Delores Churchill, (b. 1929)
Basket with lid, c. 1978
Red and yellow cedar, grass, maidenhair fern, spruce root
Collection of the Anchorage Museum, 2012.26.1ab
Expert Haida weaver Delores Churchill made this basket as a teaching tool to demonstrate Northwest Coast weaving styles, incorporating Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and Makah materials, techniques, and designs. Five distinctive weaving patterns are represented using red cedar, yellow cedar, maidenhair fern, sun-bleached grass, and spruce root.
Churchill learned to weave from traditional weavers, including her mother, the respected weaver Selina Peratrovich. She also traveled to institutions around the world to study weavings held in their collections and document various styles and techniques.
For Churchill, teaching is a crucial part of her practice: “Weaving connects us to the past and teaching passes the weaving art on to the future. Each generation of weavers will contribute their interpretations and artist expressions to the continuation and growth of this vibrant art form. [Our] students, and their students, will keep this art alive long after our names are forgotten. Weaving belongs to all of us.”