Arts, Language & Cultural Revitalization in Baja’s Indigenous Communities

November 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

On Nov. 9 I attended an Arts and Lecture event which allowed us to get to know Native Americans from Baja Ca.  We met Teodora Cuero from the Kumiai tribe who is one of the last five people who speak the native language and Leonor Farlow from the Kiliwa tribe who is currently working on a dictionary of her native language.  Teodora is known as the Governor in here tribe, she is a leader and a teacher.  The LA Times wrote an article on Teodora.  They are both known in thier communities as leaders, healers and teachers.  They spoke almost no English however there was a translater who told their stories.  We learned about and saw grass weaved baskets which are a very important art form for the cultures.  At one time the younger generation of girls had lost interest in this time honored tradition however these baskets have become pieces of art work and can sell for thousands of dollars so now the girls have gained interest in learning this from thier elders.  Supporting these kinds of arts also supports the community.  At the end of the lecture Leonor sang and both women danced which was really incredible. 

Seeing this work, the baskets, singing and story telling up close was very interesting.  This work is beautiful and incredible.  They follow the same steps as they did hundreds of years ago and it makes you appreciate the work all that more.  As a student working in the newest field of art, technology it is inspiring to see these ancient forms of artwork still being used.  It makes you appreciate all forms of artwork.  Those baskets and the singing were so beautiful it made me jealous of these older forms which are still strong and inspiring.


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