Third-grade class learns traditional skills


February 2, 2023

Courtesy of Mason County Historical Museum

Louisa Pulsifer (seated), with Emily Miller (also a noted Skokomish basket weaver) demonstrating her craft in a storefront window during Forest Festival, 1959.

In January 1973, the students in Virginia Pill's third-grade class at Hood Canal School, who had recently studied early Indians and pioneers, had a visit from two women who demonstrated how the early natives and pioneers made baskets and clothing.

"Grandma" Louisa Pulsifer, a 91-year-old Skokomish basket-weaver, brought a basket full of cattails, sweet grass and bear grass. The children gathered around as she showed them how to split the cattails, then roll them on their knees so they would become tightly twisted cords that could be woven into baskets. As she worked, she explained how catt...

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