Shadow Edge

Featured in: Time Weavers

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In traditional Tlingit culture, woven regalia was commissioned by chiefs and men in upper social tiers, twined predominantly by female weavers. The imagery and patterns on the dancing blankets and aprons would harness the energies of the weavings’ materials and evoke the spirits and stories when worn during ceremonies. In a time when our Indigenous sovereignty has been greatly challenged, with a patriarchal social structure repeatedly reinforced, we must find ways to reintroduce a reverence for matriarchal contributions. While previously unnecessary, adorning the powerful Indigenous woman with ceremonial regalia worthy of a chief can help revitalize Indigenous sovereignty through renewed recognition. This collection will involve the weaving of three small woven embellishes, crafted according to the techniques, customs, design principles and spiritual practices of the Northwest Coast’s Ravenstail textiles. However, materials and patterns of colonial, vintage and modern times will be incorporated into each of three ensembles — within the weavings themselves as well as the custom-designed garments that accompany them. The designs will revolve around and accentuate the female figure, as a relatively new convention in Alaskian Native art. The full collection of garment ensembles will each be created to evoke feminine sovereignty and uplift the modern Indigenous Woman.