Invitation to a Lost World: 5000 Years of Art from the Bay Area Shellmounds

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Conferences Berkeley, CA, USA April 7, 2018

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Join us and special guests for an afternoon of wonder, beauty and surprise about the art, craft and practices of our oldest native ancestors who walked the land we now call Berkeley—and how those traditions live on today. In this premier public viewing, objects from the West Berkeley Shellmound and Emeryville Shellmound will be shared for the first time—many of stunning beauty.

A panel of contemporary Native California artists, skilled in traditional practices, will discuss how these objects were made, the aesthetic principles that guided their manufacture, how they were used, their place within the culture, and their survival to this day. Panelists include:

  • Jennifer Bates, Central Sierra Mewuk, helped found the California Indian Basketweavers Association, organized the Indian Market of traditional artists at Tuolumne Rancheria, and teaches traditional processes and materials for weaving and cooking.
  • Ron Goode, tribal chair of the North Fork Mono Indians, is a cultural leader, storyteller, and maker of traditional arts and crafts.
  • Frank LaPena, Wintu painter, writer, singer and ceremonial leader, founded Maidu Dancers and Traditionalists and is Professor Emeritus of Art and Ethnic Studies at California State University in Sacramento.
  • Kent Lightfoot, UC Berkeley Professor of Anthropology, is an archaeologist whose major interests revolve around pre- California and the period immediately following.
  • Vincent Medina is an Ohlone whose ancestry is East Bay, a fluent speaker of Chochenyo (Berkeley’s original language), storyteller and leader in the revival and adaptation of traditional practices for the 21st century.
  • Fred Velasquez lives in Miwok country in the Sierra foothills. He is a longtime participant in and supporter of Miwok cultural life and is a master craftsman working in stone, bone and shell.
  • Linda Yamane, Rumsien Ohlone, is a basketweaver, tule boat-builder, tribal historian and language advocate who has revived the native language from the Monterey Bay.