Alaska Department of Education & Early Development
Alaska State Libraries, Archives, & Museums
For Immediate Release
August 2, 2021
Juneau – The Alaska State Museum will be open on August 6 for First Friday. Come see The Spirit Wraps Around You: Northern Northwest Coast Native Textiles exhibit from 4:30-5:30 pm. A lecture with weaver Kathy Rado will follow at 5:30 pm in the APK Lecture Hall. *Due to COVID-19, indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people as directed by the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency Operations Center.
One Within Another Robe by Kathy Rado, 1991. Photo: Brian Williams.Kathy Rado, adopted Haida Double-fin Killerwhale, wove this sea otter fur Raven's tail robe for her husband Pedro Rado (Eagle, Killerwhale from Klukwan). Rado has been weaving in the Raven’s tail style for over 30 years. Raven's tail (or Ravenstail) is a very old hand-weaving technique featuring geometric patterns. It predates the more familiar Chilkat robes. The geometric style died out in the early 1800s. Today, only a dozen early robes (or fragments thereof) exist in museums around the world.
In the 1980s, Rado and other weavers learned the basic technique from Cheryl Samuel and started weaving in the Raven's tail style again. Rado’s first robe, One Within Another, was based on two surviving similar fur-warp robes located in a museum in Russia. She is currently preparing to weave another robe with sea otter warps.
In her lecture, Rado will share the exciting adventure of making the One Within Another robe. She'll talk about how the ancient technique of weaving with sea otter came to life almost two centuries after this style of weaving died out.
The Spirit Wraps Around You: Northern Northwest Coast Native Textiles exhibit was developed by the Alaska State Museum, working with a curatorial team of internationally renowned weavers: Evelyn Vanderhoop (Haida), Delores Churchill (Haida), Marie Oldfield (Tsimshian), and Lani Hotch (Tlingit). Assisted by renowned local weavers: Kay Field Parker, Marcia Stier, Lily Hope (Tlingit), Janice Criswell (Haida), and others.
The Spirit Wraps Around You (SWAY) is on exhibit at the Alaska State Museum through October 9, 2021. For more information on this exhibition and related programs, please visit the SWAY exhibit webpage. A video recording of the lecture will be posted on this webpage at a later date.
This exhibition is possible thanks to generous support from community members as well as the following institutions: The Ciri Foundation, King Family Trust, Friends of the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum, Juneau Community Foundation, Ravenstail Weaver’s Guild, and Sealaska Heritage.
Additional funding to support this program is being solicited by the Friends of the State Library, Archives and Museums (FOSLAM). Contributions may be made through the FOSLAM website (please specify “SWAY Exhibit”).
Alaska State Museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors, and free for youth age 18 and under.
A person experiencing a disability who needs accommodation for events hosted by the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum can contact the division's ADA coordinator at (907) 465-1300 to make any necessary arrangements.
Director, Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums
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