Hearst Museum Presents Weaving Language: New Reflections on Corn Husk Bags

Weaving Language
Readings of new work in Ni:mi:pu: (Nez Perce) and English, inspired by the tradition of corn husk bag weaving amongst Plateau peoples.


About this Event

This event is presented alongside the Hearst Museum’s current online exhibit, Cloth that Stretches: Weaving Community Across Time and Space, which explores textiles as a site of identity formation and cultural resilience. At a time when people are divided by the many challenges facing our communities today – a pandemic, racial injustice, climate change – this program offers a rare chance to build community through the tangible (objects in the Hearst Museum’s collection) and the sometimes intangible (language and story) and inspire audiences to interpret the world around them through creative and intersectional approaches.

Beth Piatote, author and Associate Professor of Native American Studies at UC Berkeley, is an active member of a recently formed Ni:mi:pu: (Nez Perce) group that employs creative writing as a means of language revitalization. This program will support the production and presentation of new work with a specific focus on the tradition of corn husk bag weaving by Nez Perce and other Plateau peoples. In addition to readings of these new pieces of writing, this event will feature a cultural resources representative speaking specifically to the process, tradition, and iconography of corn husk bags. UNESCO has recognized the urgency of Indigenous language revitalization around the globe, and declared 2022-32 the Decade of Indigenous Languages, making this a timely moment for such a program.

The Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley stewards a collection of corn husk bags which have not yet been the subject of robust research or creative response. This is a unique opportunity to bring together UC Berkeley faculty, creative writers, and cultural experts to produce new research and writing, and collaboratively share the results with a wide, virtual audience. The co-sponsorship of this event by multiple units across campus speaks to this event’s potential for reaching diverse audiences and serving as a means to build interdisciplinary bridges.

Register for this event



Beth Piatote

Phillip E. Cash Cash

Angel Sobotta

Sarah Hennessey

Julian Ankeny

Kellen Lewis

Kevin Peters

Ines Hernandez-Avila

Jenny Williams


Co-sponsoring departments/units:

Native American Studies



Joseph A. Myers Center


Creative Writing




If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) to fully participate in this event, please contact pahma-programs@berkeley.edu with as much advance notice as possible and at least 7-10 days in advance of the event. This event may be available as a recording with captioning at a later date.