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