food, sustainability and art projects in Europe

ArtMill Workshop: Basket Weaving with Native American artist Denise Davis

UPDATE: Cancelled due to the spike of Covid infections in Czech Republic.

Denise Davis is a member of the California Maidu and Pit River tribes, and brings her knowledge to our Celtic lands. She will be joined by her students Malissa Tayaba and Jackie Calanchini, both Nisenan Valley Maidu. 

Connection to the Land -The journey to becoming a master basketweaver begins with developing a connection to and knowledge of the land from which the plant materials are managed and harvested. The understanding used to manage and gather plant materials for making baskets is part of what is referred to as Traditional Ecological Knowledge, also known as TEK. Traditional Ecological Knowledge consists of gaining intimate knowledge of one’s surrounding natural environment, and the passing of that knowledge from generation to generation of practitioners. Unfortunately, traditional or sacred lands used for retrieving materials for baskets or used for ceremonial purposes have been impacted by pesticides, structures, logging, mining, flooding, displacement, and restricted or prohibited access. Still, traditions have endured, and local Mountain Maidu have formed the Maidu Cultural and Development Group, a nonprofit organization that encourages coordination with the US Forest Service to recognize and work with the Maidu as land stewards. Land management decisions with Maidu include transplanting native plants such as gray willow, eradication of non-native invasive plant species, and managing beargrassin traditional locations for gathering. It is important to recognize that lifeways and cultural practices of tribal and indigenous peoples can offer modern societies lessons in the management of ecosystems and natural resources.


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