Reading the North

In the Spirit of the Ancestors: Contemporary Northwest Coast Art in the Burke Museum Edited by Robin Wright and Kathryn Bunn-Marcus
Super Hawks: Special commemorative book by The News Tribune and The Olympian

Super Hawks

Special commemorative book by The News Tribune and The Olympian (Triumph Books, $14.95)

The blurb: The Seattle Seahawks' 43-8 thrashing of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII symbolized the Seahawks' season -- behind a fierce defense and the league's loudest fans, Seattle simply overpowered its opponent. Led by head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson, Seattle boasted the NFC's best record at 13-3, including a 7-1 mark at home as the roars of the team's passionate fans frequently registered on the Richter scale. The "Legion of Boom" defense led the league in turnovers while limiting opponents to a league-low 14.4 points per game. The Seahawks' formula for success continued in the postseason with wins over New Orleans and San Francisco -- the team's trip to the Super Bowl clinched by Richard Sherman's unforgettable end-zone deflection.

Packed with stunning action photography, stories and analysis from The News Tribune and The Olympian, "Super Hawks: The Seattle Seahawks' 2013 Championship Season" takes fans through the Seahawks' amazing journey, from the 29-3 blowout of the 49ers in the home opener to Marshawn Lynch's emergence as an elite running back to the confetti-covered celebration in New Jersey. This commemorative edition also includes in-depth profiles of Carroll, Wilson, Lynch, Sherman and more, accompanied by vivid color photographs every step along the way.

Excerpt: Regular Season

Game Date: Sept. 29, 2013

Location: Houston, Texas

Score: Seahawks 23, Texans 20 (OT)

For most of the day, the heart of Texas was a dark and hellish place for the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle trailed the Houston Texans by 17 points at halftime. An offensive line without three starters provided little resistance. The first half was abysmal for the Seahawks...

The Seahawks went home short that day after trailing by 20 points. They left Texas elated.

Richard Sherman's 58-yard interception return for a touchdown with 2 minutes, 40 seconds to play in the fourth quarter produced a stunning tie. Russell Wilson's legs and savvy put the Seahawks in a position to force overtime on a day where little worked for the offense.

Both helped Seattle trample road doubt and leave Reliant Stadium as 23-20 winners after a 45-yard overtime field goal by Steven Hauschka on Sunday.

The Seahawks advanced to 4-0 for the first time in franchise history after scoring 20 unanswered points to leave Houston with a win made of luck and grit.

In the Spirit of the Ancestors: Contemporary Northwest Coast Art in the Burke Museum

Edited by Robin Wright and Kathryn Bunn-Marcus (University of Washington Press, $45)

The blurb: This book of essays and art celebrates the vitality of contemporary Pacific Northwest Coast art by showcasing a selection of objects from the Burke Museum's collection of more than 2,400 late 20th- and early 21st-century Native American works.

Essays focus on contemporary art while exploring the important historical precedents on which so many artists rely for training and inspiration. Margaret Blackman reflects on building one of the largest collections of Northwest Coast serigraphs, and Joe David reminisces about his artistic journey through mask-making. Shaun Peterson, Lisa Telford and Evelyn Vanderhoop discuss the historical precedents for working in styles that were kept alive by only a few critical artists and are now making a comeback.

Excerpt: I am a Gawa Git'ans Git'anee Haida weaver, born in Ketchikan in 1957. I come from a long line of weavers, including my grandmother, mother and aunt. The knowledge of weaving has also been passed to my cousins, daughter and granddaughter. I learned traditional techniques of Haida basketry from my aunt, Delores Churchill, and the techniques of making Haida cedar garments from my cousin, Holly Churchill...

I had my first basic weaving lesson in 1992.

Weaving seemed to come naturally to me, and the next year I received a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission to apprentice in Haida basketry with my aunt Delores Churchill.

Our first lesson was to travel to Massett, British Columbia, and gather spruce roots -- the traditional weaving material of the Haida. For my next lessons my aunt would travel to Washington to stay with me for a week; each time I would count the days until her next visit. During her absence I would look at old photographs and books, so I could dream about what I wanted to learn at my next weaving lesson. This was up to Delores to decide. The books and photos would inspire me to have my weaving material prepared and ready to start weaving. I have been weaving ever since.

My cousin Holly Churchill was instrumental in reviving the tradition of making cedar clothing out of pounded cedar bark. Enjoying basketry so much, I knew the next step was to move to cedar clothing. I asked Holly if she would instruct me, and she agreed. I was awarded another grant from the Washington State Arts Commission in 1994 to apprentice in cedar clothing. During my trip to Massett in 1993, I had collected yew wood to make my cedar bark pounder. It is a piece of hard wood that is used to pound the bark to soften it for clothing. I made my pounder the way I thought it should look based on a description I read from Holly. I had read it wrong, though; my pounder was incorrect. Northwest Coast art scholar Bill Holm fixed my pounder and taught me how to pound bark the correct way. When I started to pound bark, I wet the bark and pounded it to a mush. The correct way is to pound it dry. If hit correctly, it layers and fluffs up rather than breaking down. I currently use cedar bark as my medium to create clothing, hats and baskets.

Compiled by Kathleen Macknicki, Anchorage Daily News