New Clothing Line Helps Preserve Cherokee Nation History

Friday, July 8th 2011, 5:25 pm
By: News On 6

Rick Wells, News On 6

UNDATED -- The Cherokee Nation has taken another step toward preserving and promoting the heritage of its people. The new effort features T-shirts, bibs and onesie's, with pictures of animals and symbols significant to tribal culture.

"It's called "Cherokee Kids Youth Line" and "3 Sisters Baby Wear" is the infant line," Molly Jarvis said.

Jarvis, the vice president of cultural tourism, said the new clothing line is designed to promote and preserve Cherokee culture.

"The biggest thing is just get kids interested in the history and what the culture means," she said.

Each item features an animal or symbol. In most cases the Cherokee word for what's pictured is there too. And this is just the beginning.

"What will come along next is when you buy the T-shirt, there will be a story the kids will be able to read," Jarvis said.

Like the Water Spider, who was able to was able to cross the water and safely bring fire back to her people in a web she had spun on her back.

They are still developing the format for presenting each of those stories.

The artwork was created by Stephanie Pinkston. Several of her pieces not on T-shirts are available in the Gallery, too.

The screen printing is done in Tulsa by a Native American owned print shop.

"The three sisters is the traditional corn beans and squash," Jarvis said.

That's an old historical reference to the Cherokee's main agricultural crops. The marketing concept for the clothing line is pretty basic.

"We want to get the kids interested in the shirt, and also the story behind the shirt," Jarvis said.

The "Cherokee Kids" and "3 Sisters" clothing is available at select Cherokee Nation gift shops, and the complete line is available at the Cherokee Gift Shop.