Jacqui Giago’s design was selected as one of the top 10 submissions for Tanka Fund’s Return blanket contest with Eighth Generation.
She received a cash prize, supported by the Windrose Fund, and shared this statement:
My name is Jacqui Giago and I am a Oglala Lakota self-taught artist. Every day I aspire to create, learn and grow, whether it be in my role as a mother, relative, Lakota immersion Educator or artist.
When I thought about what does the return of the Buffalo mean for our people I thought of the return of medicine, healing, and power to the people. I wanted to represent this reconnection through the understanding of what is above is below, the mirroring of two worlds.
The colors were inspired by the spring, a time of birth, growth and new beauty. The roots to show the connection of the two worlds, the stars to represent night and above, the dragonflies to represent the day and below, the six buffalo representing the four directions and above and below and the center to represent oneself where everything lives and comes together.
In reestablishing our connection with our Buffalo relatives, we are solidifying our understanding that we are the medicine, we are our own source of healing and we are the power. The good life is above, below and within.