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Tending the Wild

Weaving Community: How Native Peoples are Rediscovering Their Basketry Traditions

Basketry has been described as the pinnacle of Californian indigenous culture. But the craftsmanship necessary to make these works of art requires much more than weaving techniques. It requires a deep and sustained relationship with the environment. For centuries Native peoples tended the land and used a variety of methods to shape plants to suit their basketry needs from pruning, weeding, and coppicing to the the cyclical use of controlled burning. Today, many of these techniques have been lost or suppressed and the ability to access traditional gathering locations has been impeded by urban development and the restrictions of private property. In this video, we explore how traditional gathering is practiced today and how Native peoples are rediscovering their basketry traditions in Southern California.

Watch "Tending Nature," a series shining a light on how Indigenous knowledge can inspire a new generation of Californians to find a balance between humans and nature.

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Co-produced by KCETLink Media Group and the Autry Museum, this six-part multimedia series and one-hour documentary special are presented in association with California Continued, a groundbreaking exhibition now on view at the Autry.

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Full Episodes
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Episode
12:27
Tending the Wild

E6: Living Desert - How Native Peoples Are Confronting Environmental Threats From Large-Scale Industry

Indigenous peoples have thrived in the desert for centuries. This video explores how they are confronting threats to their environment from large-scale industry.
Season 1 Episode 6
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Episode
11:35
Tending the Wild

E5: Gathering Medicine - How Native Medicinal Practices Are Thriving Today

Native herbalism has a long history and continues to be practiced today. This video explores a holistic approach to health and how the environment can inform healthy living.
Season 1 Episode 5