Palmetto Weaving &
Indigenous Knowledges

Overview

In this four-week, hands-on workshop, students will have the opportunity to work with community-based Indigenous artists and scholars who have been preserving and interpreting indigenous knowledges in Louisiana. The first week of the workshop will include an overview of Indigenous nations in the region, and their connections to the land and water. Students will then have an opportunity to learn how to do traditional palmetto weaving. The second part of the workshop will share how weaving is also an important metaphor to consider how communities continue to incorporate their home languages and medicines into organizing around coastal and cultural preservation. No prior experience in weaving necessary.

Textbook: Return to Yakni Chitto: Houma Migrations, by Monique Verdin

Instructor:

Monique Michelle Verdin

Monique Verdin is an artist based in south Louisiana, who has spent the last 20 years documenting her Houma family’s relationship to the bayous of Terrebonne and St. Bernard Parishes, and connecting with other indigenous struggles for land rights and autonomy. In 2012, her film My Louisiana Love debuted at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and has gone on to be shown around the globe, as well as regularly aired on PBS. She has worked closely with theater productions, poets, architects, and academics to share the on-the-ground realities of climate change in south Louisiana. A core member of Another Gulf is Possible and the founder of the Land Memory Bank and Seed Exchange, she asks us to reconsider our relationship to land and water along the Gulf Coast. She is the author of the Neighborhood Story Project book Return to Yakni Chitto: Houma Migrations (2020)