Gwich'in artist uses 3-D printing to reproduce ancient artifacts
Internship at the Smithsonian Institution offers a chance to reclaim the past
A Gwich'in artist is using cutting-edge technology to breathe new life into ancient artifacts.
Tania Larsson is scanning Gwich'in artifacts at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and using those scans to reproduce the artifacts using 3-D printing.
Larsson, who grew up in Europe but has roots in the Mackenzie Delta through the Firth family, has used the new printing technology to create objects such as her porcupine-inspired printed handbag.
The internship at the prestigious museum and research facility, which Larsson has just completed, enabled her to see ancestral artifacts such as tools and clothing. It's an experience she called life-changing.
"Sometimes it's really hard to deal with the amount of cultural loss we've experienced.
"And it makes me feel really good to know that our belongings are being treated so well and taken care of. And just being able to hold them and see them in real life was very impactful," said Larsson, who is now a student at the Institute of American Indian art in Santa Fe, N.M.