Nike N7 line, Echo-Hawk was impressed.
Bunky Echo-Hawk with his painting ‘Voice’ at 2011 Black Hills Pow Wow. – Paul Oddo.
He said the Nike leadership is amazing and it’s exciting to have a brand specifically for Native American people.”
Read this inspirational article and visit Bunky Echo-Hawk’s website.
“We all have a voice… As Native people it’s our obligation to use that voice, to be heard, to be seen … Find your passion … be heard and use your voice.”
~ Bunky Echo-Hawk~Native Pawnee and Yakama Artist
Teachers will find free and Complete Lesson Plans with Answer Keys on the following U.S. tribes: Apache, Blackfeet, Cherokee, Choctaw, Crow, Iroquois, Kwakiutl, Mohawk (read about the fascinating “Sky Walkers”) Navajo, Shawnee, Sioux, and Zuni.
We also offer our unique and informative Tribalpedia which offers concise historical and current material about many Native tribes. Included are Discussion Questions for students.
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Legend of the Talking Feather (also known as The Talking Stick): Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei Bestow the Gift of The Talking Feather
There are many legends about how the Indians learned about the Talking Feather”. Here is one of them…
Long years ago, when gods walked this earth and the land beyond, Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei, were together enjoying the warm summer day. It was a day when the crickets chirrupted in the waving, green grass,when they noticed a figure moving towards them.
As the figure approached closer Kanati said “Look, that woman is crying, what could be the matter?” “I can not imagine why anyone would cry on such a glorious day.” Replied Asgaya Gigagei. “Let’s ask her.”
As the woman drew nearer, they could see her buckskin was decorated with beautiful designs and colors. She carried a bundle filled with leaves, sage, and colorful stones and feathers. They knew immediately this woman was a holy being.
Kanati asked her “Holy mother, why are you crying so?” The woman looked up in wonder, because she had been walking with her head down. “I’m crying because the men of my village are fighting constantly! Each thinks his ideas for leading the tribe is the best!” Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei glanced at one another, in perplexity. “Why, if there are so many good ideas for leading your tribe, why are the men fighting? And why aren’t you and the other members happy!” The poor woman shook her head sadly and replied, “Yes, you are right, the men do have very good ideas, but every man wants to speak his own ideas, and not listen to anyone else. They all shout and scream at one another so loudly, that it frightens the children who run and hide behind their mothers. The women are sad because their husbands come to the house upset and angry. Furthermore, the tribe is suffering, because no one can seem to make a decision.” Just then a beautiful Eagle was soaring overhead, Kanati called out “Brother Eagle, may I have one of your feathers, there are poor humans in desperate need!”
Bother Eagle replied “Yes” and shook himself until a single iridescent, large feather fell to the ground. “Many thanks and Blessings on you” said Kanati. Kanati made secret signs and prayers over the Feather. Asgaya Gigagei helped him with the blessings. Kanati then said to the woman “This is the sacred Talking Father, it holds great power for the one who holds it. Go back to your people, hold this feather up in the air, all who see it will fall silent, and listen to what you have to say. Tell all who listen that from now on, who ever holds this feather, all present within the Circle Council must listen to his words. The feather must then be passed on to the next speaker.”
The woman thanked Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei and hurried back to her village where there was total chaos!. Everyone was talking at once, children were crying, men were screaming at each other. As soon as she held the feather over her head, all became quiet! No one could utter a sound! the holy woman proceeded to give the directions given to her by the gods. She then passed the feather to the first man. He called the Talking Circle together, and each man had his say as he held the feather. From that time on that tribe flourished because they now had direction, and each person could hear and understand what their peers said. The people worked together, to build a great nation. Along the way, they shared the wonders of the Talking Feather with other tribes they met. “And that my friends is the true story of how the Talking Feather came to be!”