Comedians Grandma Suzi and Cashe Creek Charlie

BenSuzi

Retired Juneau police officer Ben Coronell allows Grandma Suzi to sit on his lap, while his wife Penny laughs along with everyone else

Sharon Shorty is Grandma Suzi and her comedian partner is Duane Gastant’ Aucoin as Cache Creek Charlie.  They both live in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.  These photos were taken during the last feast during the 3-day “HaaKusTeYea” Celebration at the Teslin Cultural Center.  Generally, I write a dialogue to accompany the photographs in my blog posts.  In this case, I just let the photographs speak for themselves.  All I can say is that not only were the comedians totally outlandish, and I laughed hard till I cried, I totally enjoyed watching the “victims” laugh like had never seen them laugh!  Grandma Suzi and Cache Creek Charlie are excellent medicine.  If they ever come to your neck of the woods or you go to theirs, catch them!

GrandmaSuziDavidBoxley

It was a good feeling to see our Tsimpshian carver David Boxley, Sr. laugh as hard as he did — and we laughed to will cried…!

SuziCharlie

Alias Duane Gastant’ Aucoin and Sharon Shorty from Whitehorse, Yukon are Charlie and Suzi

SuziCharlieDavid

David dances the “grouse mating dance” while Grandma Suzi can’t contain herself…!

SuziDavid

The “grouse” chases after his chosen “mate.”

SuziDavidCharlie

the audience laughed as long and as hard as they…!

WearingDorothyGrant

Creek Charlie pulled fashion designer Dorothy Grant up from her chair and made her get on her back like a rag doll and exclaimed “I am wearing Dorothy Grant…” (as opposed to “I am wearing A Dorthy Grant!”

 

Attended Teslin’s 4th “Kus Te Yea Celebration”

Carlicks

Wayne Carlick and his wife Debra Michel from Atlin, B.C.  enjoy berry dessert after a fabulous dinner

2015 is the 4th bi-ennial “Kus Te Yea” Celebration held at the Teslin Cultural Center, Teslin, Yukon every odd year from Juneau’s Celebration held on even years.  Most of the audience is from out of town since Teslin is only a community of less than 500(?) people.  People come from Atlin, Whitehorse, Carcross, and of course Teslin.  Then there are the Alaskan communities who are beginning to catch on to this special event which is free to the public; no one pays for the event, not even the dancers or the non-Natives.

LtGovMallott

Lieutenant Governor of Alaska Byron Mallott dances for the people of Teslin for acknowledging and honoring him and his family

I have been to every Celebration in Teslin since the first one in 2009.  Every year there are a few more new attendees and there are those who return every year no matter what.  That’s how I am too:  I return every year no matter what.  Why?

Nahaan

Nahaan FastFromEnglish from Seattle enjoys the company of many locals and vice versa!

I return because the people and landscape of Yukon Territory are “raw” and down to earth; there are no pretenses, no game-playing, no trying to be somebody you aren’t.  Like the landscape, the people of Yukon are very real…they have to be.  The environment and weather makes you be so.

I remember my long-time friend, musician singer/songwriter, Buddy Tabor making his annual trek to Yukon every year in the late Summer.  He was always eager to visit his friends and make the drive through the raw territory.  He said that he needed his fix; a fix that reminded him of the Alaska that once was before the oil money made things different.  Buddy passed away in 2012.  I never got to share my experiences and feelings about Yukon though I share them whenever I meet those who knew him and whenever I make that sojourn drive like he did.

TwitchellFamily

Marieh and Lance Twitchell and family from Juneau enjoy the feast

Unlike the Celebrations in Juneau, Alaska (held on the even years), the “KusTeYea” Celebration is free; even the dinners are free.  No one pays anything except when they take one of the workshops and pay for the materials and supplies.  Some of those workshops include paddle carving, bentwood box making, snow shoe making, cedar bark weaving and Chilkat or Ravenstail weaving.  Demonstrations include brain-tanned moosehide, preparing and smoking fish, and the infamous salmon fillet contest…not to mention the canoe rides and canoe races.

WilliamWasden

William Wasden from Alert Bay, B.C. enjoys the company of the beauitful women of Yukon

The event is held in the cultural center and on the shores of Lake Teslin.  There are not enough motels/hotels in Teslin (only 2).  Visitors camp out in the designated areas with full-fledged campsites including elaborate outdoor kitchens, or they have a happy RV camper or a small dome tent suffices.

CanoeNight

The canoes from various local communities (including Wayne Price’s dugout from Haines, Alaska), take a rest for the evening before another day of canoe races and canoe rides on Lake Teslin

There are several dance groups that perform each night; one from Carcross, another from Atlin, Whitehorse and of course, Teslin.  Each night the group will do the invitational dance calling out all the various tribes and nationalities called “Gusuu Wa Eh!?”  Translation:  “Where Are You?”  The name of the tribe (or nationality) is called out and if you are from that tribe or nationality, you come on out and show your stuff and drop money onto the “money blanket” which is placed on the floor in front of the stage.  It’s fun; and of course there is always a clown who has to make everyone laugh about him and themselves!

ClarissaDance

Oh yeah, that’s a nice beaded leather jacket we got going on during the invitational dance!

I prepare for this Celebration every year.  I look forward with happy anticipation knowing fully well that I become more comfortable with our Inland Tlingit relatives and vice versa, I believe they have become more comfortable with me.  Much like the Celebration in Juneau, it’s like a family reunion.

Feast

Every night for the 3 days of Celebration, a feast is prepared by 3 different communities: Teslin, Carcross and Atlin

Kip

Who is that man staring into the camera? He’s the head hauncho who runs the Teslin Cultural Center; he’s the big Kahuna — yes he does have a name: Kip! Thank you Kip for leading your staff to another great Celebration

PamCarol

Pam Craig (Seattle) with her mother Carol (Juneau) and son, Keet

TsimpshianGroup

The Tsimpshian “Git Hoan” Dancers from Metlakatla led by carver David Boxley, Sr. were the special guests during Celebration

YoungTlingits

The up and coming generation: Yeil Yadi (Sitka), ?, and Ricky Tagaban (Juneau)

 

 

 

Alaskan Salmon Berry Pie

Fresh-picked salmon berries - Auke Bay, Alaska

Fresh-picked salmon berries – Auke Bay, Alaska

A few Juneau Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers gather together for a meal hosted by one of the weavers at their home; then we weave afterwards.  The “Wednesdaynite Weavers” we could call ourselves.  A couple of Wednesdays ago, Nila and Laine Rinehart brought fresh Salmonberry pies for dessert – none of us had had this taste before; not like this!!!

SalmonberryPie Recipe

Recipe for fresh salmonberry pie!

A couple of days ago, my friend Lis and I went out to her secret berry patch in Auke Bay – we picked all we could BUT we had to leave some berries behind because we didn’t have enough time nor any other containers!!!  We picked enough to make about three standard size pies, or as the photo below suggests:  2 large and 3 small pies!  Just in time for Father’s Day!

SalmonberryPieRecipe2

Instructions for making salmonberry pie!

NOTE:  I suggest you cut the cardamom in half….use only 1 tsp instead of 2 tsp!  In our opinion, 1 tsp of cardamom in the mixture is sufficient!

SalmonberryPieRecipe3

Additional notes…

Some folks may not like the unique flavor of cardamom which if I am not mistaken is a key ingredient in Chi Tea.  If you are a creative baker, you may experiment with other flavors to enhance the quality of this wonderful-tasting berry pie…!  Salmon berries are unlike any other berry — they are the first of our berry season in Southeast Alaska!

SalmonberryPies

2 large and 3 small Salmon Berry Pies celebrating Father’s Day 2015!

 

Clarissa Joins Local Plein Rein Painters

Using woodless color crayons, Clarissa does an abstract of Mt. Juneau beginning with the sky

Using woodless color crayons, Clarissa does an abstract of Mt. Juneau beginning with the sky

Would I have known how much I enjoy doing outdoor drawings and paintings of the landscape!?  I joined Juneau’s Plein Rein group thanks be to the encouragement of my friend Lis Saya!  My first outing was a couple of days after my birthday — best birthday present I ever gave to myself…!

PleinRein12

Juneau Plein Rein members set up at Marine Park in Juneau, Alaska

Many years ago, Lis told me that she was not one who bought things though if she were to add up the amount of money she spent on experiences, she would be rich.  I told her that she is rich with experience!  Even though Plein Rein is not expensive, the act of going out into the country, setting up one’s easel and enjoying the scenery, the weather and what unfolds on your canvas is enriching…there’s something magical about it all…and I like magic!

PleinRein13

Local musician and artist, Lis Saya works on a pastel of Mt. Jumbo across the channel on Douglas Island

Periodically, I will include posting plein rein images on this blog, no matter where I travel, whether it be to Yukon, Southeast Alaska, New Mexico, Colorado, etc.  I am blessed to have the privilege and mindset to have done all that I have done, do what I am doing and continue full steam ahead.  Even though I may not have a home just yet, my heart is my home, and my heart is full of love for what I do and what I am becoming, therefore life is good.

PleinRein14

Mt. Jumbo in the distance beyond the gates placed on the tour ship docks; as if we will pay attention to these kinds of security measures…

 

“Baaaaa daaas” Mountain Goat

An image of a mountain goat done in Tlingit form line

An image of a mountain goat done in Tlingit form line

Parked at the base of the Perseverance Trail head in Juneau, Alaska, was this red Jeep.  I couldn’t help but notice the mountain goat image on the side of it’s back window.  Traditional Chilkat weavers use mountain goat wool for their warp and weft yarns.  Mountain goat have a special place in our hearts.  This particular Jeep had a special image I just had to share, even the license plate!

Goat2

Custom Alaskan license plate is just “baaaaaa dass!”

 

Grand Opening Thoughts About SHI’s Walter Soboleff Center

1SealaskaHeritageFront

South Seward Street in Juneau, Alaska was blocked off the entire day of Friday, May 15th for the opening festivities of the Walter Soboleff Center

Hands down, many have stated the Walter Soboleff Center is the most beautiful, newly-built building in all of Juneau, Alaska.  I must agree.  The local architect did an amazingly beautiful job fitting this fineness sandwiched between the early 1900 buildings.  Sealaska Heritage Institute’s president, Rosita Worl has worked hard to make what SHI is today; the manifestation of this building had to be her ultimate vision.  She had every right to hold her head high during this grand opening occasion. I commend her and her team on a job well done!

2AcrossSealaskaParking

The Soboleff Center is directly adjacent to the Sealaska Plaza parking lot – Juneau, Alaska

When SHI was only a year old, I applied for a job.  Looking back now, I realize that I was the 4th or 5th employee.  David Katzeek was president then, my cousin Lisa Sarabia was the receptionist, Mary McNeil was the scholarship coordinator and my Auntie Katherine Mills was one of the first to be hired temporarily to record and translate Tlingit history, Tlingit language, stories and song.  I was hired to take Mary McNeil’s position.  Now with more than 30 employees, SHI proves it has come a long way in 34 years!

3WalterRossSashaJanet

The children of the late Walter & the late Geneveive Soboleff: Walter, Jr., Ross, Sasha and Janet

Like any non-profit organization, SHI started from ground zero.  The scholarship program provided Sealaska shareholders grants to attend vocational training, higher education or apprenticeships in Native arts and culture.  Aunt Katherine Mills started the grassroots of the archives of history, song, dance and language.  The scholarship program and the archives were basically the two projects of SHI.  Celebration did not begin until March 1982.  Since then, with the mastermind vision and work of Rosita Worl and her carefully-selected team of employees and the backing of the Sealaska Board of Directors and the formation of the SHI Board of Directors, Rosita has made SHI what it is today.

4ClanDignitaries

Dignitaries of Tlingit Raven and Eagle Clans

The Walter Soboleff Center is the largest fruit of Rosita’s vision and labor.  This building now houses SHI’s offices, archives, retail shop, exhibit space, carving “shed”, rooms to conduct classes and additional office spaces to rent.

5CedarTreesDinahHopson

Dinah Hobson carries two cedar saplings during her dance group’s performance

Many of us artists anticipate conducting classes in carving, metal smithing, language, writing/poetry, weaving, drawing, storytelling, etc.  We look forward to working/teaching in a space with good ventilation, best lighting, ample accommodations, and “being in our own neighborhood.”

6WaynesPaddlers

Wayne Price (right front) stands before his crew of young carvers from Haines – they paddled for three days in the dugout canoe in time for this event

Local artists and visiting artists look forward to the encouragement and support Sealaska Heritage Institute has promised.  We look forward to SHI truly supporting their shareholder artists in a number of ways such as providing classes to established and up-and-coming artists in Northwest Coast design, marketing and sales, weaving, carving, metal smithing, storytelling, print-making, button-robe making, beadwork, etc.  We look forward to gathering and teaching, networking, and making a living doing our passion.  SHI could truly support our shareholder artists with additional public art commissions, artist residencies, and class space with no charge to the artist.

7TheCrowd

Crowd view from Front Street looking towards the Sealaska Plaza

Come to think of it, the “Seattle Tribe” (what many folks call the artists who live in Seattle area), received the monumental positions to create works for the new building.  Robert Davidson designed the red motifs and the new SHI logo on the building’s front, Steven Brown’s designs were sandblasted(?) in the glass awnings, David Boxley, Sr.’s large, painted screen in the entry foyer and Preston Singletary’s glass screen is inside the “clan house.”

(It seems that for any Tlingit artists who wants to be acknowledged and with future commissions by SHI, they would have to move to Seattle area?)

Although shareholder artists were not acknowledged by SHI during the grand opening of the Soboleff Center, artists who were present during the event included Reggie Peterson (Sitka), Dahkeen Mehner (Anchorage), Doug Chilton (Juneau), Israel Shotridge (Vashon), Lani Strong-Hotch (Klukwan), Shgen George (Juneau), and myself.  (I apologize to those who I may have forgotten or did not know were present at the grand opening.)

8IshmaelHope

Ishmael Hope listens as Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott speaks on behalf of the State of Alaska.

One of the complaints I have heard already about SHI’s retail outlet is that SHI is not really doing their job of encouraging local artists to sell their wares because their work was not accepted for sale in SHI’s new retail shop.  Artists have also complained that nearly half of the retail shop includes too much manufactured stuff from Native Northwest (previously known as Garfinkles, Inc.) or other Canadian-based companies specializing in printed scarves, mugs, pins, wallets, jewelry, books, etc. and that every gallery up and down the coast of Southeast Alaska and British Columbia seems to be carrying the manufactured stuff, why would SHI’s retail shop be doing the same when by the time the tourists reach Juneau they would have already gotten their token souvenirs and would want to see the “real stuff” from locals? —  Golly, I had never thought about this until I heard this complaint over and over again.  So of course, the way my mind thinks is:  well…is there a solution?  are there many solutions…what are they?

9ByronMallott

SHI President Rosita Worl (in Chilkat robe) and elder Bessie Cooley, listen to Lieutenant Governor of Alaska Byron Mallott

Solution #1:  I imagine SHI could dwindle their stock of manufactured items to half of what they have now and truly seek out artists who:  a) have a unique line of work, b) up to par with SHI’s standards of design/fabrication/presentation, c)  are willing to sell their wares with 70/30 split  (artist receives 70% of sales price).

I have also heard that artists were turned down because SHI was not interested in the artists’ work or that SHI already had too many of that kind of work, etc.

Solution #2:  SHI needs to be truly honest about why they will not carry an artist’s work.  If SHI feels that any element of the design/fabrication/presentation of the artist’s work does not meet their standard, then SHI needs to tell the artist just so with positive critique; it is only in this way that the artist will know what to do in order to be accepted in any high-caliber gallery.  How are we to know if we are not told the truth?

Solution #3:  Shareholder artists who are turned down need to take a brave look at their own style and see if they need some improvement in design, quality, and/or presentation.  Have others critique your work.  Ask SHI what do they suggest you do to raise the quality of your product, and then go do it!

SHI has a responsibility to our shareholder artists to encourage and support our artists.  Isn’t that what one of the main goals of why the Soboleff Center was created?  Or was the act and manifestation of this building possibly a political stance to put feathers in the caps of both Sealaska and SHI  Board of Directors to build more credibility?

10ANB:ANSMembers

Members of the Alaska Native Sisterhood (ANS) and Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) – the first civil rights group in America formed in 1923

Even before the grand opening, I have heard concerns and complaints about “how come there were no female artists commissioned to create a major piece of work for this magnificent building…?  Why only male artists?  And why only male artists who all live down South…?”  Again, I hadn’t thought about this issue until it was brought to my attention.

My response is a personal one that I have answered directly to those who have complained but will not respond here in this public forum because on one hand I respect those who are in charge of making those kinds of decisions though I on the other hand, have been disappointed about being slighted and although I am used to being slighted, I tell myself that some day “my time will come…” (as some other artists have told themselves the same…), and I also remind myself that “my time is always right now”, so therefore, why be concerned?

11ArtistsRow

The elite group of Northwest Coast Artists (L to R): David Boxley, Sr., David Boxley, Jr. Preston Singletary, Robert Davidson, Delores Churchill, Nathan Jackson

Our values are slightly different now.  We have grown into the western way of thinking in many more ways than one mainly because most of us live entirely in the western way of doing and being; we cannot help but eventually change the ways in which we were taught, or the ways in which we genetically received the patterning which were in high contrast with western values.

I remember being at the very first Celebration in 1982.  The feel of Celebration was extremely different than what it has become 34 years later.  Many things were different but because my time is limited, I will bring to mind one:  At Celebration 1982, elders from just about every clan spoke to us in our languages, and even though many of us young people did not understand what was said, we could FEEL the importance of what was said.  In the old way, people were acknowledged and introduced.  All elders were placed before all and were acknowledged; they were all positioned with equal footing.  Stories of the songs were told before they were danced.  Good feelings of respect, honor and grace filled the room.  It was one of the most powerful things.

At Celebration 1982, there were no political entities standing before us on stage whatsoever, telling us about how great things were to come and patting themselves on the back.  Politicians forget that they were elected to their position by the people…and they forget to pat their commoners on the back too.  They forget to acknowledge everyone who is proud of them and who put them there.  They forgot to position our elders on equal footing not just emotionally/spiritually but physically too where they are placed on the same platform as they!  Politicians, who generally have more money than any commoner, forget to “feed” the people in many more ways than one.  In my mind, it’s a 2-way street when it comes to “nourishment.”  Which comes to mind, how come there was no food or drink offered to the general public at this grand opening!?

11ClarissaLaniRobes

Preston Singletary and Lani Strong-Hotch (Chilkat robe woven by Clarissa Rizal & Ravenstail robe woven by Lani)

11ShgenHans

The invitational children’s dance groups led by school teachers Shgen George and Hans Chester

12CanoeComesAshore

Wayne Price and his 7-member team of paddlers of the dugout canoe come ashore at high tide

12CanoeLands

Loading the dugout canoe ashore

12ChilkatDancers

Dancers in Chilkat: Preston Singletary wears a Clarissa Rizal Chilkat robe, Paul Marks wears a Jennie Thlunaut Chilkat tunic and Nathan Jackson wears a Dorica Jackson Chilkat robe

13DancersChilkatChild

Young students await the signal to begin their song and dances – Marigold Lindoff, great-great granddaughter to the late Jennie Thlunaut, wears the 5-piece woven ensemble “Chilkat Child” woven by Clarissa Rizal

14NoraDauenhauer

Writer and Alaskan poet laureate, Nora Dauenhauer

15ChildrenSing

In front of his dugout canoe, Wayne Price accepts the honor from the young dancers

16WayneDances

Another view of the welcoming ceremony of the dugout canoe

17Cecilia

One of my mother’s best friends, elder Cecilia Kenyon, member of the Wooshkeetaan Shark Clan

I made it a point to attend this grand opening.  Even though I would rather be in my studio doing my work in the comfort of my space, lighting and bed, I had several reasons why I had pack up and come back home sooner this Spring, than later.

I felt it was important to be a part of the event because I wanted SHI and all those attending to know that my presence was there to be supportive of what SHI has been doing for many years and that even though I may not agree sometimes with the way they do things, I commend the institute on all that they have done and their resilience no matter what the confusion, conflicts and complaints they may receive.

18Edwina

Elder Edwina Smith, member of the Kaagwaantaan Wolf Clan

I attended this grand opening also because I knew I would see elders I hadn’t seen in a long time; there are a few of my mother’s friends (above) who for many years I have always had a fondness.

I also wanted to see a couple of my button robes and some of my Chilkat weavings danced:  my “Chilkat Child” danced by my weaving teacher Jennie Thlunaut’s great-great-great granddaughter, Marigold Lindoff; the Chilkat blanket I wove for Anne Gould-Hauberg 15 years ago now owned and danced for the first time by Preston Singletary; the Chilkat cuffs worn by one of Wayne Price’s young carvers/paddlers; the recently-completed “Egyptian Thunderbird” button blanket robe worn by glassblower Reese, and the button blanket robe “Eagle and Raven” owned and danced by Crystal (Rogers) Nelson.

19WaynePride

Wayne’s pride

I also attended because I knew several of my fellow artist buddies of mine would be attending, including Wayne Price and his motley crew, Preston Singletary and Sue/Israel Shotridge.

20ChilkatArmBands

Check out those Chilkat arm bands by Clarissa Rizal

And to top off the event, Ishmael Hope gave the closing speech; he spoke in the Tlingit language with the passion of any elder who lived long time ago.  I was brought to tears as he called out with such reverence and yearning, love and respect, joy and sorrow, it made the entire day worth while of being present and in the moment.

All in all, it was good to gather our people under the same “roof.”

21IshmaelHopeClosing

Ishmael Hope gives a compelling closing speech spoken entirely in the Tlingit language

22Wayne&Canoe

Wayne Price rests against his pride of the dugout in the “carvers’ cave” just outside of the center

23ClanHats

Clan crests adorn the heads of young dancers during the outgoing procession

23CrystalRogers

Crystal Rogers dances her Eagle Raven button robe (design by Preston Singletary; sewn by Clarissa Rizal)

24RavenstailOctopusBag

Ravenstail octopus bag

25ChilkatOctopusBag

Chilkat octopus bag, woven and worn by Shgen George

26Ishmael&Mary

Ishmael Hope and his newly-adopted daughter (his great great grand niece) Mary Goodwin

27OutgoingFlags

Veterans lead the closing ceremonial dance

 

Three Days Off…On the Ferry

FerryCloseUp

Boarding the “MV Malaspina” of the Alaska Marine Highway, in Juneau, Alaska

Heading south for the Winter, I took my “Chilkat Mobile” filled with most of my artwork of prints, greeting cards, weavings, and supplies.  I have a full month ahead of me; once I arrive in Bellingham, Washington, on Friday, December 5th, I drive a bee line straight down to Portland, Oregon for my presentation at the Portland Art Museum.  I sure miss my parents; they would love to be on board with me.  Alas, I travel with me, myself and I.

OnFerryDec14

Clarissa’s 1992 Toyota Corolla “Chilkat Mobile” – one of a pair of “His and Her” vehicles, once owned by Peggy Garrison – the other one still lives in Juneau, once owned by Peggy’s husband, Dick Garrison

After 4 days in Portland (I have another presentation at P.A.M. on Monday, December 8th), I drive North to Seattle for another recording session with “Ku.eex”, and then afterwards….well… just keep an eye to this blog because I will post my travels as I go along…

KetchikanWindow

Leaving Ketchikan, Alaska–notice the Chilkat robe reflected in the window – leaving Chilkat country!

We sailed three full days from Juneau, Alaska to Bellingham, Washington.  These three days I relished because they were my first three days off I have had all year!  Seriously, I have had one deadline after another and then some for an entire year; it’s my time for just me now.  oh boy!   My cell phone rarely had service, so no texting either.  I wasn’t schlepping stuff here and there, no packing stuff in and packing stuff out.  I didn’t have to do any errands.  No Wi-Fi so no emailing or responding to emails; no bookkeeping, no researching on line for anything!  I just sat back and watched the scenery go by, quietly, peacefully, and no one knocking at the door!

FerryUkelele

Playing every “Rain” song on the ukelele Clarissa can think of, to the tune of leaving “Rain Country…”

I played ukelele every day.  I took a shower twice a day.  I had breakfast and lunch (from my cooler) in my room.  I drew every day.  I wrote every day.  I stretched and danced every day.   I stared out the window doing nothing sometimes for at least a  couple of hours every day.  Golly, it was so much fun doing the basics!

Stateroom

There were no more 2-berth staterooms, so Clarissa settled for a 4-berth — Clarissa spread out all her work on each berth: just like her studio, Clarissa had one berth for weaving, one for drawing, one for music, one for her “office”…luxury, simplicity, …spoiled rotten!

For those folks who have never been to Alaska, I always recommend that they travel by way of the ferry system out of Bellingham, WA or Prince Rupert, B.C.  It’s a great way to introduce one’s self out of the culture of the “Lower 48″ into our unique culture in Alaska.  It’s also a great way for those of us from Alaska to ease our way to the “Lower 48″ without too much culture shock.

Drawing

Drawing a “seaweed” pattern for Chilkat weaving, while ocean-bound: the view changes every second…!

Trade Chilkat Robe for Land (w/ or w/o cabin or house) in Haines, Alaska

Clarissa Rizal weaving the "Resilience" Chilkat robe she designed and wove, recently completed in June 2014

Clarissa Rizal weaving the “Resilience” Chilkat robe she designed and wove, recently completed in June 2014

LET IT BE KNOWN WORLD-WIDE:

I am willing to do A TRADE for property with a cabin/home off of Mud Bay Road in Haines, Alaska  for a Chilkat robe woven by me.  Let’s get creative with terms, robe would be on commission basis designed by me OR a reproduction of an old robe.  If your property is  worth more than a standard-size Chilkat robe, maybe you would consider trading for an entire woven ensemble (robe, apron, leggings, headdress)…like I said, we can be creative with our negotiations.   

I am serious about doing this trade; I ain’t getting any younger and it’s time for me to get my act together in our beloved Haines!  If you are interested in this trade or you know of someone who may be interested, contact me on Facebook (under Clarissa Rizal), or email me here at:  clarissa@clarissarizal.com or call my cell at:  970-903-8386 (and yes, 970 is indeed the correct area code).

Thank you very much for your keeping me and this trade in mind! 

 

 

Atlin Music Festival: 2nd Year Weaving Demo

The sandblox at the Atlin Music Festival was the same size as last year, but it seems this year it was the main hot spot occupying young children of toddlers on up to 10 years old

The sandblox at the Atlin Music Festival was the same size as last year, but it seems this year it was the main hot spot at any given part of the day with at least 50 young children of toddlers up to 10 years old

Atlin Tlingit Louise Gordon is a co-founding member of the Atlin Music Festival.  This is the second consecutive year she has invited indigenous Ravenstail and Chilkat weavers to demonstrate our traditional weaving styles at the Atlin Music Festival.  Atlin is located in the upper part of British Columbia, Canada, just on the Northeastern side of the mountains from Juneau, Alaska.  Click here for more info on the annual music festival in beautiful Atlin, B.C.

Sharon Shorty and Marge Baufeld demonstrate Ravenstail and Chilkat weaving in the Artists' Tent at the Atlin Music Festival, Atlin, B.C.

Sharon Shorty and Marge Baufeld demonstrate Ravenstail and Chilkat weaving in the Artists’ Tent at the Atlin Music Festival, Atlin, B.C.

Gunalcheesh, Louise Gordon for inviting us to demonstrate our weaving traditions at the Atlin Music Festival !

The Atlin Music Festival's Campsite Specs has its sense of humor designating the quiet campers to the left of the sign and the noisy campers to the right!

The Atlin Music Festival’s Campsite Specs has its sense of humor designating the quiet campers to the left of the sign and the noisy campers to the right!

I just loved this sign:  “quiet, family, relax, zen, sleep peacefully…camp on the left of this sign” and those of your who are “loud, noisy, party, music, late hours…camp to the right of this sign…!”

There is the place for campers and RVs, then there's the "Tent City" with a fabulous view!

There is the place for campers and RVs, then there’s the “Tent City” with a fabulous view!

I never really appreciated outdoor music festivals until this year…!  Like down in Colorado, we’ve got them everywhere in almost every little town and big towns…it’s the norm; kids grow up with this kind of culture.  I didn’t,…alas, I grew up in a rainforest where we could not count on a sunny day to plan something way ahead of time like an outdoor concert much less a day of picking berries without a raincoat!

3rd Year Attending Adaka Festival, Whitehorse, Yukon

2EagleRavenMasks

Wolf and Eagle headdresses worn by the children of the KwaanlinDun First Nations during their performance

What is the Adaka Festival?  And where the heck is Whitehorse, Yukon Territory?  And why does Clarissa just talk about Yukon Territory all the time?

3ChildrenDance

This child dancer with the mask and leather gloves danced like the old-timers going down with low bent knees and extended arms with hands fluttering: wow! Bought back memories of my elder teacher Harry K. Bremner, Sr. from Yakutat, Alaska

6LilyWilliam

My oldest daughter Lily Hope and excellent carver friend William Callahan – one of the best young carvers in all of Yukon!

5LyonelDempsey

New Zealand Maori carver, singer, musician Lyonel Grant presented slides of his work – and Tahltan Tlingit carver Dempsey Bob with his granddaughter

7WillShawnAnnBrian

William Callahan and the Smith/Walker family (Shawn, Ann and Brian)

4WaynePrice

Wayne Price tells the story behind the song he sang: the migration under the glaciers

1LilyWayne

My daughter Lily and the great uncle Wayne Price of Lily’s son, Louis…so does this mean I am related to Wayne? Hmmm….shoulda known!