Story last updated at 4/4/2012 - 11:33 am
HOONAH - Five master weavers from Hoonah traveled to Washington, D.C. in March to study hundreds of Tlingit and Haida woven artifacts in the Smithsonian Institution's collections.
Master weavers Chris Greenwald, Marjorie Peterson, Darlene See, Harlena Warford and Daphne Wright focused specifically on spruce-root woven basketry at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and National Museum of Natural History. While they pre-selected several hundred items they wanted to examine, the group had access to the entirety of the museums' Tlingit, Haida and Pacific Northwest indigenous collections during their five days at the facilities.
They were able to handle and sketch or photograph items and inspect them with magnifying glasses and ultraviolet light, which helps pick up faded designs. The group expected to draw new inspiration from the pieces, including baskets, clan hats, mats, woven bags and more.
The National Park Service plans to commission several woven pieces from the weavers for a traditional Tlingit tribal house being built in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.