As Grandmother Taught: Women, Tradition, & Plateau Art

Exhibit runs through November 28, 2021

Location: Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, WA

An exhibition from the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Don’t miss “As Grandmother Taught,” an exhibit at the Washington State History Museum that highlights the techniques and materials of Indigenous women of the Columbia River Plateau. The exhibit includes historic items and photos alongside pieces from contemporary Plateau women. If you’re visiting, be sure to explore the many woven baskets that were created with seasonal materials like cedar root and wild cherry bark. In the past, women were the primary basket weavers and makers of everyday materials. Their skills and perfection in weaving have been passed down through many generations.

Contemporary artists in “As Grandmother Taught”:

  • Leanne Campbell – Schi’tsu’umsh (Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Indians), NiMiiPuu (Nez Perce Tribe), Sinixt (Arrow Lakes), P’squosa (Wenatchee), Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.
  • Bernadine Phillips – Spuqspálqs (Okanogan/Wenatchi), Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation; and
  • HollyAnna CougarTracks DeCoteau Littlebull – Yakama (Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation), NiMíiPuu (Nez Perce Tribe), Cayuse (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation).

Basketry is practiced in many cultures and regions around the world. In the Pacific Northwest, there are a variety of community-led basketry groups that partner with Indigenous teachers, artists, and organizations. These partnerships work to promote the understanding and sharing of traditional skills and knowledge through workshops and events. If you are curious about finding an Indigenous-led basket weaving workshop, consider exploring the Hibulb Cultural Center in Tulalip, WA. The center is a place of learning and frequently offers creative classes to learn basket weaving, beadwork, rattle making, and more!

If you’re interested in learning more about the history and tradition of basket weaving in the Pacific Northwest, the Burke Museum in Seattle, WA hosts a Northwest Native art gallery that collaborates with co-curating Native artists.

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