Annie May Peterson-Lewis
Medium: Basket weaving, Beading (Baskets, cultural bands and headdresses)
Sugpiaq Artist, Annie May Peterson-Lewis was born in her parent’s home in Old Harbor, Alaska. Her parents, Victor and Martha raised their six children in the village of Old Harbor. Annie May has taken great pride in participating in her Alutiiq cultural revival.
She feels her great grandmother, Fedosia would be happy to know basketweaving skills were being passed on to her descendents. Although her ancestors were discouraged from passing on the Alutiiq culture, Annie May is certain they are present in spirit and proud to see the Alutiiq Cultural heritage is in revival and being taught to the world.
Alutiiq women, like her grandmothers, great grandmothers, and Alutiiq ancestors would make baskets out of sea grass. The woven baskets would be used for gathering and carrying plants and other household items.
In the Alutiiq communities, berry picking was a task for women and children and done during the summer to fall months. Woven baskets and berries are the inspiration in Annie May’s artwork: woven baskets of beaded salmonberries and blueberries in necklaces, earrings and pins. When she was growing up in the village of Old Harbor, her father would take the family out on a sea boat to a berrypicking site and Annie May would join her mother and sisters in berry picking. Of course, her father had to stay nearby while he was collecting driftwood, to keep watch for another group interested in gathering the berries, the bears.
Artist Contact Information
P.O. Box 86
Kodiak, AK 99615