Art For Indigenous Survival

Quileute of LaPush, Washington, March 2006


Returning for the third time to the Quileute people, Irma and I felt almost like we were coming home. It was great to see Lela Mae, Marion, Pam, Beverly, Judy, Cathy, Nellie, Jackie, Rosie, Bertha and Margaret again. Several new people joined us — John, Nancy, Gloria, Jan, Linda, Magnolia and Patty. Margaret finished her Eagle and Wolf from 2002 and 2003; several repeated making Ravens, others opted for the new Wolf pattern, the Kingfishers, Sunflowers and Orcas. But the overwhelming delight was the Banana Slug which began to appear with Eagles, Wolves and Sunflowers. John sewed one to the top of his hat.

John Penn with slug on his hat

Marion specialized in the slugs which are a main ingredient of the Bald Eagles� diet in La Push.

Marion making banana slug

In both the day and evening classes, we discussed the marketing issues raised in 2003 by Stephanie Morimoto of the Women�s Self-Employment Project out of Chicago. We were able to get several participants to think creatively about how to sell their work.

During the final evening class, Nellie explained how important it had been to have something creative to do, to break up the monotony of everyday life. Members posed laughingly with their creations.

Group picture 1

The final morning arrived and the participants posed for the group picture. It was very hard to say good-by to these fun friends from La Push.

Group picture 2