Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog

Accentuating Tlingit Traditions

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Drafting Child-size Chilkat Robe

October 31st, 2012 by Clarissa

Clarissa drafts her pattern for her first child-size Chilkat robe. It will fit a child from about 2 years to 6 years old, depending on size of kid. It is a robe that can be also used as a dance apron by an adult.

Jennie Thlunaut’s last Chilkat weaving was a child-size robe finished directly before she passed in July 1986.   I don’t know why I never thought of weaving a child-size robe, but I got inspired by seeing all these little people dancing on stage at the commemoration of the new cultural center in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory this past June.  It was my mother’s birthday; my Mamma was on my mind as I watched these little kids as confident in their dance as any adult I’d ever seen – I know my mother would have enjoyed seeing these kids…then suddenly in my mind’s eye, I saw children in Chilkat robes….!  And that was that!  In honor of my mother, in honor of those children and their inspiration and in honor of my own grandchildren, I’ve got the borders woven on my very first child-size Chilkat robe!  And today I’m finishing up the design!

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