Tima Link Lotah, Chumash Master Basket Weaver, demonstrating how to start a traditional juncus grass basket.
Wishtoyo's Chumash Basketry Preservation Program
In Spring 2009, Wishtoyo Foundation began its Chumash Basketry Preservation Program. Almost a lost cultural practice and art form, Chumash basketry is renowned for its artistic beauty and complexity of material usage and design. Tima Link Lotah, daughter of Chumash Elder Dr. Kote Lotah, has been commissioned by the Elders to teach basketry on multigenerational level. She weaves basket hats, cooking baskets, storage baskets, cradle boards and much more…and is our teacher here at the Village.
Tima doesn't have to weave baskets for the same reasons as our ancestors did (storage, cooking, gathering, etc.). She weaves “for the joy of continuing our traditions and to stay in relationship with the land and plants.” Equally important as learning to weave is passing this knowledge to the next generation, preserving plant habitats, and maintaining Chumash gathering rights.