Hi. I have a friend whose 4 yr old son is dealing with a rare tumour on his pituitary gland. Would it be appropriate to make him a star blanket as a symbol of healing and strength?

Dear Relative,

I am so sorry to hear about your friend’s son, thank you for being a good relative and reaching out about him. I hope healing comes to him soon.

Star quilts have a long and beautiful history, starting with buffalo robs, and are given to mark important life events. For the Great Sioux Nation, the star quilt — wičháȟpi owíŋža — represents honor, generosity and healing. They represent Native people’s ability to adapt and thrive. Buffalo were almost driven to extinction and Native Americans were sent to reservations and prompted the arrival of settlers and missionaries; textiles replaced the hides.

Star quilts are a living tradition. Every patch represents a person and it means that you are surrounded by those who love you and support you – you are kept, protected and cared for. The star quilt is made of small diamonds pieced together in eight sections, which represents the Morning Star. According to the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation, the Morning Star represents the gateway for spirits to come to earth. To receive a star quilt is a great honor.

With my understanding of this history of star quilts, I believe it would be absolutely appropriate to gift a child who is sick with a star quilt. It represents the love and healing of a community that wraps the child, protects them and reminds us of the power of the buffalo. It is a beautiful gift that will not only provide comfort to the child but also the family.

Thank you for your love and concern for this child and family. I wish healing and good will to the.

Auntie Amanda

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