Kokum scarves increase in popularity in solidarity with Ukrainians

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As Ukraine continues to be invaded by Russia, many Canadians are returning to a century-old vogue staple handed down from their grandmothers as an act of solidarity between Ukrainians and Indigenous people.


Kokum scarves have been flying off the shelf for the last few weeks at Dene Cree Designs in Winnipeg.


“Of us have been calling masses just lately to look out out if we have got any, and if we have got masses,” proprietor Christine Merasty said in an interview with CTV Winnipeg.


These Ukrainian scarves – sometimes referred to as kokum scarves – are a visual illustration of the ties between Ukrainians and Indigenous people in Canada.


The scarves have been sometimes gifted or traded from Ukrainian newcomers to First Nations and Metis people.


Merasty says presently – kokum scarves are sometimes used as headscarves, shawls, for ribbon skirts, and on regalia. ​


“My setsuné, she used to placed on one. So I take into account meeting her and he or she had one tied around her hair. So that may also be important to me as properly.”


Individuals are turning to the kokum scarf customized amid the present Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Tania Cameron is a type of people searching for out scarves – nevertheless not for herself. She has helped be part of Canadians with a lot of of scarves from Ukrainian and Indigenous corporations.


“I merely wanted to face in solidarity and placed on a scarf to assist people in Ukraine, provided that we do have a historic relationship between indigenous and Ukrainian settlers, Cameron says in an interview with CTV Winnipeg.”

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Cameron bought a lot of the scarves from Svitoch – a Ukrainian export and import enterprise in Winnipeg owned by Ruslan Zeleniuk.


“I am so proud,” Zeleniuk said. “The Ukrainian and Indigenous people have had so much in widespread. We now have a number of the combined households and one factor like that. And every of them correct now’s feeling like they belong to Ukraine”


Zeleniuk will get the scarves from Ukraine nevertheless would not know when they’re going to be getting additional.


Merasty is glad to see the assistance from Indigenous people for Ukrainians.


“It is type of surreal that there could be a battle taking place correct now,” Merasty said. “Nonetheless various individuals are discovering that connection.”​ 

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