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Old Massett, British Columbia, 1890
, 1984
Biography synopsis
Haida artist Selina Peratrovich (Selena/Selina Adams Harris) was born in Old Massett (also known as Haida Village), Queen Charlotte Islands in Northern British Columbia in 1890 (some sources state 1887or 1889). Peratrovich grew up in Howkan, Alaska, but later moved to Ketchikan, Alaska. At the age of 25, Peratrovich learned weaving by observing her mother-in-law, Elizabeth Adams. Although she spent much of her life in Alaska, Peratrovich visited Haida Gwaii several times a year, where she would harvest the materials necessary for basket weaving. She was one of the last weavers who had knowledge of producing traditional Haida spruce root baskets and hats. The art was almost lost until Peratrovich passed on her craft; she is recognized for sustaining and promoting Haida cultural heritage. Peratrovich is the mother and grandmother of noted artists Delores Churchill, Isabel Rorick and Elizabeth Vanderhoop.
Media used
Basket making
File & Archive locations
Library and Archives Canada, ON - Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana
Royal British Columbia Museum

Writings about
Talking Alaska: The Priceless Heritage of Alaska's Native Languages, Parts 3-4. Alaska: Alaska Native Language Centre, (1978-1982)
"Entwined with Life: Native American Basketry." Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture 2001
"Index: Arts, Justice, Social." Canadian Press NewsWire (4 Oct. 2006)
"Twentieth Anniversary Issue." American Indian Art Magazine 21.1 (Winter 1995): 39-99
Arnold, Grant et al. Topographies: Aspects of Recent B.C. Art. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1996
Beaumont, Marie; Piper, Debbie. "Alaska Women in History Poster: Teacher's Guide." Celebrating Alaskan Women in the Arts & Women's History Month. Juneau, Alaska: Alaska State Department of Education, 1988
Busby, Sharon. Spruce Root Basketry of the Haida and Tlingit. Seattle: Marquand Books, 2003
Consortium for Pacific Arts and Cultures. Pacific Basket Makers, A Living Tradition: Catalog of the 1981 Pacific Basketmaker's Symposium and Exhibition. Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Alaska Museum, 1983
Dangel, Helen Dianne. A Celebration of Weavers: Catalog of Weavers and Baskets of the Doris Borhauer Basket Collection, Sitka, Alaska. Virginia Beach, Virginia: Donning Co. Publishers, 2006
Demmert, Jane. "Haida Basket Weavers: Selina Peratrovich and Delores Churchill." Alaska Native News 2.3 (1984): 32-33
Enrico, John & Stuart, Wendy Bross. Northern Haida Songs. University of Nebraska Press, 1996
Fang, Madeleine W.; Binder, Marilyn R.; Haskell, Susan H. A Photographic Guide to the Ethnographic North American Indian Basket Collection, Volume 1. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 1990
Henrikson, S. "Selina Peratrovich (1890-1984)." American Indian Art Magazine 21.1 (Winter 1995): 88-89
Jessup, Lynda; Bagg, Shannon. On Aboriginal Representation in the Gallery. Hull, Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2002
Jonaitis, Aldona. Art of the Northwest Coast. Seattle: University of Washington, 2006
Thom, Ian M. Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2009
Toelken, Barre. The Anguish of Snails: Native American Folklore in the West. Utah State University Press, 2003
Vancouver Art Gallery. Raven Travelling: Two Centuries of Haida Art. Vancouver: 2006

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