Making a dance dress was intimidating when I started. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing, it’s not like I had a pattern to go by. I was able to work with some wonderful people and learned what I needed material wise. I was taught be Debbie McConnell how to braid bear grass and how to wrap bear grass. I got to go with my Auntie Laura Lee to learn to collect and cure bear grass. Bonding with different women was a lot of fun. You learn from other peoples mistakes, and lessons they received by making items prior to you.
Making the dress, or necklace, or food item becomes a form of meditation. I have learned that while making baskets, collecting materials, making regalia or even cooking, that your thoughts and energy go into the piece or dish and get passed along to the person you made it for, or to the people that use it or are going to eat it. So you should think good thoughts and practice being in a good place when you create these things. I do the same thing when I work on dinner for my kids, or a non-ceremonial piece it just becomes a part of who you are when you are working/creating.
Marlette Grant-Jackson (Yurok Tribe). Niwho:n je:nis whima:lyo' (Good day my friend/relative in Hupa) skue-yen' ue ke-choyhl nak-new Marlette Grant-Jackson. Hoopa mey'-wue-me-chok (good afternoon, my name is Marlette Grant-Jackson. I am from Hoopa. in Yurok), ITEPP CRC Coordinator, and Student Service Academic Advisor. I work at HSU and have worked for the ITEP Program for 12 years.
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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