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July 21, 2005

Native American House Post Finishing and Weaving Event

Burke Museum
Thurs., & Fri., Aug. 25, 26   11 am ‚Äì 3 pm

Seattle— Tlingit artist Nathan Jackson and wife Dorica Jackson will be flying in from Ketchikan, Alaska to complete finishing touches on a traditional Tlingit house post in the galleries of the Burke Museum, Seattle, on Thurs. and Fri., Aug. 25, 26. The public is invited to watch the artists at work painting the carved cedar pole from 11 am to 3 pm.

Nathan Jackson recently completed the carving of the house post which will become a permanent installation in the museum. The post, which is based on the Teikweidi Tlingit story of a hunter who married a grizzly bear, will be permanently displayed in the Burke galleries once it is finished and paired with a second house post by his son, Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson’s innovative mixed-media post will present a sharp contrast to his father’s traditional-style grizzly bear. The new posts, commissioned by the Burke Museum with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sealaska Heritage Institute, and several private donations will replace two posts which were returned to the descendants of those who carved them in the nineteenth century at Gaash, an old Cape Fox village, Alaska.

Eight original poles were taken from Gaash without the permission of the owners by the Harriman expedition in 1899. At the request of the Cape Fox Corporation, five museums, including the Burke Museum, the Peabody Museum at Harvard University, the Field Museum of Natural History, Cornell University Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Smithsonian Institution returned the four house posts and the house front from the Teikweidi grizzly bear house, as well as four other totem poles, in 2001.

In return, the Cape Fox Corporation offered cedar trees to all five museums, so that new poles could be carved. The Burke Museum, the Peabody, and the Smithsonian accepted the offer. Nathan and Steven Jackson have used this cedar in the carving of the new poles now being completed.

Dorica Jackson, wife of carver Nathan Jackson, will also present weaving demonstrations periodically on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Aug. 25, 26, and 27 in the Burke Museum galleries, as a complement to the painting. She will be weaving in the Chilkat style on a large loom. Jackson is one of only a handful of artists in the world today skilled in this very complex style of weaving.

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The Burke Museum is located on the University of Washington campus, at the corner of NE 45th St and 17th Ave NE. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm daily, and until 8 pm Thursday on the first Thursday of the month. Admission: $8.00 general, $6.50 senior, $5 student/ youth. Admission is free to children 4 and under, Burke members, UW students, faculty, and staff. Admission is free to the public on the first Thursday of each month. Call 206-543-5590 or visit www.burkemuseum,org

(206) 543-9762; FAX (206) 616-1274