Indepth Arts News: |
"Of Myth and Memory: Paiute and Shoshone Baskets of Owens Valley,
2000-10-14 until 2001-01-21
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
USA United States of America
A new Museum exhibition explores the woven legacy of the Paiute and Shoshone Indians...
The story of the Paiute and Shoshone Indians of Owens Valley, California, is a survival epic --
one not recorded with written words, but with strands of willow and bracken fern root, devil's claw
and bulrush root, woven into baskets over the course of hundreds of years. On October 14, the
Museum exhibition Of Myth and Memory: Paiute and Shoshone Baskets of Owens Valley,
California recounts this compelling tale using more than 80 baskets from the Anna Kelley Basket
Collection (on long-term loan to the Museum) and those of other private and public collections,
historic photographs and other cultural artifacts.
[Of Myth and Memory] will help visitors understand that the materials produced by a culture
can tell us a lot about the people of that culture and illustrate why preservation of these
objects is so important, says Associate Curator of Cultural Anthropology and Fine Arts
Sharon Dean, who created the exhibition with fellow cultural anthropology curator Peggy
Owens Valley is located in easternmost California between Death Valley and Mono Lake. It
has been occupied by humans for approximately 10,000 years. The exhibition explains how
the Paiute and Shoshone became established in Owens Valley and what life was like.
This exhibition points out how hard it is to maintain ancient traditions in the face of change
and the modern world, says Dean. Baskets such as those in Of Myth and Memory are not
merely artifacts from the past, they are a connection between modern Paiute and Shoshone
Indians and the thread of their story in Owens Valley.