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What is the traditional Native American wedding with a blanket?

Weddings are an important part of life and culture for many Native American tribes. Each tribe has its own customs and traditions that they follow to celebrate the union of two individuals. One such traditional wedding ceremony is the blanket ceremony, which is commonly practiced during Cherokee weddings.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the specifics of what the traditional Native American wedding with a blanket entails, including its history, cultural significance, and how it is performed.

History of the Blanket Ceremony

The blanket ceremony has been a part of Cherokee culture for centuries. Historically, blankets were a crucial part of everyday life for the Cherokee people. They were used for shelter, clothing, and providing warmth during the colder months.

As such, blankets held a significant importance in Cherokee culture, and their use in weddings became a way for couples to symbolize their union.

The traditional blanket ceremony was typically performed as a prelude to the wedding ceremony. It was a way for the mothers of the couple to recognize the sorrow that their children experienced before they found each other and commit their support to the newly formed union.

The Symbolism of the Blue Blankets

During the blanket ceremony, the mothers of the couple will bring blue blankets and drape them over their children’s shoulders. The blue blanket symbolizes the sorrow of their lives prior to their union in marriage. It is a recognition of the difficulties that they faced and a symbol of the hope that their union brings.

The blue color of the blankets holds significant cultural significance for the Cherokee people. In their culture, blue represents both the sadness and the beauty of life. By using blue blankets, the Cherokee are honoring the difficulty of life and acknowledging the beauty that their union brings.

The Ceremony Process

The blanket ceremony usually takes place prior to the wedding, either the day before or a few hours before. The ceremony can take place anywhere, from a family member’s home to an outdoor location.

During the ceremony, the couple stands facing each other with their mothers standing behind them. The mothers drape a blue and white blanket over the shoulders of the couple, symbolizing the sadness of their individual pasts and the hope for the future in their union.

The mothers then tie the corners of the blankets together with a leather thong, symbolizing the unity of the couple. The couple is then wrapped in the blankets, symbolizing the start of their new life together.


In summary, the blanket ceremony is a significant, traditional aspect of many Native American couples’ wedding celebrations, particularly for Cherokee weddings. The use of blue blankets symbolizes the sorrow of the couples’ pasts and the hope that their union brings. It is a beautiful ceremony rooted in cultural significance and tradition.


What does blanket symbolize in Native American culture?

In Native American culture, the blanket takes on special meaning and represents a symbol that is rich in history and tradition. The significance of a blanket is deeply rooted in Native American culture and is reflected in many ceremonies and rituals. It is a symbol of warmth, protection, comfort, and friendship.

The use of blankets in Native American culture is a reflection of the harsh environment in which they lived. The winters were long and cold, and blankets were essential for survival. Native Americans would often trade furs and hides for blankets. The blanket was more than just a practical item, it was also a reflection of their culture and way of life.

In many Native American traditions, the blanket is used to create and seal relationships. The giving of a blanket is a sign of respect, honor, and recognition of another person’s importance. It is also a tangible demonstration of friendship and trust. For instance, when a young man seeks to form a bond with a woman, he would first present her with a blanket as a sign of his commitment. The same principle is applied when two tribes form alliances, they would exchange blankets to seal their relationship.

Furthermore, in Native American ceremonies, the use of a blanket is significant. For example, when a newborn baby is presented to the community, he or she is wrapped in a blanket. This is a sign of protection, warmth, and love. The blanket is also used to wrap around the shoulders of the individuals who are participating in a sweat lodge ceremony. This provides protection and purification for the participants.

The blanket represents a powerful symbol in Native American culture, reflecting the values of warmth, comfort, protection, and friendship. It is more than just a practical item and carries a deep spiritual meaning, reflecting the values that Native Americans held dear for thousands of years. The action of wrapping someone in a blanket is a real statement of kindness and a demonstration of honor, which is transferred from one generation to another.

What is a blanket marriage?

A blanket marriage is a term that has been used to refer to a Native American tradition, which is also known as a blanket ceremony. In this ceremony, a couple is wrapped in a blanket together to symbolize unity and the merging of their respective families. The term “blanket marriage” can be a bit misleading because it suggests that this ceremony is essentially a marriage ceremony when, in fact, it is typically more of a commitment ceremony.

During a blanket ceremony, the couple is wrapped in a large, colorful blanket that may be decorated with designs and symbols that are meaningful to the couple or their families. The act of wrapping the couple in the blanket is often accompanied by prayers, songs, and other rituals that are intended to bless the couple and their union. The blanket is seen as a sacred object that is imbued with the blessings of the community, and it is believed to offer protection and support to the couple throughout their lives together.

While a blanket ceremony is not the same as a legal marriage ceremony, it is typically considered to be a serious commitment that is taken just as seriously as a legal marriage by the members of the community. It serves as a public declaration of the couple’s love and commitment to each other, and it is often performed in front of family and friends.

A blanket marriage or ceremony is an important tradition in Native American culture that serves as a symbol of unity between two individuals and their families. Although it is not a legally recognized marriage ceremony, it is an important way for couples to publicly declare their love and commitment to each other and to seek the blessings and support of their community.

What is the blanket ceremony wedding Ojibwe?

The blanket ceremony wedding is a traditional Ojibwe wedding ceremony that has been passed down from generation to generation. The ceremony is an important and sacred event that celebrates the union of two individuals and the creation of a new family. The ceremony is steeped in Ojibwe culture, traditions and spirituality.

During the ceremony, the couple and their relatives gather around a sacred fire. The couple will be draped with a single white blanket, while their relatives hold blue blankets. The blue blankets are then tossed into the circle of fire while the white blanket is placed on the couple.

The white blanket represents the couple’s new life together, filled with love, happiness, fulfillment, and peace. It symbolizes a new beginning for the couple as they embark on their journey as husband and wife.

In Ojibwe tradition, the man’s major role is to provide a good livelihood for his new family. This is reflected in the ceremony as the man is responsible for holding the white blanket, representing his responsibility to care for and protect his new family.

The blanket ceremony wedding is a beautiful and meaningful event that honors Ojibwe culture and heritage. It is a celebration of love and commitment, and a reminder of the importance of family and community in Ojibwe tradition.

What is a Native American ceremony called?

A Native American ceremony is an event that honors the culture and traditions of Native American communities. These ceremonies vary by tribe and region, but they all share a common purpose of celebrating the relationship between humans, nature, and the spiritual world.

One of the most well-known Native American ceremonies is the powwow. The term “powwow” derives from the Narragansett word “powwaw,” which means “spiritual leader.” A powwow is an event where Native American and non-Native people gather to dance, sing, socialize, and honor Native American culture. Powwows can be large or small, public or private, and they take place throughout the year in various locations across the United States and Canada.

Sweat lodge ceremonies are another important Native American tradition. Sweat lodges are small, dome-shaped structures made of natural materials like willow branches, hides, or blankets. During the ceremony, participants enter the lodge and sit in a circle around hot stones, which have been heated in a fire outside. Water is poured over the stones, creating steam and a highly humid environment. The sweat lodge ceremony is usually led by a trained spiritual leader or shaman, who guides the participants through a series of rituals and prayers.

Other Native American ceremonies include sun dances, vision quests, and pipe ceremonies. Sun dances are four-day ceremonies that take place in the summer and involve dancing, fasting, and prayer. Vision quests are a type of fasting ceremony where individuals seek guidance and spiritual insight from the natural world. Pipe ceremonies involve the smoking of a sacred tobacco pipe, which is passed around the circle while prayers and offerings are made.

Native American ceremonies are an important aspect of Native American culture and spirituality. They provide a way for individuals to connect with their heritage, honor their ancestors, and strengthen their relationship with the natural world.

What are the traditional wedding traditions?

Weddings are one of the most significant events in a person’s life. They bring family and friends together to celebrate the union of two people in love, and they are steeped in tradition and symbolism. The traditions that come to mind when most people think of weddings have been passed down through the generations, and many people still follow them today.

One of the oldest wedding traditions is the exchange of rings. The rings are circular, which symbolizes the never-ending love between the couple. The giving of rings also signifies the couple’s commitment to one another and their willingness to spend their lives together.

Another traditional wedding custom is the bridal gown. The white wedding dress has been a popular choice since Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840. The white color of the dress represents purity and innocence, and the wedding ensemble often includes a veil that covers the bride’s face until she meets her groom at the altar.

In addition to the bridal gown, there are several other elements of the bride’s attire that are steeped in tradition. The bride is supposed to wear “something old,” which symbolizes her past, and “something new,” which represents the couple’s future together. “Something borrowed” is meant to come from someone who is happily married in the hope that some of their good fortune rubs off on the bride for her new life. “Something blue” is often used to represent fidelity and love.

The exchanging of vows is also important in a traditional wedding ceremony. The couple recites their promises to one another, sometimes writing their own vows and sometimes using traditional vows. The act of reciting vows publicly in front of family and friends is a formalization of the couple’s commitment to one another.

Lastly, the wedding reception is a time for the couple and their guests to celebrate the new marriage. The reception may include dancing, speeches, and eating a meal together. Wedding cakes are often cut, and the first slice is fed to one another as a symbol of their shared life together.

Weddings are an occasion steeped in tradition and symbolism. The exchange of rings, the bridal gown, reciting vows publicly, and the wedding reception are all traditional elements that have been passed down through the generations. They serve to formalize the commitment between the couple, and to bring family and friends together to celebrate love and the creation of a new family unit.

What to expect at an American Indian wedding?

An American Indian wedding is rooted in tradition and cultural customs that have been passed down through generations. It is a joyous occasion that brings together family and friends to celebrate the union of two people. Indian weddings are known for being lively, colorful, and multi-day affairs, filled with rituals and festivities that make the occasion memorable for all who attend.

One of the first things to expect at an Indian wedding is a series of pre-wedding events. These events are designed to celebrate the union of the couple, and they often bring together the families of the bride and groom. These events typically start with a pre-engagement ceremony known as the Sagai, followed by the Mehndi and Sangeet ceremonies. The Mehndi ceremony involves the bride getting intricate henna designs on her hands and feet, while the Sangeet is a musical celebration, where the families of the bride and groom come together to dance, sing and celebrate.

The main wedding ceremony often takes place on the second or third day of the festivities and is often held in a mandap, which is an elaborately decorated canopy. The ceremony typically begins with the Baraat, where the groom and his family arrive on horseback or in a decorated car. The bride’s family welcomes the groom with great fanfare, and the ceremony proceeds with the Kanya Daan, where the father of the bride gives her hand in marriage to the groom. The groom ties a mangalsutra (sacred thread) around the bride’s neck and applies sindoor (vermilion powder) to her forehead, signifying their union.

The reception that follows the wedding ceremony is often an extravagant affair, with dancing, music, food, and lots of fun. There are usually multiple food stations that offer different types of Indian cuisine, ranging from delicious chaat to fragrant biryani. The bride and groom make an entrance, and the guests line up to congratulate them and offer gifts.

Attending an American Indian wedding is a unique and unforgettable experience that involves a series of multi-day celebrations filled with rituals, music, dance, and delicious food. In addition to the main wedding ceremony, there are several pre-wedding events and post-wedding receptions that offer a glimpse into India’s rich tradition and culture. So, if you are invited to an Indian wedding, be ready to immerse yourself in an explosion of colors and festivities that will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.