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Pam outdusis Cunningham


Pam outdusis Cunningham, Penobscot basketmaker was raised on Oak Hill, Penobscot Nation, Indian Island, Maine. She was given her Penobscot name, outdusis (Little Pathway) when as a young child she made a path from her home to a friend's by walking back and forth between their homes all day. She lives within view of the Penobscot River and spends her time, basketmaking, raising her two sons and volunteering in several organizations. She teaches crafts at the Penobscot senior center, she teaches basketmaking to Penobscot youth, she has volunteered for Hospice and Habitat for Humanity.

Pam outdusis Cunningham was one of the very few young basketmakers working in the 1990's. At that time most thought Maine Indian basketry to be a dying art. Pam's successes, enthusiasm and willingness to teach and share her talents went a long way to keeping this art alive, ensuring a younger generation would learn basketry and to making Maine Indian basketry the respected craft it now is.

Pam has always woven technically excellent baskets, enjoyed reproducing older basket forms as well as trying new shapes, colors and styles of her own inventions.
Pam openly speaks of her spirituality and several of her favorite basket forms such as her honor baskets have a spiritual component.

TOP PHOTO: Pam Cunningham - with a birch bark pack basket made by her mother, ssipsis (who was named after her grandmother)

BOTTOM PHOTO: Pam's great-grandmother, ssipsis selling her baskets in NH in the 1920's