This past year of gathering basket materials has been extra special for me. Always before, I go, I gather, I process, I sort, and then I can weave. This year I also shared some of the unseen work of making baskets.
Our baskets are often very beautiful and for those interested in purchasing them, not inexpensive. Many people want to be able to put an intrinsic value on a basket, so they will ask "how long did it take you to weave that basket?" Are they wanting to know just the time of actual weaving? Some projects make take more than a day because one can only weave a certain number of hours per day and there are other things that happen in the weavers' lives; so if it's a major project like a jump dance basket or a ceremonial basket cap, should the time be measured in the number of days, weeks, or months of weaving from start to finish?
I'd like for people to appreciate our art and skill and have often thought it would be nice to share all of the time and details that are involved even before the first stick is chosen to weave a basket.
I could not have created this blog without the generous support from the 2013 National Native Creative Development Program, coordinated by the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington; and from the Puffin Foundation. Thank you very much.