Blessing for continued strength in the New Burke

Cathy Morris/Burke Museum
Cathy Morris/Burke Museum
December 5, 2018 | Cathy Morris

The majority of objects in the Burke Museum collection are now in the new facility—representing a monumental effort of the Burke team.

Prior to the move beginning, the museum’s Native American Advisory Board recommended holding a ceremony to bless and protect the people involved in building and moving the New Burke.

Last week, tribal leaders returned to the Burke—this time in the new facility—to offer a second cedar brushing ceremony acknowledging the commitment of the Burke community as we near the end of the move.

Cedar holds significant importance for many regional tribal communities—it is unbreakable, water-resistant, bends with the winds and is believed to provide strength.

More than 80 Burke staff, volunteers, and tribal leaders came together for the ceremony. Each person was brushed with cedar collected from trees at the University of Washington, dipped in water from Clark Creek near Puyallup.

Cathy Morris/Burke Museum
Cathy Morris/Burke Museum

Marilyn Wandry (Suquamish) brushes a Burke Museum staff member with cedar during the ceremony.

Cedar branches are brushed down to the feet of a staff member
Cathy Morris/Burke Museum
Cathy Morris/Burke Museum

Cedar holds significant importance for many regional tribal communities.

A Tribal Elder brushing cedar during the blessing
Cathy Morris/Burke Museum
Cathy Morris/Burke Museum

Connie McCloud (Puyallup Tribe of Indians) during cedar brushing ceremony.

Cathy Morris/Burke Museum
Cathy Morris/Burke Museum

Connie McCloud (Puyallup Tribe of Indians) brushes Burke Museum Curator of North American Anthropology, Sven Haakanson (Sugpiaq), with cedar during the ceremony.

The Burke is sincerely grateful to Rex Buck (Wanapum), Angela Buck (Wanapum), Connie McCloud (Puyallup Tribe of Indians), and Marilyn Wandry (Suquamish) for their generosity of time and spirit in offering this blessing.

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