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Weaving Spotlight: KCET Weaving Community

KCET Weaving Community: How Native Peoples are Rediscovering Their Basketry Traditions


Basketry has been described as the pinnacle of Californian indigenous culture. But the
craftsmanship necessary to make these works of art requires much more than weaving
techniques. It requires a deep and sustained relationship with the environment. For centuries
Native peoples tended the land and used a variety of methods to shape plants to suit their
basketry needs from pruning, weeding, and coppicing to the the cyclical use of controlled
burning. Today, many of these techniques have been lost or suppressed and the ability to access
traditional gathering locations has been impeded by urban development and the restrictions of
private property. In this video, we explore how traditional gathering is practiced today and how
Native peoples are rediscovering their basketry traditions in Southern California.