Shgendootan George

2023 Fellowship AwardFolk & Traditional Arts

2023 Fellowship Award

George, one of a handful of living weavers who has woven a full-sized Chilkat dancing robe, will create a series of robes including four dance robes to tell four stories from the 1882 Navy bombing of Angoon. A Ravenstail robe will depict the unpaid payment of 200 blankets from the US Navy, a button blanket will mimic the uniform worn by the Navy men, a cedar bark robe with geometric patterned borders will represent the tracks of the brown bear, and a Chilkat robe will relay the story of her Dakl’aweidi- Killer Whale Clan’s children who died of smoke inhalation during the bombing.

George sees her contribution to the education of the next generation by giving them an opportunity to learn from an Indigenous perspective not found in history books but in the wearing and dancing of these robes. The driving force behind her deeply meaningful art is her abiding connections to her visual, spiritual and intellectual culture.

Artwork samples

This full-size Chilkat Raven robe was made by Shgendootan George for a traditional clan-to-clan exchange. Merino and yellow cedar bark thigh spun warp, hand-dyed weft yarns, sea otter fur and leather strap ties / 62″ x 50″ / 2022
L’óol, or Fireweed, is a woven octopus bag by Shgendootan George that represents alternating leaves and flowers with parallelograms. Merino wool, dyed shell buttons, charlotte beads, sea otter fur and cotton fabric / 18″ x 12″ / 2021
The Chilkat mask is one of the most identifiable elements of Chilkat weaving. This weaving by Shgendootan George features stacked faces. Merino wool spun with yellow cedar bark, hand-dyed lace weight merino weft and white feather down / 22″ x 16″ / 2022

Artwork by Shgendootan George

This art was purchased through the Alaska Art Fund managed by Museums Alaska.