The Beers Family in Traditional Siuslaw Regalia
Jesse Beers is the Cultural Stewardship Manager for the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Upmqua and Siuslaw Indians and an enrolled Siuslaw Tribal Member. Jesse’s work incorporates arts, heritage, humanities, and culture. When I contacted him about participating in this project, he credited his wife, Maree Beers, as being the artisan in the family. Maree does bead weaving in the Siuslaw tradition, creating detailed regalia for the family and other tribal members. He asked if we could create a family portrait at their home in Swisshome, and include their children Ramil and Zhade. Even though I’d not yet attempted a group of four in this medium, I was excited for the opportunity.
Maree shared with me some of the techniques she used to make Ramil and Zhade’s regalia. “I used a mix of natural materials (leather, pine nuts, dentalium shells, and sinew) and glass beads to create the traditional beaded collar and pine nut apron Zhade is wearing. I also made my collar and Ramil’s belt using the same bead weaving techniques. Bead weaving is an old art that is still very popular today, and I’m grateful to do the work and pass on the knowledge to my kids and other members of the tribe.”
I appreciate Jesse, Maree, Ramil and Zhade for their enthusiasm for this project, and for giving me the opportunity to work with their family and create a beautiful family portrait in the historic wet plate collodion tintype process.
You can learn more about some of Jesse’s work with The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, & Siuslaw Indians here:
Video: Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Restoration
Abundance StoryMap provided by the modern Tribal government of Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw to give voice to our stories and culture and enrich public school curriculum in Oregon