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August 30, 2016

Miwok/Paiute Basketweaving Mono Lake

By Debra Jurey

Miwok/Paiute Basketweaving Mono Lake

Hello everyone,

Just back from an 8-hour drive from Mono Lake where my dream of basket weaving alongside native Americans, or the "first people" came true and was a remarkable experience.

Here is picture of me with Lucy Parker, daughter of Julia, Who-We-Na (dove of peace) who helped me a Lot! Weaving with seasoned willow quite the challenge. She is daughter of Julia who is married to the last living Ahwahneeche Yosemite born Indian (Ralph) who joined us as well.

Julia and granddaughter Ursula, Minenah, or beautiful meadow, are dancing in the photo. Four generations of family members were there to help, Julia, Lucy, Ursula and the teen, Naomi. Julia, the matriarch did basket demos in Yosemite Valley for 60 years. She learned Basketweaving from her husband’s grandmother, Lucy Telles, who wove the giant basket on display at the Yosemite Indian museum. Ursula told me it took 4 years to make. An amazing piece, and a " must see" if you haven't.

12 of us participated, many biologists, nurses, aerospace engineer, analytical chemist, and me, artist!!😍

We all agreed that family dynamics was so impressive. Very tight knit family oriented. And Julia, or grandma, so fun loving in spite of difficult life as a child when gov took her and siblings off the Rez and put them in foster care.

Loved every moment, an experience I will cherish the rest of my life. The family danced, (got us involved) played games, and as we all gathered in a circle, said a prayer before and after the day's beginning and end. Our baskets after 3 days of challenging work shown here.
Debra

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