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Copy of a White Antelope Chief Blanket

KMA, Copy of a White Antelope Chief Blanket, Helen M. Johnson

Copy of a White Antelope Chief Blanket

Helen M. Johnson

c. 1990


Henry: This is a foot-path rug. It has designs that aren’t closed but remain open so you keep the creative part of your mind open. It also has birds: an eagle, a roadrunner, and other animals.

Bob: The foot-paths, represented in the horizontal bands, remind me of frieze patterns (infinite strips with repeated patterns). They use translation symmetry or sometimes glide reflection symmetries. If you were to hop on one foot on the beach in a straight line, you’d have translation symmetry. If you walk normally (left, right, left, right, etc.) you have glide reflection symmetry. Mathematicians have proven that there are only seven categories of frieze patterns. A nice explanation of these seven can be found here:

How many frieze patterns can you find in this weaving?

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