The Athosians loved Jeannie Miller’s handmade scarves. Not that they didn’t appreciate the factory-made cloth the SGC outfitted the expedition with, finely woven and warm and versatile as it was. But it was purely functional, a mere necessity, hand-outs a reminder of their recent dismal history, a temporary measure to last them over until they had recovered sufficiently to trade again. It had no soul. With Mrs. Miller’s scarves, keen eyes could follow the artist’s work, appreciate her thoughts, imagine a history and the woman that had woven it. The SGC cloth meant survival and alliance but these meant life.
Once the anthropologists had grasped the meaning Jeannie’s forwarded gifts held, Col. Carter and Woolsey each made sure that there were always a few hand-woven blankets on hand: Some crafted by expedition members, some traded for from allies, some bought. Marines and airmen encouraged relatives that had a knack for yarn and even claimed it as a productive occupational therapy. And if on three continents local economies of peoples Dr. Bhanti and Dr. Corrigan had once done fieldwork with experienced a windfall – if they had cared enough to find out, some in the IOA might have even been pleased about it.