Native American weavers don’t just make baskets, they help create community and preserve traditions that are millennia old. A demonstration and discussion with distinguished artists at UC Santa Barbara will focus on the role of the cultural art form in their communities.
“Community Basketweaving,” Thursday, May 4, at 3 p.m. in the campus’s McCune Conference Room in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, will feature three Native American artists: Jennifer Bates of the Central Sierra Mewok, who has been weaving for four decades; Lois Bohna of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, a cultural educator and weaver; and Linda Yamane, a Rumsen Ohlone basket weaver of 30 years.
The demonstration is part of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center’s (IHC) yearlong public events series, Community Matters. It is free and open to the public.
Kaitlin Brown, an archaeology Ph.D. candidate in UCSB’s Department of Anthropology, said the inspiration for the event came while researching a group of basket weavers who wove together after the Mission period.
“I was interested to see what these women were thinking,” Brown said. “What can these baskets say about the individual artists that wove them? And I wanted to know modern basket weavers’ take on weaving in the community in the present day.”
“We are delighted to present this opportunity to learn how the living practice of the ancient art of basket weaving helps sustain, enrich and lend continuity to Native American communities and traditions,” said Susan Derwin, director of the IHC.