Elaine Timentwa Emerson

(American | Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation | Methow Band, born 1941)

Native American artist and basket maker Elaine Timentwa Emerson was born and raised on the family cattle ranch on the Colville reservation in Northeast Washington. From an early age, her parents instilled the importance of carrying on Methow language, craft, and cultural traditions. She started weaving seriously at age 28.

In her own words, "The reason I committed myself to teach basketry was to prove that as a people we are still here and basket making was not a dead art – a victim of forced assimilation… A basket maker must be a botanist, environmentalist, ecologist, and marketer, all of these things combined."

She was honored with a Washington State Governor's Arts and Heritage Award in 1995 for her contribution to the culture, customs, and traditions of the Colville people.

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