Modern and traditional interpretations of ribbon shirts
Today, we're going to start off in rapid city south, Dakota. We have Darla takes the knife. She is a Lakota and Dakota fashion designer, and she is enrolled in the Cheyenne River Sioux, tribe our pleasure to have her here. Darling. Welcome. Thank you. In so Darla, are you working on a shirt right now? Oh. Yes. I am tell me a little bit about it and describe exactly what a ribbon shirt is. Okay ribbon shirt is It expresses our traditional values, our culture, and It. To me, it came from the From just expressing how we dress if from the from the very beginning when we when the settlers, King? They had to You know they still had powwows, they still socialize. they weren't. It was not a contest then. But they still gathered and celebrate it, and so as the materials cain the cotton, they just they started making their own been shirt. And right now, I'm making a shirt that. That is coming from. last names Likud the names. And it's rain and lightning. And I'm putting I'm making a shirt with lightning in ring on it along with the ribbons and along with. The quote, the Su- art, the geometric designs. And the top part is is dark and the in it lightens up as it goes down. So the top part looks like a thunderstorm well and and the bottom looks like it's. It's turning into clear skies. Well. You know just seeing the story that you're hearing about. The story that you're telling through fabric is really exciting. I think when we think about these different things that we wear today, we're focusing in on ribbon shirts, but there's a lot that connects when we think about what goes into our identity, and often what we put on as clothing is a part of that, and so Darla are totally taken into that arena of expressing in celebrating identity and for you to be able to do this with the fabric, how does that? Make you feel? It makes me feel It makes me feel really good to see the end result in fact I'm. I kind of feel like. I'm a separate person, then my skills. And I look back and I are step back in I'll take a look at what I've made and I'm really an all myself. Because sewing shirts is not always an easy things especially around those callers boy, those callers Darla. For you when you get sewing or you start cutting things out and you start, you know forcing how all of this is GonNa come together? What's your favorite part? My favorite part is the creative part, which is the hardest part The style of the shirt varies from from. You know why that ordering it, what they're gonNA use it for if they're gonNA, use it for graduation our. Regalia. Or Just to have. I feel like there's or our presenter someone who's speaking and standing in front of a crowd, and so I have to take all that into consideration. And then I, a lot of times I. I I always communicate with them. I mean hundred percent. You know, what do you have in mind and I let them express their local name? Are. Their ancestors. And I in most likely, they wanNA bring that out. And so I let them know that's what I'm here for and I, get every I get. As. Much information as I can. with colors and with With their, vision. And then and then I meet them halfway and then I'll I'll come up with by my what I my knowledge. and. Then I you know, and so everything I make is so unique. And so you put that Darla flair in there Yes, I do. Very. Nice. In Darla. How many shirts do you think you've made over? Your. Life. Oh, I. Probably made about. I I guess they might have made about. Thirty. and. The reason why is because I make coats, jackets, ribbon shirt or ribbon skirts and Regalia Jingle, dress fancy shawl grass dent. So it's not all ribbon shirt. But. I've made them for some very Very well known in the native world. men. And so I don't, I. Even if I wanted to I, just don't duplicate. The shirts. I mean because it's so hard to duplicate for somebody else I. Just I put all the effort into the one shirt in there and I see them wearing them at the I. At pow-wows are at know our speaking. I've made one for our chairman in the past before you know, it's really an honor when they ask me. I have not made. A quantity. And sold them. I JUST Because I'm so I I got one order after another I, don't have time to do that. Because I'm too I'm always getting a request of some kind.