Hello, my name is Todd DeVries and my Haida name is “ith kil gaa tsiij git’anee” and “gannyaa” designate, of the Tsiij Git’Anee Eagle Clan (family) of the Haida Nation on Haida Gwaii. Some of my clans crest’s include the Eagle (guud), Hummingbird (dak dak digaa) & Skate.
My mother is Shirley Tranter, i am Grandson of Nonni Molly Yorke, and great-grandson of Nonni Mary Louisa Dixon. My father and his parents are of Russian decent.
I weave using western red cedar bark and use traditional techniques to create works of northwest coast art such as traditional and contemporary hats, baskets, place mats, wrist bands, head bands, water bottle holders, and more.
How’aa for your visit!
My Weaving Biography / History
In 1999 while staying at a friends cabin, I had a unique experience much like a vision. The evening was drawing to a close and it was about time I get the fire started in the wood stove and to cook something. I looked out the picture window of the living room expecting to see the vegetable garden plot and cedar trees around it, instead the window appeared as a silvery painting. The moon was shining full, through a forest of cedar trees making the whole scene silvery. An old woman on a forked path, with a staff in her right hand, her silver hair flowing all around her. I was so surprised and awed. I even stuck my head out the door to look outside for the image. I asked her what her name was, with no reply, yet her image didn’t fade. So I decided to stay quiet, bowed my head for a moment, but when I looked up, her image and the forest faded, showing only the vegetable garden.
Not yet knowing then what this vision meant, I forgot about it until after the pole raising celebration in 2001 at the Heritage Museum in Skidegate. A Haida woman encourage me to find out the meaning of the vision, and asked me to get bark. Since then, I have been weaving cedar bark hats and baskets. In 2005 after the Island Spirit Rising Logging Protest on Haida Gwaii, I learned the traditional Haida twill weaving technique from Sherri Dick, of Old Massett, Haida Gwaii and some additional techniques from Holly Churchill of Ketchikan, Alaska in 2010.
Today, I mainly weave various size baskets, bracelets, mats, traditional Haida hats, contemporary hats. I am open to weaving commission and custom orders.
Anatomy of a Hat
The makings of the finest traditional and contemporary Haida Hats.
To a hatter, this is the crowning showpiece. On the top and side are the creases or indentations and their varieties are almost limitless.
The Cedar Bark
Choose from Western Red Cedar, or Yellow Cedar Bark. We carefully, sustainably harvest the bark during the best time of the year, around last week of May to the first week of July. Red Cedar bark gives the hat a “memory” to keep its shape in all kinds of weather. see more The Cedar Tree
As with the crown, the variety of brim styles, make your hat unique. See more info on Hat Care
If the brim is less than 2″, it’s called a stingy, and was popular in the 60′s. A 2″ brim or less is the fedora hat that Frank Sinatra is known for. A 2.5″ brim is the most common in the 40s, like the one Bogart wore. If you’re getting a 3″ brim, that’s huge, and is more like a zoot suit type fedora hat.
Hatbands fit around the “vamp” of the hat and are made from braided cedar bark. Most hats don’t have hatbands, but can be added for decoration.
The Chin Straps
Generally not necessary in most style of hats, this accessory is useful on windy days, or even dancing. Made from leather, or cedar bark rope.
The Head band
Ours is made of Red Cedar bark for strength, made with 5 pieces of 1/4″ strands of bark braided together and fits inside traditional Haida hats.
If you can give us an accurate measurement of your head circumference (about 1/4″ above your ears), we can incorporate that as we build your hat in order for us to make it comfortable. The BEST bet, of course, is to give us a call or meet up to make a perfect custom
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Text messages: 6048090209
or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org