Sx̌ʷayəp (cedar bark dress)

Photo Credit: Susan Cole

Sx̌ʷayəp (cedar bark dress)


Alice Williams

Upper Skagit, 1907-1996

Imagine covering yourself with the soft, fragrant fibers of the cedar tree, called the “tree of life” by Northwest Native Peoples. Western red cedar provides generations of Coast Salish people with the perfect material for Native technologies, such as canoes, houses, clothing, food, and medicine. Techniques perfected over time and passed down to descendants, such as Alice Williams, comprise a body of knowledge that sustains and supports Native philosophies regarding intimate connections between place and people.
Red cedar bark, raffia
49 x 27 1/4 in. (124.46 x 69.22 cm)
Gift of Vi Hilbert
Photo Credit: Susan Cole
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Song, Story, Speech: Oral Traditions of Puget Sound's First People, Aug. 5, 2004 - Jan. 31, 2006.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, S'abadeb - The Gifts: Pacific Coast Salish Art and Artists, Oct. 24, 2008 - Jan. 11, 2009 (Victoria, British Columbia, Royal British Columbia Museum, Nov. 2009 - Mar. 2010).

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, American Art: The Stories We Carry, Oct. 20, 2022 - ongoing.

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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