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Culture Days will return September 20 – October 13, 2024.

Indigenous: How To Weave a Cedar Bark Cuff (Bracelet)


Craft Fashion & costumes Fibre & textile arts History & heritage Indigenous
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This activity runs the duration of Culture Days.


City of Surrey, BC



Offered in English.


Cedar is a well-known symbol of the Northwest Coast. For thousands of years, coastal First Nations in British Columbia have versatile wood in many aspects of their lives. Not only is cedar a key natural resource in the production of material goods, but the tree also plays an integral role in the spiritual beliefs and ceremonial life of coastal First Nations.

Cedar is an ideal material for protection, and use of it in garments can be traced back to many First Nations that still reside in present-day British Columbia. When cedar becomes wet it expands and creates a waterproof seal. This is particularly helpful in the frequently damp climate of the Canadian west coast.


-red inner cedar bark

-tabletop leather lace cutter

-jerry stripper


-needle and thread (optional)

-button or bead (optional)


Step 1

Harvest red inner cedar bark off a live tree in the spring. Let it dry for one year in a cool dry place.

Step 2

Soak raw cedar bark for approximately three hours

Step 3

Process the cedar using a tabletop leather lace cutter (Jerry Stripper), cutting it into strips.

Step 4

Soak processed cedar for about 20 minutes in cool water. After soaking, you should be able to cut it with scissors. Keep the cedar moist while weaving.

Step 5

Prepare two strips of cedar to use to make the cuff. The first strip should be approximately 22 inches long. Split it in half about 10 inches down the strip. The second strip should be ½ inch wide and about 1 metre long.

Step 6

Roll the end of the first strip to form a circle that can fit over your hand. Clip it with a clothespin.

Step 7

Weave the second strip through the circle and tighten. Fold the bark over the edge of the circle and through the circle on the next row.

Step 8

Make a checkerboard weave by alternating over and under for each row.

Step 9

When the end is reached, thread the second strip inside the circle under the first fold and trim. Weave the ends into the first row, then tighten and trim.

Step 10 (optional)

While the cedar is still wet, you can add a button or beads using a needle and thread.

Artist: Patti Williams

Be sure to post your results on social media using the hashtag #SurreyFusion and tag @surreybcevents.


City of Surrey

The City of Surrey's Special Events team organizes four major special events annually: Party for the Planet, Surrey Canada Day, Surrey Fusion Festival and the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival. Surrey Fusion Festival brings together over 80,000 people annually to celebrate food, music, and culture.


This event is part of a hub:

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