The California Indian Basketweavers Association: Advocates for the Use of Museum Collections by Contemporary Weavers

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Elizabeth A. Kallenbach


Indigenous California basketweavers have collaborated with universities, museums, and government land agencies in recent years through participation in the decision-making processes regarding the management of natural and cultural resources. The California Indian Basketweavers Association (CIBA) has been at the forefront of these efforts, particularly as they relate to native plants used in basketry. Through grassroots efforts, they have also furthered relationships with museums, as basket collections serve as an important cultural resource for contemporary artists. The history of CIBA is first presented here, including weavers’ involvement with basket documentation, followed by an examination of the nature of CIBA’s relationship with museums, specifically regarding how collections are used. Suggestions for successful museum visits by museum staff and for weavers are offered in conclusion.


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