Lydia Vassar teaching Adrian Salgado how to split juncus

The 2011 Nex’wetem Basketweaving Summer Gathering was hosted by the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Culture Committee on July 22-24 in Palm Springs, CA. Lydia Vassar and Tangie Bogner taught several really enthusiastic students how to split juncus and to create open-weave juncus baskets.

Check out WaterTurtleWeaver Luiseño Artist Lydia Vassar’s website.

Thanks to Lorene Sisquoc, co-founder of Nex’wetem, for organizing the gathering; Sean Milanovich, Cultural Specialist with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, for hosting the event; and Lydia for inviting me to accompany her to the gathering.

Lydia Vassar demonstrating how to start an open-weave juncus basket

Lydia Vassar's demo table of her juncus baskets

One of the plants that I gather is Juncus textilis, a round reed that grows in riparian areas, sandy stream beds gone dry, on the side of creeks and under oaks or willow. Juncus is used fresh for gathering baskets or dried, split and coiled into baskets used for storage, winnowing, cooking or gathering. —from Lydia’s website

Young Cahuilla tribal member learning open-weave juncus basketry

Tangie Bogner helping Daniel Salgado with the start of his open-weave juncus basket

Another talented student in Tangie and Lydia's class with her open-weave juncus basket

Daniel Salgado finishing off the edge of his open-weave juncus basket

Basket weaving teacher Rose Ann Hamilton (R), Adona Modesto-Salgado (L), and another student with their coiled basketry starts

Completed juncus basket

Larger versions of the above images can be seen on Flickr here.

Posted by deborah small

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