DianeHave you built a loom yourself?

MinnieNo, everybody makes them for me, like my son makes me two or three, yeah, small ones, and the large ones, so I could make big blankets on them.

DianeWhat is the biggest one you've made?

MinnieOh, to cover the, the chiefs.

DianeSo, some chiefs are big, so you've made big blankets?

MinnieOh yes, yeah. They come and ask me first before I make them, the same with the sweaters.

DianeSo you will weave the wool for sweaters too, or is that knitting?

MinnieI knit, knit the sweaters.

DianeWonderful! The different colours, you have dyed these with-

Minnie-yes, we have to dye them. We spin the wool. Sometimes we just dye them without spinning, and then we, it's a hard time though, because the wool kind of mats when you're boiling it. And we go to nature and pick up all the things that we need to use for dyeing, all different colours. And we use different kinds of mordant to have different colours, like alum, copper sulfate, and that. You could use onion skins, you could use cascara bark, berries, blueberries, huckleberries, and dye the wool in it.

DianeDoes that take a long time?

MinnieYes, it does. You've got to boil it for quite a while.

DianeAnd is it hard on your hands?

MinnieYes, it is. Then you test it to see if the dye would stay in. You leave it in the sun for a while. If it doesn't, you re-dye it again.

DianeIn the same colours?

MinnieYes. They become darker.

DianeIs there times of the year when you would collect different-

Minnie-yes, in the spring, and in fall, as soon as the flowers are out, you gather them.

DianeAnd do you have people helping you with that?

MinnieWell, I take my children with me, because they've got to learn.


DianeAbsolutely, this is absolutely wonderful. What is your next project? What are you doing next?

MinnieWell, I'm working on the Cheam's blanket that they want made, yeah.

DianeAnd how big will that be?

MinnieOh, that will be about, that will cover the chief. It is quite big, yeah, quite large.

DianeWill it tell a story?

MinnieIt would, I guess, after it gets to them, because it's their blanket, yeah, they'll have the story to tell on it.


MinnieCheam peak. Hu-hum!

DianeWell, thank you so much for this pleasure and this honour, and I'm very grateful. Thank you.

MinnieYou're welcome.

English | Français
© SFU MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND ETHNOLOGY, 2008/2009. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED | Site Credits | Feedback Form | Downloads | Sitemap