Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WWII Show and Tell treat

Sue stopped by looking for a backing fabric for this quilt top she finished with plaids, homespuns, and tiny blocks. While she was here, another customer who is a Native American, identified the pattern for the quilt as the Navajo Code Talker Quilt. During World War II, when military codes were being deciphered too easily, Navajo Native Americans were used to code the messages into their language – a language that only they could understand. The Navajo language is extremely difficult to understand except by those raised speaking it. Its tonal qualities and syntax make it almost unintelligible to anybody without extensive training and exposure. Also, there were no books available in Navajo for anyone to learn the language. It turned out to be the perfect coding system and the same code system was used in the Korean War as well. The tiny blocks in the quilt represent some of the code symbols. It was an interesting part of World War II history and was eventually made into a documentary.

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