Evelyn Douglas

Evelyn Douglas is among the most renowned grass weavers from southwest Alaska specializing in the coiled weaving technique. She has been making coiled grass baskets for more than 30 years and is celebrated for her mastery of technique and for her unique patterns.

Evelyn was born July 4, 1947 in the Yup'ik village of Hooper Bay. Her parents, Jonathan Johnson and Flora Green, sent her to Oregon for school when she was 16. Quite homesick, she returned home after just one year. Upon her return to Hooper Bay, her mother and other relatives showed her how to weave baskets. Evelyn describes her first attempt at a basket as a “sloppy mess”. She moved to Bethel in her late twenties and began perfecting her style of tightly woven baskets with unique geometric patterns.

Once Evelyn moved to Anchorage, she became widely recognized for her outstanding weaving. In 1987, she entered a basket titled “Bering Sea Memories” in the 16th Annual Earth, Fire, and Fiber Exhibit at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, winning one of five first place awards. She has received this honor twice. And, in 1992, she participated as a guest artist at the Alaska Native Heritage Festival also at the Anchorage Museum.

Because of an automobile accident that left her with neck pain, her weaving technique is less intricate, but still of the highest quality. And her relatives assist her in gathering quality grass from the Yukon-Kuskokim Delta for her baskets.

Geometric Design Lidded Basket and Plate
Geometric Design Lidded Basket and Plate by Evelyn Douglas