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Cedar Bark Mat Weaving: From Forest to Floor

Course Overview

This course offers students an opportunity to fully explore the traditional Anishinaabe craft of cedar bark weaving, from harvest to finished work. Led by Greg Johnson of Lac du Flambeau, this is a unique opportunity to immerse in a craft process and cross-cultural experience intimately tied to the northern forest and the Anishinaabe people. These mats were traditionally used to line the floor of lodges, making it more comfortable for sitting and working. They were also used for drying fish and other foodstuffs, as cedar has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Throughout the course, Greg will share stories and reflections related to cedar bark and other materials in Anishinaabe life. On Days 1 and 2 students will head into the early summer forest to harvest cedar bark. They will then learn to process, cut and dye the material to prepare it for weaving. On Days 3 and 4, students will work as a group to weave a large cedar mat. The weaving process involves many people working together in coordination to complete the project. On Day 5, students will weave smaller individual projects to take home

Course Details

Length: 5 days