images of John Pigeon and his son working to make baskets of black ash wood
John Pigeon (Potawatomi)
Many Generations of Black Ash Basketry

Photo of John PigeonJohn Pigeon weaves the type of baskets that his parents and grandparents made. His family is known for their black ash baskets and he is carrying on the tradition to pass it along to the next generation of his family.  For John, this is an important responsibility and a way to acknowledge the gift he has been given.  Through black ash basketry he also teaches others to live in balance with the earth.  “The black ash has been with us for generations, so we live in balance with all things that we do.”

During his week at the Eiteljorg Museum, John and his son Johnny shared every aspect of black ash basketry.  John arranged to bring some black ash logs from Michigan so they could show us how the wood is processed to create the splints used in the baskets.  Teaching others about this kind of basketry is another way to keep the tradition alive.

John Pigeon's residency was supported by grants from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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