Interwoven: Native California Basketry Arts

Interwoven - Native California Basketry Arts from the Missions Forward

Interwoven baskets

Drawn primarily from mission collections, Interwoven presents over 50 baskets created by Native American Californians, including the world-renowned Chumash and Pomo weavers. With a focus on baskets made during the Mission era (1769-1830s) to the early 20th century, Interwoven includes functional baskets such as parching trays and cradleboards as well as baskets made exclusively for trade with Europeans, all demonstrating exemplary basketry arts.

This remarkable collection represents numerous tribal traditions and reveals the complex artistic sensibilities, inventiveness and ingenuity of Native weavers working with natural materials. Baskets tell a remarkable story of cultural continuity and survival despite conquest, environmental interruptions, suppressive policies and huge population loss. The weavers’ knowledge of the environment and their exemplary artistry have been passed from generation to generation despite these historic and cultural intrusions.

While the original creations served a vast variety of utilitarian and religious purposes, adaptation over time has included new uses and recognition of Native American weavers as artists whose works are highly sought by collectors. After a decline in production during the 19th and 20th centuries, current basket weavers have revived the art form by pursuing both traditional and innovative basketry arts. These artworks are a testament to the weavers’ strong tie to the land and ingenious and artistic uses of the environment to build a lasting and valuable cultural legacy.

— Curator Kristina Foss (Muskogee), Professor of Native American Studies,
Santa Barbara City College

Photo credit: Ruben G. Mendoza

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Events Calendar

Opening Celebration

Friday, Aug. 28, 4-6 p.m. Including an Ohlone blessing with Andrew Galvan and Vincent Medina, weaving demonstrations by Edward Willie (Pomo/Wailaki/Wintu), Linda Yamane (Rumsien Ohlone) and Kathy Wallace (Karuk, Yurok, Hoopa Valley) and a reception.

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Interwoven: Catholics and Native Americans in Conversation about Missions, past, present and future

Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2:15-3:30 p.m., McLaren Complex. A conversation about the canonization of Fr. Junipero Serra, founder of the California Missions, from two differing points of view. Speakers: Andy Galvan (Ohlone), Curator, Mission Dolores and Vince Medina (Ohlone), Co-curator, Mission Dolores and Outreach Coordinator, News from Native California, Heyday Books, moderated by Fr. Thomas Lucas, SJ, Rector, Seattle University. Presented in conjunction with the Lane Center’s Vatican II Conference, co-sponsored by the Jesuit Foundation

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Pop-Up + Demonstration: Mission Santa Cruz in 3-D

Monday, Oct. 5, 12-1 p.m., Thacher Gallery. Students and faculty from the Architecture and Community Design program present recent high-tech scans of Mission Santa Cruz and then demonstrate this technology in the gallery. Co-sponsored by the Department of Art + Architecture.

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NAGPRA at 25: Reflections on Accomplishments, Challenges and Future Directions of the Native American Graves Protections and Repatriation Act

Tuesday, Oct. 13, 1-3:30 p.m. Featuring Hector “Lalo” Franco, Director of the Cultural and Historical Preservation Department, Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi-Yokut Tribe; Cristina Gonzales, Assistant Museum Director/Registrar, Table Mountain Rancheria; and Paulette Hennum, Museum Curator III/Former NAGPRA Coordinator, Cultural Resources Division, California State Parks. Presented by the MA in Museum Studies.

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Carrying Culture: A Conversation About Preserving Native American Heritage

Wednesday, October 14, 2-3:45 p.m., McLaren 252, followed by a reception. A panel discussion featuring Nicole Lim, Director, California Indian Museum and Cultural Center; L. Frank Manriquez, Artist, Tribal Scholar, Community Activist; Vincent Medina, Assistant Curator, Mission Dolores; and Ann Marie Sayers, Founder and Director, Costanoan Indian Research Center, Inc. Presented by the Museum Studies Graduate Association

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