Mat

About this object

History of use

The Salish Weavers Guild was inspired by the research of amateur anthropologist, Oliver Wells. Mr. Wells, a local farmer, spent much of his time interviewing his Sto:lo neighbours about their history and cultural traditions, while making collections of cultural objects - many of which are now in the Chilliwack Museum. During the 1960s, Wells became especially interested in Salish loom weaving, and with the assistance of Mary Peters of Seabird Island, helped to organise a local guild which was based at Coqueleetza in Sardis BC. Weavers worked together to dye and spin wool. They made weavings on commission, or brought their work in to fill orders as they were recieved.

Narrative

Margaret Jimmie, a member of the Salish Weavers Guild, made several weavings like this one, because that's the size that were most commonly ordered. Onion skins were used for the yellow dye. The weaving shop used to do all of the dyeing for the weaving and she'd get her wool from there. Then she'd make the weaving and bring it back. Her daughter Frieda noted that while the weaver didn't have to do her own dyeing, her family would still go to watch on the days when it was being done, in order to learn.

Cultural context

weaving; contemporary art

Physical description

Mat woven with commercial sheep's wool dyed with natural dyes. The warp is fine wool plied. Tied loops at one end, tied fringe at the other. The weft is thick handspun wool, naturally dyed and with some grease left in. Twining produces geometric patterns in zigzag lines. Blue 'Salish Weaving' tag sewn to back.