KUMEYAAY INDIAN BASKET WEAVING
Kumeyaay basketweaver Virginia Melendrez weaves a coiled juncus basket in her San Jose de la Zorra kitchen next to the heat of a homemade burning wood stove, and a juncus bundle of traditionally-cured weaving reeds on the table. The juncus grows wild in the Kumeyaay valley and has been used by the California Indians for thousands of years.
This picture was taken in 2004 before her home was wired for electricity. Prior to electrical wiring, Virginia burned one oil lamp on the table to light the room as she weaved her baskets (though the webmaster can't recall what happened to the oil lamp in this photo). The camera flash is what's lighting up the room.
The winters can get quite cold up in the rural desert mountain valley; note the heavy layered clothing and wood burning cookstove being used for both heating the home and cooking.
A year after this picture was taken, late 2005, Virginia had a large white refrigerator running in this room, and hard wired electric lights lighting the area. She was still using the cookstove for heat and cooking.
The pictured basket she is weaving is coiled split juncus on a bundled split juncus foundation. It is constructed with undyed juncus (tan), juncus dyed black with oak bark and rusty metal, undyed basal juncus (reddish-brown). She had been working on this basket fulltime for about two weeks.
To buy purchase this Kumeyaay Indian artist's authentic San Jose de la Zorra Kumeyaay Indian baskets basketry, her traditional arts and crafts, please visit the Shumup Ko Hup "Dream Come True" Indian store in Old Town State Historic Park, San Diego, California.
Photos, Writing and Web Page Design Contributed by webmaster, GARY G BALLARD, San Diego.
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