Theresa Cook & David Dearhouse

 

Theresa Cook & David Dearhouse

Wathahiiostha (Theresa) Cook is of the Deer Clan. From a young age, Theresa began helping her mother and grandmother make baskets and toys from black ash splints. Her partner, Atewenna;ron (David) Dearhouse is of the Turtle Clan. They are proud Kanien'kehá:ka, language speakers, teachers and well respected in their home territory of Akwesasne. Theresa and David can be found at the Akwesasne Powwow every second weekend of September in  Cornwall Island.

About

Theresa and David have been teaching this ancient skill for over 10 years. Because of its special qualities, black ash is the tree of choice for the Haudenosaunee people for producing splint basketry. Black ash growth rings are separated by pounding with the back of an axe; the splints produced are flexible when moistened and become very strong once woven into a basket and dried. Mohawks produce baskets both for utilitarian purposes and as art. Many people are familiar with the pack baskets crafted with sturdy, tightly woven black ash splints that are used by hunters and trappers. Collectors prize the “sweet grass” basket that makes use of finer, more delicate splints interwoven with braids of an aromatic grass.

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History

Theresa Cook, David Dearhouse, Basketry, Black Ash, Indigenous Artist, First nations, Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada, Pass The Feather.

"Basketmaking is an important traditional art form that has been practiced in Akwesasne for generations. At the turn of the last century, women and some men made and sold baskets to help support their families. Today, elders still teach children how to harvest black ash and make baskets. c.1900"

Smithsonian National Museum. (2013). American Indian Responses to Environmental Challenges. Retrieved May 06, 2020, from https://americanindian.si.edu/environment/akwesasne/People.cshtml

Workshops

David and Theresa walk all participants through the preparation process of creating splints from the log and teach how to weave a black ash utility basket. Please note that this workshop is suitable for beginners. Contact Theresa and David directly to inquire about booking your workshop.

We would love to hear from you.

(613) 575 2324 ● theresadearhouse@live.com