Teri Rofkar, whose Tlingit name is Chas' Koowu Tla'a, was born into the Raven Clan. As a young child, she was exposed to traditional methods of weaving by her grandmother. While too busy and impatient at the time to sit down and weave, these experiences later inspired her to seek out elders in her community to learn these techniques. Today, she often refers to herself as a "basket case” because she weaves all the time, apart from when she is in the forest harvesting materials. She is known world-wide as a teacher and researcher and as a weaver of the once-lost art form of the Raven's Tail Robe. She says, "I am following the steps of ancestors, striving to recapture the woven arts of an indigenous people. The ancient ways of gathering spruce root, with respect for the tree's life and spirit, are a rich lesson in today's world. Traditional methods of gathering and weaving natural materials help me link past, present, and future. Links with a time when things were slower paced, a time when even a child’s berry basket was decorated with care. It is through sharing and exploring that this old art form shall take on new life." In 2003, she came to the National Museum of the American Indian to study and analyze cultural material used in basketry and robes. Ever willing to apply 21st century tools, she recently has been exploring Web technology to verify the age and authenticity of weavings.
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