California native basketweaver Linda Yamane will create two Ohlone twined work baskets—a pechump tiprin that sits on a stone mortar for acorn preparation, and xaapsh, a utilitarian twined container. Each basket connects very specifically to her Rumsien Ohlone heritage and her homeland in Carmel Valley.
Yamane is working with The Santa Lucia Conservancy, whose office and property are adjacent to her ancestral village of Tucutnut, along the bank of the Carmel River. That land includes riparian habitat in which Ohlone basketry plants grow. Access to plant materials needed for native basketry has long been a stumbling block for contemporary California Indian basketweavers, and the Conservancy’s plant ecologist is working closely with Yamane to manage sedge, bracken fern, and other needed materials by removing invasive plants. He also will help her to track down the asphaltum seepage needed to finish the baskets. Together they will develop Web-based educational materials to teach about Ohlone traditional uses of native plants. At the project’s culmination, the collaborators will put the baskets to work—harvesting and preparing acorns for a cooked acorn meal.
Linda Yamane is a Rumsien Ohlone artist, basketweaver, singer, and tribal scholar who traces her ancestry to the native people of the Monterey area. She is active in reviving Rumsien language, song, folklore, basketry, and other traditions that were once thought lost.
The Santa Lucia Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust incorporated in 1995 to conserve the ecological integrity of the protected lands within the Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel, California, actively manages 18,000 acres of natural lands within the Preserve, conducts and promotes ecological research, and offers free environmental education programs.