Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Dene Spruce Root Basket


“These baskets are made from coiled spruce root and were once common place items in Dene homes. In the nineteenth century, the craft died out however as copper kettles became available through trade with Europeans. By the end of the twentieth century, all that remained to attest to this ancient tradition were a few baskets in museum collections. In 1999, I, a Dene, with a passion for the traditional arts of my people, saw a photograph of one of these baskets and initiated a project to reintroduce the lost art of spruce root basketry to small Dene communities. These baskets are rarely being made since they are very labour intensive. This basket took a month to make.”

Suzan Marie

Suzan Marie

Dené (Chipewyan)

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

(1958- )

Suzan Marie, a Chipewyan Dene, from the South Slave region of the Northwest Territories, based in Yellowknife provides training in the manufacture and production of Dene and Metis fine arts.