ELP Instructors will supply the reeds and will cut and demonstrate basket weaving.
Kashia Basketry –
The Kashia have lived in this area for thousands of years. Over this time they have developed very fine basketry. In fact, their basketry is considered a fine art today. The Kashia have taken great care of their world around them. They harvested only what they needed for their baskets, and always left many plants to continue growing. For the baskets they use wooly sedge grass roots, willow branches, bulrush root, redwood bark, and redbud for the weaving. They would use wild walnuts, berries, and the other plant material to color the reed. Baskets were used for cooking, and food preparation, traps for animals and fish, cradles for carrying the babies, toys such as dolls, clothing such as skirts and hats, and for gift giving and ceremonies.
Basketry is a great way to get a sense of a small part of the life of these people who lived here before us. It gives us time to slow down, and to talk with each other, to enjoy each other’s company. You also get the chance to experience the satisfaction and joy of creating something with your own hands. Here at Fort Ross we make a simple twined basket. A twined basket is the kind they would use in gathering acorns and other food. Remember to take your time and work slowly. You will create a beautiful piece of work using your own hands.