Tlingit spruce root baskets have been woven on the coast of Southeast Alaska for over 6,000 years. I use the same methods of harvesting and processing the roots as the weavers did before the pyramids were built or the Mayan culture was developed. The sustainable and gentle way of harvesting is important to convey to the next generation of weavers so the art can continue another 6,000 years.
Harvesting the raw materials to create the basketry is more labor intensive then weaving and in the case of the large baskets can take years to collect before the weaving can begin.
A small basket may take from 40 hours to 210 hours…
A large basket can take from 80 hours to 2,300 hours…
The examples feature here are:
Spruce root baskets, with or without Fern and Grass designs woven in.
Pine Needle coiled baskets, not traditional but beautiful in their symmetry and captured movement in the stitching.
“Basketry is in everyone’s background, no matter where their ancestors may have lived; you just have to go back far enough. The part that makes the art unique is the materials used. This art form is a reflection of the relationship we have with where we live.”