Martha George

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Martha George
Chairperson of the Suquamish tribe from the late 1920s to the early 1940s leader
Personal details
BornApril 28, 1892
Sheridan, Washington
DiedJanuary 7, 1987
Spouse(s)Bennie George, of the Klallam
RelationsChief Seattle; grandson, Suquamish Chairman Bennie J. Armstrong [1]
ChildrenTen children, including Corinne Dawn (George) Rock, b. 1931 [2]
Nickname(s)Martha Purser

Martha George (April 28, 1892 – January 7, 1987) was repeatedly elected chairperson of the Suquamish tribe, serving from the late 1920s to the early 1940s. She was a descendant of Chief Seattle in present-day Washington state, she founded the Small Tribes Organization of Western Washington.[3]

George was a famous basketweaver, who taught master weaver Peg Deam.

Deam recounted a story of when she was a little girl and asked George to take her to gather bark for a cedar dress. George laughed - winter is not the time for gathering - and took her in the spring.[4]

Her collection of Salish baskets is displayed in the Suquamish Museum.[5]


"They took what they needed and that's all. There's nothing wasted. That's quite important among the Indians: that you should respect the earth."[6]

—Martha George, in the video documentary Come Forth Laughing


  1. ^ Evans, Heidi G. (1998-03-24). "Suquamish Chairman: Confronting the needs of a tribe". Kitsap Sun. Archived from the original on 2013-06-29. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  2. ^ "Corinne Dawn Rock, 81". Kitsap Sun. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-06-29. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  3. ^ "Notable Native American Women". Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  4. ^ "Northwest tribes trade weaving skills at Suquamish". North Kitsap Herald. 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  5. ^ Melinda West. "New Suquamish Museum". West Gardens Basketry. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  6. ^ "Ethnobotanical Garden - Sustainability". Seattle University, College of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2013-04-20.