Ravenstail weaving is an ancient style of twining and surface braiding used for many years by the native peoples along the Pacific Northwest Coast. Ravenstail had nearly died out in the United States by 1980, when a small group of weavers brought it back from the brink of extinction. Now one of those weavers, Tlingit weaver Teri Rofkar, has been awarded a 2012 Creative Capital grant for her artwork. These prestigious grants are given to artists across genres who take an adventurous approach to their artwork, and Rofkar’s newest series of woven robes, Tlinglit Superman, certainly fits that description.
In this series, Rofkar uses ravenstail weaving to create traditional robes out of very modern materials. For example, her Robe of Illumination will have programmable lights and will be most likely woven from optical fibers. Rofkar envisions such robes being used as part of choreographed dances, like the ceremonial dances traditional to Native Americans.