Journal of the San Juan Islands


Roots of iconic fabrics revealed

July 31, 2014 · Updated 2:54 PM

Cowlitz weaver Judy Bridges / Contributed photo / NPS

Local and Washington state weavers will gather at English Camp, Aug. 2-3, to demonstrate how European and American Indian techniques melded to create woven objects and clothing unique to the Pacific Northwest.

The free program features Cowlitz Nation weaver Judy Bridges and renowned storyteller Karen Haas, Roger Ellison and Anita Barreca of San Juan Island, and other local spinners and weavers, showing how it was all done with all-natural fibers, including wild reeds.

While white settlers used natural resources in some aspects of their lives, American Indian relied almost entirely on what was at hand, especially the cedar tree, known to them as the “tree of life.”

Ellison and Barreca will not only demonstrate “daub and wattle” crafts, but invite visitors to try their hands at it as well. For information or transport for the accessibility impaired, contact NPS, 378-2240, ext. 2233.


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