Among goods to be offered during the Makah Museum’s celebration of Saturday are masks such as this Friendship Mask by Alex McCarty.

Among goods to be offered during the Makah Museum’s celebration of Saturday are masks such as this Friendship Mask by Alex McCarty.

Makah Museum marks anniversary on Saturday

NEAH BAY — The Makah Museum will mark its 44th anniversary with pop-up shops showcasing the talents of Makah artists on Saturday.

The celebration, set from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the museum, 1880 Bayview Ave. in Neah Bay, also will feature traditional storytelling by Steven Jimmicum at 1 p.m. in the indoor longhouse.

More than 20 vendors will offer a diverse range of handmade items, including carvings, basketry, jewelry, drums, beaded items and baked goods.

The artists and vendors will retain 100 percent of their earnings from their pop-up shops, which will be on the grounds of the museum.

“As part of the festivities, attendees will have the chance to engage in the rich cultural heritage of the Makah tribe through traditional storytelling,” said Janine Ledford, executive director.

“The Makah Museum’s 44th Anniversary Celebration is a testament to its enduring commitment to preserving and promoting the vibrant Makah culture,” she said in a press release.

“By providing a platform for local artists, this event not only showcases their unique talents but also celebrates the resilience and creativity of the Makah community.”

Featured at the event will be well-known Makah artist Spencer McCarty.

An enrolled member of the Makah Tribe, Spencer’s Indian name is Nuu·kʷis·me·ya, which means “he who has feasting songs wherever he is.”

He describes his artwork style as being Southern West Coast, Makah and contemporary. Although Spencer carves a variety of artwork, he specializes in rattles, paddles, face masks, totem poles and model canoes.

Other artwork that Spencer makes includes cedar bark rope, headdresses, bowls, spindle whorls, whistles, clubs, talking staffs, steam-bent boxes, canoes, shell rattles, harpoons, spears, knives, bailers, halibut hooks and carving tools.

McCarty’s work has been exhibited in “Neah Bay Now” at the Legacy Gallery in Seattle; National Native Community House Gallery in New York; “Northwest Native Expressions” at the Native Art Gallery in Port Townsend; and “Annual Mask Show” at the Snow Goose Gallery in Seattle.

He also has been featured in the Journal-America- Sunday Issue 1989, Peninsula Cultural Arts in the Spring of 1992. He was a member of the performing arts “American Indian Dance Theater” and was featured in the Los Angeles Times.

Spencer’s artwork has been commissioned by the Makah Cultural and Research Center in Neah Bay, the Burke Museum in Seattle and Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma. He is featured in a book titled, “Northwest Native and Native Style Art.”

“My commercial artwork shows examples of possibilities within the laws of the cultural heritage of the Makah people,” Spencer has said.

“I am especially grateful to our Elders who allow us to make our living through their arts and history. By the Elders allowing us sell our artwork commercially, we are able to practice and hone our skills to make artwork for our chiefs to be used in dances. I am also thankful to my God for the gifts given to me.”

Spencer has worked with other Northwest Coast Indian Artists that include Frank Smith, Henry (Hank) Thomas, Otis Baxter, Aaron Parker, Art Thompson, Greg Colfax and George David. Spencer is presently working with Theron Parker and John Goodwin.

The museum interprets and houses artifacts that are between 300 and 500 years old recovered from the Ozette archaeological site, as well as other historic and replica pieces and photographs related to the Makah Tribe on display year-round.

It also offers educational programs that highlight the history, traditions and contributions of the Makah people.

For more information, see makah.com.

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