Wednesday, April 27, 7:30 pm

Indian Baskets of Northern California and Oregon

Speaker: Ralph Shanks

Location: Garden Room, Orinda Library (see directions below)

California and Oregon weavers have created what may be the finest baskets in the world. Though these baskets are truly works of art, they have traditionally served as far more: they were vital to the survival of most native cultures in the region. 

Ralph Shanks has studied California and Oregon Indian basketry for over 40 years, and with his wife Lisa Woo Shanks has published a three-book series on the subject. For this month’s meeting, Ralph will present information on basketry and botany in a richly illustrated slide show based on his newest book, Indian Baskets of Northern California and Oregon.

Ralph Shanks is a research associate in anthropology at UC Davis and teaches classes on the analysis of Native American basketry. He is also president of the Miwok Archeological Preserve of Marin (MAPOM). Ralph has written two other books on California Indian basketry, Indian Baskets of Central California: Art, Culture, and History and California Indian Baskets: San Diego to Santa Barbara and Beyond to the San Joaquin Valley, Mountains and Deserts. Lisa Woo Shanks is editor and photographer of the Indian Baskets of California and Oregon book series. All three of the Shanks’ books will be available for purchase at the presentation.

East Bay CNPS membership meetings are free of charge and open to everyone. This month’s meeting takes place in the Garden Room of the Orinda Public Library at 24 Orinda Way (in Orinda Village). The Garden Room is on the second floor of the building, accessible by stairs or an elevator. The Garden Room opens at 7 pm; the meeting begins at 7:30 pm. If you have questions, email sr0433@yahoo.com or call 510-496-6016.

Directions to Orinda Public Library at 24 Orinda Way:

From the west, take Hwy 24 to the Orinda/Moraga exit. At the end of the off ramp, turn left on Camino Pablo (toward Orinda Village), right on Santa Maria Way (the signal after the BART station and freeway entrance), and left on Orinda Way.

From the east, take Hwy 24 to the Orinda exit. Follow the ramp to Orinda Village. Turn right on Santa Maria way (the first signal) and left on Orinda Way.

Once on Orinda Way, go 1 short block to the parking lot on the southeast side of the two-story building on your right. There is additional free parking beneath the building as well as on the street.

From BART (4 blocks): Exit the Orinda station, turn right and cross a pedestrian bridge, then cross a second pedestrian bridge on the left. Go 1 short block on the sidewalk to the third pedestrian bridge. Go 2 blocks on Orinda Way to the Orinda Library.

Vanessa Esquivido-Meza (Wintu) holds a Wintu basket, with a Klamath winnowing tray in the background. Photo by Lisa Woo Shanks

Vanessa Esquivido-Meza (Wintu) holds a Wintu basket, with a Klamath winnowing tray in the background. Photo by Lisa Woo Shanks