My cap is still hoping to dance. My intent was to weave a cap for myself, but it’s only 6 1/2-6 3/4. There are more caps in my future as long as I’m able. There is a little bit of pressure as there are so few cap makers.
Choosing to weave a cap brings up a whole host of emotions: fear, anxiety, wonder, awe, excitement, hope, and gratitude, to name a few. You sit there with your gathered materials (that took you to places you never imagined), and your thoughts (that mostly get in the way), and you try to be right-minded and focused. You know every choice of stick, root, fern, and grass will soon take on a collective shared spirit and there’s a point when it’s not about your choices at all. She starts dictating the way it will all go and I respect that.
Denise McKenzie (Tolowa, Yurok) is a traditional basket weaver, regalia maker and knitter. She lives in Northern California.
The Northwest Coast Regalia Stories Project explores the life stories of cultural regalia pieces for Northwest California Native peoples. Read More...
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