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Weaving culture into the fabrics of face masks

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Weaving culture into the fabrics of face masks

While wearing a mask can feel like a sacrifice for some, others consider the act as more of a privilege. Diverse ethnic groups, many which have been hit hard by the coronavirus, are finding beautiful ways to weave the fabric of their culture into their face masks

They have turned the responsibility of wearing the mask — which remains a recommendation from top health officials — into an opportunity to represent, honour and fight for the health of their communities.

Earlier this month, the Navajo Nation surpassed New York and New Jersey for the highest per-capita coronavirus infection rate in the US.

But such devastation is not new to Native American communities — coronavirus serves as a grim reminder of the measles and smallpox epidemics that first decimated the indigenous population.

Native Americans are particularly susceptible to the coronavirus because they suffer from disproportionate rates of asthma, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. Add to that lack of access to health care and pervasive poverty among the estimated 5.2 million people that identity as Native American or Alaskan native.

Amid the pandemic, some Native American designers decided to use their craft to help their community combat the virus.

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