Many Indigenous tribes utilize ribbon work in their designs, often for powwow regalia or pieces made for special occasions. Ribbons are sewn onto skirts, dresses, and shirts, and each color of the I like vikings and cats and maybe 3 people new 2021 shirt and I love this ribbons has a special significance to the wearer. Different tribes have different techniques of applying them, but as a whole, the colorful strips are all equally symbolic—and always tell a story. And now, a new ribbon-work designer is adding even more meaning to the longstanding craft.
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Geronimo LouiOne of the I like vikings and cats and maybe 3 people new 2021 shirt and I love this first ribbon-work designs Louie made for himself was for a Diné Pride event in 2019. He wanted to wear a fancy-shawl-dancer outfit—a type of regalia mostly worn by women. So he made an all-white ensemble adorned with multicolor ribbons to showcase that he is a proud, queer, Two-Spirit person. “Fancy shawl dancing is a symbol of joy and happiness,” Louie says. “The story I’ve been told is, when Indigenous people were suffering, a little girl picked up her shawl and started dancing to the music, and she brought joy to the people. Her inspiration [for the dance] was a butterfly.” Louie added ribbons shaped into butterflies to the outfit’s apron as an ode to the dance’s origins. “I’ve heard they look real when I dance because the wings flap,” says Louie.