My basket cap was made by a master weaver named Nettie Reuben (Karuk). I was at the Marin: Art of the Americas Show looking for baskets (caps especially) to buy and bring back. The running joke in my family is that I have to find just the right cap because my head is so big. Most often caps do not fit me. As I was wandering through the displays a friend of mine came running up to me and said "I found the worlds most beautiful cap, but it is too big for me. I immediately said 'Only Cutcha could fit this!'" And she was right. It fit! I was immediately impressed by the skill of the weave. The woman selling the hat told me that it had been in a family collection since it was purchased directly from the weaver, Nettie Rueben. She said that the owner was sad to sell the hat. I explained to her that I was buying the hat to use as part of different ceremonies and during public events. I then told her that Nettie Reuben was from the same place that I was from in Karuk country. She immediately got on the phone with the owner who was so happy that the hat was "going home." When I got the cap home I took it out and placed it on my table in front of me. I immediately googled "Nettie Rueben" and found many websites featuring her voice telling stories in the Karuk language. The first one I found was "Blue Jay as Doctor." I listened intently to her voice and smiled. Blue Jay is my name -- in Karuk. kachakáach (cutcha) Since that time I have worn this cap at Brush Dances, Flower Dances, Jump Dances and at various public events. The cap has traveled with me across the United States and been a part of my life. I look forward to passing it on to my daughter and I thank Nettie for weaving it (big enough to fit my head!).
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