Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cross-cultural appreciation for cedar bark weaving

While at the Planet IndigenoUS Festival, my friends Jules and Jake offered to pose wearing my woven cedar bark hat. Both Jules and Jake are of Cree ancestry from Northern Ontario and shared their admiration for the support I received from the Canada Council for the Arts Aboriginal Collaborative Exchange Travel Grant to preserve the cedar bark harvest and weaving traditions of the Nuu-chah-nulth on Vancouver Island.

I have found wearing my cedar bark hat was a natural conversation starter and consistently stirred surprise when I explained I made it with the help of a weaving mentor Geraldine Edgar Tom and support from Canada Council for the Arts. Seeing people wear these beautiful cedar bark woven creations are commonplace back home in BC and is a welcome sight to my west coast eyes to see my growing urban community of friends willing to try the hat on while at the Toronto 2009 Harbroufront Planet IndigenoUS Festival.

1 comment:

Irene Garzon said...

Hello, I am a Caucasian active woman of 70. I love to wear my cedar hat that I bought at the Elders Gathering this year in Prince George, I have taken numerous Aboriginal Awareness classes and I attend two different Friendship centers. I have First Nations friends from different areas of B.C. who understand my interest and love of First Nations culture and traditions, I always try to be respectful. I have recently been told in a nasty way by an Elder that I should not be wearing a cedar hat whereas friends have said it is not a problem. Please can you give me your opinion.
I look forward to another opinion. Thanks.