Cattail Baskets

Cattails There are three species of cattails in the family Typhaceae growing in North America.  Of these three species, only Typha latifolia L., or the broad-leaved cattail, is found in Alaska. Worldwide, cattails are an important resource in almost all of the communities where they grow, and there is an …

Pine Needle Basket

At the beginning of the year I was shopping in an antique store and found two pine needle baskets. They were beautiful so I took pictures for inspiration and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to make my own as my first project for this class. Pine Needle Basket …

Cottonwood Oil

Description Populus balsamifera Linnaeus is a deciduous tree in the Salicaceae (willow) family. Populus comes from Latin “of the people” which shows how relevant and widely used the genus is. Balsamifera comes from Latin via the Hebrew word for perfume. The genus of Populus L. contains a number of related …

Waterproofing with Spruce Pitch

Pinaceae Family  Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carrière Sitka spruce Tlingit: Shéiyi (KayaanÍ Commission, 28) Picea glauca (Moench) Voss white spruce Picea mariana Mill. black spruce Additional Names Yup’ik name for spruce tree *unclear if it is for all spruce trees or only white spruce trees kevraartut (mid Kuskokwim) (Jernigan, K. A., …

Spruce Root Basketry

“The first lesson you learn is don’t be angry at anybody because your weaving will show it, and don’t think angry thoughts, and make sure your house is clean…” –Haida Weaver Delores Churchill The first basket I ever wove was a gods eye pattern of red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea …

Healing Salve

Salves are semi-solid, fatty herbal mixtures made for topical applications, and have been used historically as a medicinal treatment. Hippocrates suggested treating contused wounds with salves to promote suppuration, remove necrotic material, and reduce inflammation. I started off with the intention of creating a “Yarrow Salve’, but ultimately when it …

Bannock

“We ask: do we really need bannock, or do we just desire bannock? Which leads to asking one of our Elders, Therese, about traditional flours, which leads to an afternoon collecting cat tails to make flour” (Ballantyne, 2014, pg.17). Bannock With winter upon us, I have been looking for an …