Lani was born in Klukwan, Alaska. Her Tlingit names are Saantaas’, Sekwooneitl and Xhaatooch, and she is from the Wolf House of the Kaagwaantaan Clan in Klukwan. Her mother was of Tlingit ancestry and her father was from northern California with ancestral ties to Wales. She has lived most of her adult life in Klukwan with her children and husband, Jones Hotch Jr. (Naatl’ of the Gaanaxteidi (Raven) Clan and recently appointed caretaker of the Whale House in Klukwan). Lani comes from a long line of Chilkat weavers.
She began weaving under the guidance of her grandmother Jennie Warren, her tribal aunt Jenny Thlunaut and finally Cheryl Samuel, who has taught numerous weaving programs and oversaw the creation of The Healing Robe, a group project completed over eight years. Lani’s first solo robe was a Ravenstail design titled The Chilkat River Robe. She then wove The Klehini Robe, a Ravenstail robe now in the Sheldon Museum collection in Haines, Alaska. Her major inspiration is the natural environment in the Chilkat Valley and the weavings and the stories of her ancestors.
Excerpt from Manawa—Pacific Heartbeat, 2005.