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2020 Sinton Lecture: Northwest Coast Wool Textiles



Annual Sinton Lecture

The Northwest Coast Wool Textiles: Cultural Use, History and Contemporary Revival

Presented by Evelyn Vanderhoop, Haida Textile Artist Saturday, November 21, 2020, 10 am PST

Online presentation via Zoom Admission: Free to to TAC members, $5 for students and members of FAMSF; $10 General Admission.


The annual Sinton Lecture is made possible with the generous support of The Carol Walter Sinton Fund for Fiber Arts Studies


Clothing declared the ancestor’s interface with nature and the supernatural. Garments were an extension of the tattooed skin, the link between the inner spirit to the outer universe of spirits. Clan stories woven into designs of clan affiliations broadcasted prestige, power and alliances within the forces of land, sea and sky. Contemporary ceremony and feast wear are unique in the creative mix of old and new ways of portraying the stories of the past and present.

The original clothing of the coastal people of the Pacific Northwest came from the fibers of plants and formed by the hands of women. From simple basketry techniques of two and three strand twining evolved circular cedar canoe capes to the large Chief’s robes of mountain goat wool fibers. From button-adorned trade blankets evolved high-fashion tailored clothing. The thriving and evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest people is evidenced nowhere better than the textile arts of this coast.

Appliqued button garments join the traditional woven wool robes in declaring ancient clan exploits as well as contemporary themes of interfacing with the complex world of today. Wool woven robes’ designs no longer must be tied to ancient declarations but show the personal journey of the weaver.

Evelyn Vanderhoop is a master weaver and watercolor artist of the Haida Eagle clan of Masset, British Columbia. Born into a weaving family, she is the daughter and granddaughter of master weavers Delores Churchill and Selina Peratrovich. From early childhood, she was brought to the forest and beaches to harvest weaving materials; spruce roots and cedar bark. Evelyn is one of only a few modern-day weavers to complete full size Naaxiin (Chilkat) Chiefly wool and cedar robes.

Image Credit: courtesy of Evelyn Vanderhoop


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