The museum will host an all-day weaving workshop led by Wanapum elder and master weaver Angela Buck. The workshop with feature the versatile tule, or bulrush, as raw material, to create a sitting mat that can be used for yoga, picnics or even as an insulating layer on the dining room table. Wanapum tribal elders skilled in the art of tule weaving lead the class.
Historically, the Wanapum, or River People, created houses out of mats made from the tall reed that grows abundantly in local ponds, springs and sloughs. The mats were used to cover winter log houses and summer tepees as well as mattresses, table mats, ceremonial sitting mats and burial mats.
The tule plant’s unique Styrofoam-like core makes an excellent insulating material and was used by Columbia Plateau indigenous peoples for hundreds of years as a natural air-conditioning system. The plant swelled with moisture during rainy, wet times to seal gaps in the mats and form an insulating roof. On hot, dry days the reeds in the mats would shrink allowing cooling breezes to filter into the lodging.
All materials are provided and all skill levels are welcomed. Lunch is included. Cost is $100 per person.