July 18, 2012
The past two and a half years of Linda Yamane's life have been dedicated to the creation of two feather-and-olivella-bead Ohlone baskets.
One, supported by a grant from the Creative Work Fund and completed in May, is slated for temporary exhibit at the planned Big Sur Land Trust visitor center in Carmel Valley.
Yamane finally completed the other (pictured above) on July 8, and is delivering it to the Oakland Museum—which commissioned the craft—today.
The museum is holding a special event to unveil the basket this Saturday, July 28, and is offering free admission. From 1-3pm, the museum will celebrate with Ohlone songs, California Indian storytelling and music, dances and a basket welcoming ceremony.
To make the ceremonial bead baskets, Yamane harvested willow and sedge from her yard and from the wilds of Carmel Valley and Fort Ord. The painstaking preparation of each fiber takes months; an exclusive Weekly video offers a glimpse of the intricate weaving process. The baskets are decorated with red-dyed chicken feathers and beads made from olivella shells Yamane collected from a local beach.
Yamane, a Seaside-based artist with Rumsien Ohlone ancestry, is largely credited with the revival of the native craft. She also taught herself to speak the near-extinct Rumsien language. The Rumsien are native people of the Monterey Bay area who belong to the larger Ohlone linguistic group spanning from northern San Francisco Bay to south of Carmel and east toward the Central Valley.