This blanket gives life to ancient pottery of the Mississippian Culture Period (900-1400 AD) when Chickasaw women held important roles as chief pottery makers and water bearers.
The large woodpecker gourd jar depicts the importance of squash, melons, and the prominence of the woodpecker in Chickasaw culture. Spiral water designs under the rims of the vessels give honor and thanks to “oka,” water, the sustainer of life. The fish effigy pot represents fish and all things associated with water.
Designed by Joanna Underwood Blackburn
63 x 53 Inches
100% Chemical-free cotton
Gentle wash cold. Air dry or dry clean
Made sustainably in the USA
About the Artist
Joanna Underwood Blackburn’s primary artwork is pottery, sculpture, and graphic design. As a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, she is inspired by tribal lifeways and ancient designs of the Southeast.
Joanna studied graphic design and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Oklahoma. While there she was introduced to various art disciplines including ceramic sculpture. This sparked an interest to research her tribe’s pottery. With the guidance and encouragement from tribal members, Joanna was able to help revitalize the art of pottery making for the Chickasaws.
As a sculpture, Joanna has created large-scale bronze sculptures of pottery and other southeastern inspired works. One of these sculptures is the inspiration behind Mahota Textiles’s Artist Collection blanket titled Yaakni’ Chockma’ (Good Earth).
My goal is to create new life into our ancient ancestor’s designs and make them relevant to today. I believe it is possible to tell our cultural stories and share our tribal family values in a modern context and make a connection to others through our art.