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Burke Collection Database

Plateau Weavers

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Since her birth during a root gathering trip in spring 1923, Elsie has been following the seasonal food-gathering cycle. Today, she is well regarded as an authority on Plateau plant preparation and use, and as an adept basket maker. Both skills were learned from her blind grandmother. She is one of the few women knowledgeable about hemp "time balls," which are knotted and used like a calendar to record events. Elsie has worked with other Yakama elders to preserve the Sahaptin language as well as Columbia River Plateau history and culture. She was commissioned by the Burke Museum to make tule mats for a traditional-style house displayed in the 1989 exhibit A Time of Gathering.

Mary Kane Ellenwood


Mary lives in Lapwai, Idaho, and teaches students in Spalding. Growing up, she watched her aunts weave and admired the cedar they used. In her early 20s, she learned corn husk weaving from Ida Blackeagle. Mary continues to weave using jute, yarn, and dyed corn string.

Twined Bag (front)


Twined Bag (back)


Twined Bag (front)

Twined Bag (back)

Twined Bag (front) Twined Bag (back)
  Twined Bag (Front)  

Elaine Timentwa Emerson

bands of the Colville Confederated Tribes

Elaine Emerson was born and raised on the family cattle ranch near Monse, Washington. She was taught cedar basket weaving at a young age by her mother, but didn't take an active interest in weaving until she was 28 years old. Now she teaches classes and weaves baskets. She was featured in the videos, The Cedar Root Baskets of the Colville Indian Reservation, and A Dying Art? Indian Basketmakers of Washington State. In 1989, she was
commissioned to make a basket for the Burke exhibit, A Time of Gathering. In 1994, she received the Governor's Heritage Award for her contribution to the culture, customs, and traditions of the Colville people.





Joe Fedderson

JOE FEDDERSEN Okanogan, Colville Confederated Tribes

Joe was born in Omak, Washington. He received an M.F.A. in
printmaking from the University of Wisconsin in 1989. He is now
on the faculty of The Evergreen State College in Olympia,
Washington. He began making baskets when he was working on
a series of prints. This set depicts a Round Dance, highlighting a
connection between people, animals, plants, and electronic media.

Pat Courtney Gold

PAT COURTNEY GOLD Wasco Nation of the
Warm Springs Confederated Tribes of Oregon

Pat earned a B.A. in Mathematics-Physics from Whitman College
and spent 11 years as a mathematician-computer specialist. She
now devotes her time to creating art and lecturing on Plateau
tribal art. The basket displayed here was inspired by the Wasco
basket collected by Lewis and Clark in 1805, now in the
Peabody Museum at Harvard. Gold altered the design to include
images of seven dogs and a star, which tell a traditional Wasco
legend of the four Wolf brothers, a pet dog, and Coyote traveling
to the sky to view the stars.

Nettie Kuneki Jackson

NETTIE KUNEKI JACKSON Klickitat Band of the Yakama

Nettie Jackson trained as a basketmaker with her grandmother,
Matti Spencer Slockish, at the age of 30. She published a book
on Klickitat baskets, The Heritage of Klickitat Basketry: A
History and Art Preserved, in 1982. She has received a
National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for
the Arts. "The butterfly design means well wishes, good luck, and
everlasting happiness. It is used on wedding or trade baskets, or
for a gift." ­ Nettie Jackson

Joey Lavadour


Joey learned to weave at age 15 from elder Carrie Sampson. "I was so fortunate that she took the time to work with me. She passed down a love of weaving that is still with me today." He shares this legacy by teaching his family and other tribal members.
His efforts have helped revive the tradition on the Umatilla
Reservation. Lavadour teaches at Crow Shadow Institute nearPendleton, Oregon. Dancing frogs, known for their voices, surround his "Round Dance" basket.

Ethel Le Cornu-Greene



Ethel's family is committed to maintaining their strong
basketweaving traditions. She has her great-grandmother's
baskets and is personally teaching her daughter and
granddaughter to twine Nez Perce bags. Included here is a cedar
bark basket, woven in the Haida style.




Bernadine Phillips


Bernadine came to basketweaving after years of beadwork. She
learned the skill of coil weaving from her cousin Elaine Emerson,
and began teaching others shortly thereafter. She coordinated the 1998 NNABA gathering in Spokane.



LUCY JOE - Okanogan


All material ©Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, 2001