Pomo basket weaver unravels tribal history
The art of basket weaving is at the heart of Pomo culture. Utilizing the materials of their Northern California homeland – twined grasses and willows, feathers and shell beads –the Pomo created distinctive ceremonial gift baskets, hoppers for grinding, cone-shaped “burden baskets” for carrying large loads and more. They all make up the practical artistry of the Pomo.
On Thursday, Oct. 28, Sonoma Petaluma Parks will present “A Basket Weaver’s Journey,” a very personal presentation focused on the cultural continuity of basketry from expert basket weaver Clint McKay. He is an enrolled member of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo and Wappo Indians, brought up in the traditional ways of his people. He learned the art of Pomo basket weaving under the tutelage of his aunts, Laura Somersal and Mabel McKay, and others.
“This is a journey that started at our creation, continues today, and must be carried on to future generations,” McKay wrote in the event announcement. He promises that “we travel across generations to discuss the importance of ancient wisdom and how critical it is for us as humans to live in harmony with our natural world and take our place within it to help keep it in balance.“