• WIIGW WiigwaashassustainedAnishinaabecommuni- ties for a very long time. Serving as a vessel to carry Anishinaabe across both smooth and rough waters, to cooking and providing shelter. The simple use of wiigwaas is becoming increasingly popular in main stream art shows and festivals. Anishinaabeg have long since recognized its utilitarian qualities and have incorporated useful everyday tools into jaw dropping pieces of art. ForguyslikePatKruse,workingwithwiigwaas isn’t just an art form, it’s a way of life. Pat Kruse is a Red Cliff tribal member residing on the Mille Lacs reservation in northern Minnesota. He has dedicated his entire life to learning the trades of our ancestors. “I’vebeenworkingonbasketssinceIwasakid, and have always tried to incorporate Anishinaabe florals into my work,” he says as he holds a few new creations. “I’m starting to try more quillwork with my baskets and take things to the next level in my projects.” Ojibwe quillwork, another old practice that predates beadwork, could be used to adorn clothing and other articles of use. Quills could be dyed vari- ous colors from different plants and earth materials. Today it’s seeing a revival as people begin to recover the practice. Kruse and his son Gage not only utilize birch- bark work as a means to bond, but they also bring a competitive edge to the game. Both Pat and Gauge enter their pieces of work into various art competi- tions throughout the Country. It’s not uncommon for Wiigwaas: Making the b By Dylan Jennings, Staff Writer Pat Kruse (upper) displays a basket he created utilizing the layered birch bark method. Gage Kruse (right) shows a basket decorated with dyed quills creating floral designs into the basket. (D. Jennings photos.) Father and son crafters created this wiigwaas baseball cap (left). (COR photo) MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 10 One of many portraits that the Kruse duo have created utilizing the layered birch bark effect. Most if not all of the materials utilized are harvested within the ceded territory. (D. Jennings photo) Recently, quillwork on birchbark has become a new focus for Pat and Gage Kruse. Dying quills and creating floral works of art can take hours of tedious crafting. (D. Jennings photo)