From the River Collective has an awesome new page up with photos of traditional Klamath River fashion and how contemporary Native artists are utilizing and building off it in their own work! If you’re unfamiliar with Northern California aesthetics and materials, this is a really cool resource. Karuk artist and founder of FTRC Nisha Supahan describes the Collective as:

…an online store featuring Northern California Indian artists who make quality art and products that are inspired by our Native background, culture and traditions. We have traditional items as well as contemporary pieces. Many of the artists use old time technics, materials or designs to create contemporary pieces. 

I want to be able to sell the work of talented artists that may not have the ability to promote themselves or their amazing work. We are from a rural area where not every household has a computer let alone internet access. I want to show that Native people are still here and I want the outside world to see how the people of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers of Northern California have unique perspectives that are incorporated in to their creations. I have been trusted to be the bridge between the creations and the customer for these very talented Native people. We are working together to make a change for our Tribes, community, and our families.

This triple strand long necklace is handcrafted using the traditional materials of the Northern California Indians. The long white shell is dentalium, a species found in the Pacific Ocean. Many tribes used dentalium shells as a form of currency or money. The Karuk name for these shells is Ira-ish-pook (Indian money), and they were a visible sign of the material wealth of the owner. These shells were strung and worn during ceremonial gatherings. Native people also continue to use dentalium in their regalia.

All of the natural world from the earthworm to the mammals, trees, specific geological formations (certain granite outcroppings, for example), sacred sites, mountains, creeks, the sun, the moon,even the mosquito, were once Ikxareeyav [spirit deity] People. … Wherever our ancestors looked or walked in the Karuk world, there was an Ikxareeyav associated with the place…

It is easy to overlook the sacredness of land nowadays, but it’s as foolish today as it would have been 150 years ago. It’s encouraging to know that our Ikxareeyavs rarely recede into oblivion. After all, are there not yet rattlesnakes? Or frogs, eels, mountains, creeks, trees, and sacred ceremonies? If you look closely enough you’ll see they are all Ikxareeyavs.

—  Julian Lang, Karuk linguist and artist, from Ararapikva, quoted in Cathedrals of the Spirit by T. C. McLuhan.
Review of In the Land of the Grasshopper Song: Two Women in the Klamath River Indian Country 1908-1909

Review of In the Land of the Grasshopper Song: Two Women in the Klamath River Indian Country 1908-1909

In the Land of the Grasshopper Song is, hands down, my favorite book, and I have often wished the authors had written more. I found it in a bookstore in Eureka over twenty years ago on a trip that took me through the Klamath River area. At that time I was beginning work on a novel. The power, quiet wisdom, and tolerance of In the Land of the Grasshopper Song inspired my manuscript and, I believe,…

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SuWorhrom David Baldy (Hupa/Karuk/Yurok) talking about his work.