|Birth: ||Mar. 21, 1914|
|Death: ||Jan. 2, 2008|
Renowned basket-weaver Hazel Pete has died at her home on the Chehalis Reservation near this Southwest Washington town. Pete, who died Thursday, was 88.
Celebrated both as an artist and teacher of traditional basket-weaving, Pete was dedicated to her craft and other expressions of Indian heritage.
"The basket is a document," she said in a 1998 interview. "It's a primary source of history in our culture."
She received a Governor's Arts and Heritage Award from the Washington Arts Commission in 2001. Her image is included in the Clocktower Project at Centralia Community College, where her daughter Trudy Marcellay of Oakville serves on the board of trustees.
Karen Reed, a Puyallup-Chinook basket-weaver, recalled Pete's "indomitable" spirit Friday.
"She always said, 'I make two baskets every day,'" Reed said. "She always wove, she always kept working, she was always up for learning new things."
"Wherever she went, it was to teach and share," Reed said.
A fifth-generation Chehalis basket weaver, Pete passed on the tradition to two generations of her family. As recently as last year, she was leading weaving classes with her daughters, said grandson Chris Richardson.
"People recognized her work as art, but for her, it was just as much a living as it was art," he said.
Pete was born March 21, 1914, in a one-room house near the confluence of the Chehalis and Black rivers. Her father was a farmer and logger who also worked for the Chehalis Tribal Police. Her mother was a member of the vanished Kwalhioqua tribe.
As a 4-year-old, Pete attended a government day school on the Chehalis reservation. She later enrolled in a boarding school on the Tulalip reservation and went on to graduate from Chemawa Indian High School in Salem, Ore., in 1932.
Her artistic talents were recognized when she was in high school, and she was urged to study Indian arts and crafts at a special school in Santa Fe, N.M., now known as the Institute of American Indian Arts..
She taught arts and crafts at Indian schools in Oregon, California and Nevada.
Pete held degrees from The Evergreen State College in Olympia and the University of Washington.
Other surviving children are Janet Camp of Enid, Okla.; Curtis and Donna DuPuis of Oakville; Dave DuPuis of Rochester; Yvonne Peterson of Skokomish; and Henrietta Boyd of Rochester.
Chehalis Tribal Cemetery (Oakville)
Grays Harbor County
Created by: Mary V. [Johnson] Edgar
Record added: Sep 17, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 58830353