Lily Hope, (b. 1983)
Chilkat Protector, 2020
Merino wool, cedar bark, ermine tail, tin
Collection of the Anchorage Museum, 2020.8.1
Juneau-based Tlingit artist Lily Hope learned Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving from her mother, Clarissa Rizal, and from weaver Kay Parker.
For hundreds of years, the intricate designs of Chilkat weavings have documented the history, clan migration, and stories of the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast of the United States and Canada. Hope’s Chilkat Protector speaks to the importance of cultural knowledge in maintaining communities, both physically and spiritually, by blending the labor-intensive techniques of Chilkat weaving with the pattern and style of mass-produced medical masks. In the current COVID-19pandemic, as well as through hundreds of years of colonization, mutual care ensures survival:
“When the person goes out, if they are a carrier, they are essentially protecting their whole community from being sick [by wearing a mask], and that’s foundational to the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian peoples. Myaunt says it best: ‘The mask serves to record that we took care of each other during this time.’”