One of the most impressive things about Sophie Allison was her weaving. I feel, in her own right, she was keeping a vanishing tradition, with lots of history in Nevada, alive. I visited her one afternoon while she was preparing willows for weaving. She gathered the willows from along creeks. The Currant Creek had a large patch of willows and this was a favorite spot for gathering. She would keep the willows in water until she was ready for them. She would take a willow form the water, and then hold it in her mouth. With her fingers she would peel the bark away. In this manner she prepared the willows for weaving. Sophie was adept at making cradle boards. They had a different design on the hood for boys and girls.
This is a skill that was important to the original Shoshone. I don't know who is carrying on this tradition now that Sophie is gone.
|Sophie in the middle and Irene on the right|