Miniature Potlatch Hat by Isabel Rorick, Haida First Nation
Miniature Potlatch Hat with Spider Web and Slug Trail Designs by Isabel Rorick, Haida First Nation spruce root with raised design 4.25" high x 5" diameter
Potlatch Hats are highly prized and were traditionally cared for and worn by the hereditary chiefs, and only on important occasions. They are called potlatch hats because chiefs often commemorated each potlatch they hosted by putting a basketry ring on the top of hat. This miniature Potlatch Hat signifies that the wearer
has had three potlatches. The understated elegance of the Spider Web and Slug Trail designs are achieved with a thicker horizontal band of skip-stitch (or twill twining),producing the raised geometric design.
Isabel Rorick is a Haida weaver from Old Masset, a village at the north end of Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. She comes from a long line of Haida weavers: her mother, Primrose Adams is a weaver, as was her grandmother Florence Edenshaw Davidson. Her great-grandmother, Isabella Edenshaw, was a well-known weaver of baskets and hats, many of which were painted by her husband, Charles Edenshaw. After the passing of her mother Primrose Adams, Isabel is one of just a few weavers who still posses the knowledge to weave a spruce root hat. Today, Isabel's basketry can be found in public collections including of the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, The Burke Museum, and the Seattle Art Museum.