We were all so happy again to cram ourselves into setting up the “weaver’s cabin” on the shores of Lake Teslin during the bi-ennial “Haa KusTeYea” Celebration. The cabin has wonderful light, natural air conditioning, feels simply rustic and is accommodating to the number of weavers who come from around the territory. During the three days together, it is a good feeling to see weavers who brought projects that had been sitting on the loom that they wanted to finish, OR they started a new project.
Most of the women who are want to learn to weave are middle-aged or older; they are the ones whose families are all grown up and no longer they have responsibilities of taking care of others to the degree that they had been. Every now and then we will have a youngster in her early 20s who is not yet married nor with children. However, this time, we had a 10-year-old girl named Kassua Dreyer who mother and she enrolled in the class. Mother and daughter students are always a plus in that they can each teach and reinforce one another as they learn both in class and at home.
Dedicated returning students such as Vanessa Morgan, Alice Tidell, Diane Knopp, Ricky Tagaban and Gwen Wally are always appreciated by us teachers. Every now and then new students’ bravery joins us like Doris and Kassua Dreyer and elders like Mary L. Lekanof. We know that they sacrifice their time, energy, and money to be here learning more each time. It’s inspiring to watch them as I too am reminded of how I once was when pursing the weaving of Chilkat.