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Fri Dec 9, 2016, 02:41 AM


Renowned Chilkat weaver Clarissa Rizal dies of cancer.

(Note: for many years, she was "Clarissa Hudson"


Renowned Chilkat and Ravenstail weaver Clarissa Rizal, a Raven of the T’akdeintaan, died Wednesday after a battle with cancer.

Rizal apprenticed with Jennie Thlunaut, a weaver from Klukwan. She began her apprenticeship when Thlunaut was 95 years old. After Thlunaut’s death, Rizal was so grieved she was unable to weave; she began again when she was asked to teach Thlunaut’s granddaughters.

“Not so long ago, we were in danger of losing the knowledge on how to make our sacred Chilkat weavings,” said a Sealaska Heritage Institute Facebook post about Rizal’s death. “We as Native people owe a debt of gratitude to Clarissa for mastering our sacred art traditions and for teaching others to weave.

Rizal this year won a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts; it’s an award Thlunaut also won. She traveled to Washington in September to receive it.

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