Weaving Together Stories

Posted 13/08/06 in NEWS

Weaving Together Stories (August 12 - October 13, 2013)

Basketry is one of the earliest forms of human craftsmanship.  Organic in nature, this art form relies on the availability of materials indigenous to one’s area.  For the Woodland people, basketry had a utilitarian function as a necessity for gathering, storing, and carrying food.

From an engineering perspective, basketry is seen as sequential through the use of numbering and patterning.  From an artisan perspective, it is knowing what material work best, and the method for creating purposeful albeit aesthetically pleasing containers.

Post-contact, basketry became a revenue generator wherein there was a high demand for First Nations basketry and other traditional creations.  Designing baskets became a highly attractive art form, where stories were woven, shaped, and immortalized for cultural perpetuity.

Finding an Ogwehonweh basket weaver today can be challenging.  The artistry still exists, but there are very few who specialize in this field as an occupation.  Basketry is a rather time consuming process, with multiple steps from beginning to end.

Not only are there human factors to consider within the future of basketry, there are commercial enterprises, as well as environmental considerations that threaten the viability of this industry.