Kelli and Eraina Palmer are enrolled members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Kelli began to learn basket weaving from her mother Eraina about 12 years ago. Kelli started with Wapus sally bags, a traditional style for root gathering and food storage. She later moved to cornhusk basketry with false embroidery.
The term “false embroidery” refers to a decorative surface treatment in basketry design. This technique is used to decorate twined baskets in which an additional colored weft element is incorporated into the twining. These “embroidered” designs are only visible on the surface of the object.
Like most traditional artists, Eraina and Kelli mix older traditions with innovative techniques and materials in their basketry, which are now used for decorative purposes as well as functional. They teach anyone who wants to learn these skills, especially to Native American women who have children and will pass their knowledge to future generations.
Kelli Palmer also participated in the 2012-13 Traditional Artist Apprenticehip Program as a master artist, one who passes his or her traditional skills and knowledge along to one or more apprentices.
An exhibit of the Palmers’ work, along with that of Kelli’s apprentice, Joy Ramirez, is on display at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History (MNCH) in Eugene. The show is up until May 2014.
If you are interested in the Traditional Artists Apprenticeship Program, or know of someone who is, please contact
Emily Afanador at 541-346-3820
or email the OFN at: email@example.com.