At the APK

Weaving with Sea Otter Fur – Kathy Rado

September 2021

Kathy Rado, adopted Haida Double-fin Killerwhale wove this sea otter fur raven’s tail robe for her husband, Pedro Rado (Eagle, Killerwhale from Klukwan). Rado has been weaving in the raven’s tail style for over 30 years. Raven’s tail is a very old hand-weaving technique featuring geometric patterns that predates the more familiar Chilkat robes. The geometric style died out in the early 1800s, and today, only a dozen early robes (or fragments thereof) exist in museums around the world. In the 1980s, Rado and other weavers learned the basic technique from Cheryl Samuel and started weaving them again. Rado’s first robe, One Within Another, was based on two surviving similar fur-warp robes currently located in a museum in Russia. Currently, Rado is preparing to weave another robe with sea otter warps. Rado will share the exciting adventure of the history of the making of One Within Another Robe and how this ancient technique of weaving with sea otter came to life almost two centuries after this style of weaving died out.

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