Most archeologists believe that the art of basket making is one of the oldest crafts in the world. In Native American culture, baskets have always been an integral part of their material culture. For centuries Native Americans have relied on baskets for gathering, storing, preparing, and cooking food. Finger weaving is one of several techniques used among Eastern Woodland Indigenous peoples to make baskets as well as an array of decorative and ceremonial items.
On Saturday, September 23 at 1 p.m. the Institute for American Indian Studies at 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut is holding a finger-weaving basket workshop, ideal for those that want to learn this traditional art form. “We think that experiences learning about cultural art forms is important because it gives people insight into Native American culture, “ said Chris Combs, Executive Director.
The focus of September’s class is on the art of finger weaving using natural fibers like jute and raffia. Participants will join Pokanoket Nation and Tribe member, Eva Newell of Cape Sable Island Wampanoag, Nauset, and Cree ancestry for this finger-weaving workshop.
The essence of finger weaving is that it is like an elaborate braid where you move the warp and weft threads with your fingers in order to create beautiful baskets. What makes finger weaving unique is that the same threads are used for both warp and weft; they just change places as you work. In this finger-weaving workshop, two of the most important things participants will learn are how to position their fingers and the best way to hold their hands. Each participant will take home a small finger woven traditionally inspired coil basket.
This workshop is recommended for those 12 and older because of the patience and dexterity required for this project. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. The cost of the workshop, which includes all materials, is $35 for non-members and $30 for members. To register visit http://iaismuseum.org, For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Institute for Indian American Studies:
Located in Washington, Connecticut, the Institute for American Indian Studies (IAIS)—formerly the American Indian Archaeological Institute (AIAI)—was incorporated in 1975 as an outgrowth of local efforts to recover New England’s then-largely-unknown indigenous history.
Today, IAIS continues to be a 501(c)3 museum and research center dedicated to providing unique, informative and engaging experiences for our members and visitors alike. It is our members who keep us moving forward and striving to provide the best events, workshops and activities possible.