Nonprofit organization founded in 1992 devoted to preserving and perpetuating California Indian basketweaving traditions. Its Board of Directors is made up of native weavers, with representatives from the Northern Miwok, Mono, Chuckchansi, Hupa, Yoruk, Karuk, Mishewal Wappo, Plains Miwok, Normeluk Wintu, Ajachmem, Cahuilla tribes. Headquartered in Nevada City, with a satellite office in Willow Creek.

In California, the basket was one of the primary technological instruments of native cultures. Baskets were used not only for storage, but for cooking, fishing, infant care, and regalia. Preserving the traditions of basketweaving can be an essential part of passing on the cultural and spiritual values of a tribe.

Basketweaver Support
CIBA creates opportunities for weavers to come together show their work, to support and teach each other at gatherings like the California-Great Basin Indian Basketweavers Gathering. Their quarterly newsletter, Roots and Shoots, features profiles of native basketweavers, news on relevant issues, and grant opportunities. CIBA has been a model for other indigenous weaving traditions in the U.S. and overseas to set up similar formal organizations.

Resource Protection
Apparently the U.S. Forest Service, like many private timber companies, doesn't trust nature to grow "proper" forests without chemical help, so pesticide application is routine. CIBA has been a voice for the native peoples of California, ensuring state and Federal agencies improve the permitting, notification, and reporting of pesticide application in traditional gathering areas, as well as working for the reintroduction of native plants and resources in these areas. And while unregulated commercial collecting of "non-timber forest products" might be good for the economy, CIBA has been instrumental in getting government agencies to set policies on gathering of forest resources traditionally used as food, medicine, and basketry materials.

Education
Not only raising awareness of artistry and practices, CIBA's network of weavers allows researchers and collectors access to expertise in exhibition, storage, and identification. And it has begun to be accept private collections of 19th and 20th century baskets.

While anyone can become a member of CIBA to support its goals, to be a voting member one must be of California Indian descent and make baskets using traditional techniques and materials.

More info: www.ciba.org

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