TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Native basketweavers from California and Nevada will gather at the Gatekeeper’s Museum in Tahoe City for the 9th annual Basketweavers’ Gathering, Sept. 22-Sept. 23, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. This event features Native American weavers and artisans demonstrating the tradition of basket weaving and other traditional arts.
Baskets were once crucial survival tools and sacred tools of worship found in virtually all North American native cultures. Today, the creation of these functional and/or ceremonial containers is a highly stylized art, kept alive by dedicated artists and passed along to successive generations from person to person.
The Gatekeeper’s Museum sits on grounds where Washoe people spent their summer-time months since ancient times, and gathered for similar events. The current Washoe Tribe chairperson Wanda Batchelor recently visited the museum and gave it a nod of approval. The Gatekeeper’s Museum is also home to the Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum, a world-class collection of more than 800 utilitarian and fine baskets from more than 80 tribes throughout California and western North America, including the Washoe. In addition, the museum features the Bogart Washoe Basket Collection of exclusively Washoe baskets.
“The Basketweavers’ Gathering presents a rare occasion to gather together with master weavers and artisans from multiple tribes,” said executive director Marguerite Sprague. “It’s an important opportunity to listen and learn about native history and culture.”
Visitors will also enjoy “From Nuts to Soup,” a demonstration by Jennifer Bates and Kimberly Stevenot, of processing acorns from the raw nuts to soup using traditional, millennia-old methods.
Native weavers will be selling baskets as well as weaving during the weekend event. Basket appraiser John Rauzy will be on site and, for a small donation to the museum, will appraise the value of baskets brought in by visitors.
A donation of $5 for North Lake Tahoe Historical Society members and $10 for non-members is suggested and includes admission to the museum. Children ages 12 and under are free with an adult.
The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society operates two museums in Tahoe City: Watson Cabin Museum and the Gatekeeper’s Museum. For more information, visit northtahoemuseums.org or call 530-583-1762.