Emma Hildebrand

Emma Hildebrand

Athabascan

About

My mother, a Koyukon Athabascan raised in a traditional subsistence lifestyle, taught me to bead and skin sew from the age of seven. Early on, my crafts included medallion necklaces, barrettes, baby and adult moccasins, and earrings, most of which were gifted to family members on special occasions. The largest project I completed was a traditional outfit to wear in the Miss WEIO competition in 1981. My mother tanned a moose hide, which we used to fashion a parka with bead-work adornment and beaver fur trim, with matching moose hide mittens and mukluks. In 1998 I co-founded a non-profit organization that raises funds, sponsors community events and activities, and assists individuals and families with financial assistance for funerals and travel for medical emergencies and cancer treatments. In 1996 I began teaching Native Crafts intermittently through the University of Alaska. Most often, my classes entail caribou hair tufting, which I learned from Dixie Alexander in 1994, as well a porcupine quill techniques, many of which I learned from a quillwork symposium I attended at the Anchorage Museum in 2011. Starting in 2006, sales of my Native artwork began to provide a large portion of my income, along with increased contracts and part time employment teaching classes related to Native crafts and art, which I have been doing for 25 years.

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