Students learn Yakama traditions through weaving | KUOW News and Information

Students learn Yakama traditions through weaving

Mar 7, 2018

Students from the Yakama Nation are re-connecting with their tribal roots.

At the Burke Museum on Tuesday, Yakama artists held a workshop where students learned how to weave hats from hemp and corn husks. 

Ashley Crossing Horse said the hats represent the weaver's family.

“The women put them on to show that they dig for their people or for the people they’re gathering for," Crossing Horse said. "And it shows who gathered the roots and berries."

Crossing Horse is a student at Heritage University who drove up from Yakima with her family.

“I think it’s really important that the younger generation keeps the traditions going in order for us to keep our culture in the way that we are Indian people," she said. "Not to lose it or forget about it.”

Sky Weaselhead taught the workshop with help from a museum grant. He learned how to weave from his grandmother and now travels throughout the state teaching people the tradition.

Weaselhead says the hardest part about learning to weave is keeping the corn husk strands from breaking.
Credit KUOW Photo/Casey Martin

“I only see a few people teaching," he said. "There’s a lot of people teaching tule mats or moccasins, but with the hats I felt like I didn’t want it to die out in my family. So I learned to keep the culture alive. To keep a sense of what we do alive."