‘Fibers of Life’ basket exhibit on display

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SPOKANE, Wash. – The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane opened a new exhibit of Indian baskets with a special event on Feb. 11. The event, entitled “Fibers of Life: From a Weaver’s View,” featured Spokane tribal member Marsha Wynecoop to demonstrate and discuss basketmaking. On display was a large selection of outstanding old baskets from throughout the Western states and Canada.

Michael Holloman, director of the Center for Plateau Cultural Studies for the MAC, provided background information about the basket collection. Bruce Bernstein from the National Museum of the American Indian said he counted 130 baskets in the “world-class” category without even going through the entire collection, which far exceeded his expectations.

Holloman also introduced Loren Swan, Coeur d’Alene, who offered an opening prayer, then proceeded to demonstrate flutes he had made and entertained the crowd that was drawn to his beautiful music. The sound carried throughout the basket exhibit area, providing a beautiful backdrop to the exhibit.

Those attending were also treated to frybread and other foods. The basket exhibit, including historical photos of weavers, is part of the MAC’s permanent collection and will remain open through the end of the year.