BASKET WEAVING, JEWELRY Janie grew up in the Houma Indian community of Bayou DuLarge, LA and still lives there today. Her parents were the late John and Mary Verret both traditional Houma Indian artists. Janie is a well -known Houma artist, basket weaver and creates beautiful jewelry using the scales of the Alligator Garfish. Janie is responsible for reintroducing the Houma Half-hitch method of basket weaving to her tribe…the United Houma Nation. She learned this method from the late Richard Conn, former Chief Curator of Native Arts, at the Denver Museum of Art. The Houma tribe is the only tribe in the nation that practices this technique. In keeping with traditions she has passed on this basketry knowledge to her three daughters and granddaughters and currently teaches others in her tribal community. Janie also lectures on how the Houmas used herbal medicine. Janie comes from a long line of traditional healers or medicine women/men from both sides of her family. Janie is a tribal and community advocate. Janie is a Master Artist of Louisiana and has received the United Houma Nation Cultural Preservation award and the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folk life Fellowship award. Janie presents her work at various venues including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and will be presenting her Alligator Garfish scale work at the Living Earth Festival in Washington, DC at the Smithsonian mall of American Indian Museum. Janie is also known for her cooking talents and has appeared on Chef John Folse’s gathering of the seven nations and his cooking show on the PBS stations and also with Loretta Olden’s Seasoned With Spirit cooking show.
Janie has been serving on the United Houma Nation Tribal Council since 2008 representing the Lower Dulac, LA and lower Bayou Dularge, LA communities.
Janie has been married to William Luster for over 40 years and together they have five children…Angela, Adilia, Ann, William “Louie” and Zebadiah “Zeb” Luster.