Friday, June 3, 2011

Colors Created from Organic Materials Found in Southeast Alaska

Sealaska Heritage Institute has many collections that have potential for study and are of educational value. One recently accessioned collection of interest is a Dyed Yarn Exhibit, an exhibit that was created during the 1990s to show how Chilkat weavers can (and did) create colors to dye their weavings. This exhibit shows the color combinations that can be generated by combining certain natural and organic materials found throughout Southeast Alaska. These combinations were used to dye the yarn, which yielded a color spectrum of browns, yellows, grays, and pinks, and a simple but informative exhibit was created to show the results and the combinations used. Below are images of these two exhibits. Although this exhibit is certainly not comprehensive, as additional colors are found in historic blankets, this exhibit raises interesting questions about colors appearing in historic blankets.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a Native nonprofit established in 1980 to administer educational and cultural programs for Sealaska, a regional Native corporation formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The institute’s mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures. The institute collects Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian art for study, education, and exhibition.

1 comment:

Clarissa Rizal said...

This is nice to know that SHI has this information as part of their collection for the general public to refer to. Does SHI have the recipes of the natural dyes you have shown in the photos? Do you also have recipes for other natural dye colors that were not a part of this exhibit?