Our co-founders Erik Brodt and Amanda Bruegl first encountered Corey Begay through his graphic design work for We R Native. “Both of us were immediately drawn to Corey's ability to creatively portray contemporary Indigenous life in his art,” says Erik. “Corey beautifully weaves together heartfelt expressions of his traditional Diné culture, while simultaneously drawing inspiration from his contemporary experiences. The collaboration started like many other Indigenous meetings in the Pacific Northwest...over ceremony...over third-wave, craft espresso drinks.”
"Returning from the Warm Springs community in Central Oregon," says Erik, "we crested a hill on the road where we encountered a large black bear walking westward. No one was startled - looking at each other in this brief encounter and then moving forward as our paths diverged. This year we have been thinking about this encounter - about messengers, teachers, relatives, ancestors, and how we will one day be ancestors. How will we be remembered?"
Corey named his Ginew design Naasgó. He says, “there isn't a direct translation of the word Naasgó in English. In Navajo, the primary meaning is "the action of moving forward" and it can also be used to describe persevering, taking steps. The pattern below the Bear represents the Land,” explains Corey, “ and surrounding the bear are flowers, stars, and movement patterns, much like how the bear travels within mother earth and father sky. All these elements combined make the bear a daytime and a nighttime traveler always progressing forward."
We are honored to collaborate with Diné (Navajo) artist Corey Begay on a new collection of Native American-made goods including a t-shirt, bandana, and patch. The first product of this collaboration is a 100% cotton printed bandana available in three colors. Click on the images below for the details.
Artist Corey Begay