Linda Yamane (Seaside) collaborating with The Big Sur Land Trust (Monterey)
Award: $40,000 Traditional Arts Grant awarded in 2009
First presented: Ribbon cutting ceremony for the Lands End Lookout Visitor Center in San Francisco in April 2012
California Indian basketweaver Linda Yamane collaborated with The Big Sur Land Trust to create a ceremonial (presentation) Ohlone basket—the first of its kind to be created in 250 years—and a short video, “Weaving at the Edge of the World,” documenting the project. The Land Trust writes that the project provided, “a new opportunity to tell stories of the land, from ancestral and historical perspectives, generated by a local artist who relies on diverse native ecosystems for her materials.” The basket is coiled, with a three-willow foundation, wrapped with sedge weaving material; and it incorporates a pattern marked by red feathers and handmade shell beads. The weaver’s partnership with the Land Trust enhanced her access to wonderful sedge weaving material near her ancestral village.
Lead artist Linda Yamane is a descendant of the Rumsien Ohlone, the native people of the Monterey area. An accomplished California Indian basketweaver, she has been instrumental to bringing back the tradition of Ohlone basketweaving from the brink of extinction. The Big Sur Land Trust is committed to pursuing land and water conservation work that strengthens communities and inspires a stewardship ethic for Monterey County.
The Land Trust anticipated showcasing the basket in a Carmel River visitor’s center, but that was not possible due to shifts in negotiations with the owner of the site. However, the basket was presented to the public at a number of events and venues, including a trail blessing at the Carmel River South Bank Trail; and through numerous weaving demonstrations at community events. Yamane writes that, for her, one of the most meaningful aspects of the project was the basket’s potential to inspire other California Indian weavers.