Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog

Accentuating Tlingit Traditions

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Drafting Chilkat Robe Patterns

January 7th, 2013 by Clarissa

After drafting the pattern in pencil, then I outline with a black Sharpie marker

Have you noticed that even though I may be weaving on a Chilkat robe for a year or two, I do not ever show the process of me weaving on this blog until AFTER the robe is completed?  The reason is because I was taught by my teacher Jennie Thlunaut that whenever Chilkat weavers are weaving a robe (as opposed to an apron, headdress, leggings, etc.), that we are not to publicly show the robe to the person(s) who has commissioned the robe.  Another Tlingit taboo?  I don’t know.  While I was weaving with Jennie, I gave up asking her the question “Why” every time she told me certain Chilkat “guidelines.”  I remembered that the elderly folk of that time period and before did not explain the “why” of things – you just did what you were told, and that was that.

Using the Sharpie marker, I fill in the form line. I used elements from a couple of robes. This is a Diving Whale with an Eagle in the right side of the body and a Raven in the left side. – The far right design elements are called the “filler.”

I apologize that I cannot show you the process of weaving this robe.  My goal is to finish by May 1st this year; then I will post a sequence of photographs.

 

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