Makah weavers focus of Studium Generale

PORT ANGELES — Master weaver Melissa Peterson and her daughter Samantha Della-Devoney will present “Generations of Makah Weavers” at Thursday’s Studium Generale.

The free program will begin at 12:35 p.m. in the Little Theater at Peninsula College, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

Peterson lives in Neah Bay on the Makah Reservation. She learned weaving from Irene Ward over 30 years ago and also learned from Nora Barker, Lina McGee, Susan Johnson, Linda Colfax and Margaret Irving.

She also studied the old Ozette weaving styles found in the Makah Cultural and Research Center’s collection.

She teaches basketry throughout the region.

Della-Devoney studied weaving and other traditions with help from her mother, Melissa Peterson, as well as “my great-great auntie Helen Peterson, who was like a grandmother to me, and many other Makah people.”

In June, Della-Devoney will graduate from the Evergreen State College’s Native Pathways Program (NPP).

In April 2018 she presented “Upholding Indigenous Traditions” in Juneau at the Alaska Native Studies Conference.

There she explained that “Indigenous traditions are vital to maintaining our truth, our ontology, our cultural identity.”

“We know this to be true, because our epistemology is the result of witnessing the consequences of many traditions being disrupted from the lives of Indigenous Peoples around the world,” she said.

“The action we take to support this reality, which is our methodology, is that we preserve traditions. We create a relationship with them. We learn them. We implement them. We teach them.”

Sam is currently co-teaching Introduction to Indigenous Humanities IS 109 with Kate Reavey.

The class meets in Port Angeles and in Forks simultaneously with a Zoom connection to bring the two groups of students together.

For more information contact Kate Reavey at [email protected]

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