According to contributor gianofer fields…she could hear the laughter emanating from the workshop the moment she stepped off the elevator. The cause of the joyful noise? A Ho-Chunk Finger Weaving workshop in the School of Human Ecology on the UW Madison campus.
The workshop is an extension of the current exhibition entitled Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas, currently on display in Nancy Nicolas Hall on the UW Madison Campus.
Bonnie Bird, is from Tomah and a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. She says there are only a handful of people who still practice Ho-Chunk Finger Weaving and it’s her mission to pass on the knowledge and keep the technique alive.
In this edition of Radio Chipstone, Bird shares her history and connection with the tradition.
About the Host:
gianofer (JON nah fer) fields is an Art Historian and Material Culture contributor and curates the Radio Chipstone series. The project is hosted by the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and funded by the Chipstone Foundation; a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.
About the Guest:
Bonnie Bird is the Native American Education Coordinator for the Tomah Area School District, a weaver, and a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. She has taught yarn belt weaving at the recently opened Ho-Chunk Nation Museum and Cultural Center. Previously, she had trained in the Language Apprentice Program at the The Hoocąk Waaziija Haci Language Division where her father, Wilbert Cleveland, is an Eminent Speaker.
Image: Participants in a Ho-Chunk Finger Weaving workshop led by Bonnie Bird in the School of Human Ecology on the UW-Madison campus. Photograph courtesy of gianofer fields.