Sealaska Heritage

NEWS_SHI to sponsor lecture on revival of ancient sea basketry

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Lecture part of Native American Heritage Month

November 6, 2018

(Lecturer Biographies) (Flyer)

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) this week will sponsor a talk by Suquamish Elder Ed Carriere and Archaeologist Dale R. Croes on the revival of ancient basketry through the study of 2,000-year-old waterlogged specimens found in Washington State.

In their lecture, Re-Awakening Ancient Salish Sea Basketry, Fifty Years of Basketry Studies in Culture and Science, Carriere, a master basket maker, and Croes, a wet-site archaeologist specializing in ancient basketry on the Northwest Coast, will talk about their collaboration in the study of basketry found at the Biderbost site near Seattle.

“I had a career-changing idea while re-assessing the 2,000-year-old Biderbost basketry collection; I asked Ed to try replicating these baskets that statistically linked through 100 generations to his great grandmother’s old styles.  We call this approach Generationally-Linked Archaeology (GLA),” Croes wrote.

“GLA attempts to link the current cultural artisans back through the generations and with the archaeological evidence through a process of cultural/ideational transmission.  The approach goes from the present back and deep archaeological time forward, meeting from both directions.”

Through the project, Carriere replicated the baskets and revived the art of more than 200 generations of his ancestors and grandparents.

Carriere and Croes will arrive in Juneau early to visit SHI’s weaving class with Delores Churchill scheduled Nov. 5-10.

The lecture is scheduled at noon on Friday, Nov. 9, in the Living History Room at the Walter Soboleff Building in Juneau. The event is free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome.


Ed Carriere, 84, has woven baskets for more than 55 years. He learned the art from his great-grandmother, Julia Jacob of the Suquamish Tribe, who raised him from infancy. When his great grandmother's hands weakened with age, she told Carriere he would have to make the baskets. He was 15 years old.

Croes is an adjunct professor at Washington State University, Department of Anthropology. He is a wet-site archaeologist whose research focus has been on ancient basketry artifacts from Northwest Coast wet (waterlogged) archaeological sites.

Over the past four years, Carriere and Croes have worked in partnership, and they combined their fifty years of cultural and scientific knowledge to produce their stories in the book Re-Awakening Ancient Salish Sea Basketry, Fifty Years of Basketry Studies in Culture and Science, now available through 

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.  

CONTACT: Amy Fletcher, SHI Media and Publications Director, 907.586.9116,

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