Natalie Kirk (Warm Springs) makes twined root bags or wapas. Traditionally worn at their waists, women use wapas when gathering roots. Kirk sells her work at The Museum At Warm Springs, where she learned to weave from Warm Springs traditional weaver, Eraina Palmer.
Natalie Kirk weaves wapas, twined root bags or baskets. In 1997, Eraina Palmer, master basket maker, taught Kirk to twine when the women worked together at the Warm Springs Museum. Traditionally, women hang wapas from their waists to provide an easily accessible container for the roots they gather in the high desert. Kirk makes wapas in a variety of sizes and colors for sale at the museum where she has worked since 1997. She also makes a special kind of wapas to hold babies’ umbilical cords. Women from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs bring Kirk their babies’ cords, and she weaves custom-made bags that traditionally hang from cradleboards. Kirk also twines wapas for traditional food gatherers and Tribal fundraisers as well as for collectors.