It is very satisfying to make a dentalium cape. I got to visit some elders to see the original capes, which looked like they may have come off of a plains style dress (yolk) . I talked to some younger women who dance, and listened to their suggestions.
1) They wanted to be able to put it on themselves
2) They wanted the cape to not be lined, they felt that the old ones were scratchy and hot.
I loved the end product; it was a sense of awe and amazement… “I did that!” Making the cape became a form of meditation for me. It always puts me in a good place mentally.
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.
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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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