A BASKET WEAVER’S JOURNEY LECTURE

Acclaimed Sonoma County Pomo basket weaver Clint McKay came to the Sonoma Mission Chapel on October 28 to present the last SPParks lecture of 2021.  The rapt  community audience of nearly forty watched slides and listened to McKay’s description of how his extended family does the planting, harvesting, and preparing of local plant materials that are used for his baskets.  Bird feathers, shells, and beads also sometimes adorn the baskets.  McKay talked about the basketry knowledge as well as life lessons passed down by his aunties Laura Somersal and Mabel McKay.

The self-effacing McKay, some of whose baskets are currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, stressed how his famous aunts’ and his baskets are much more than art objects; according to McKay, they are living family treasures that help to perpetuate Pomo and Wappo cultural traditions. 

For those who missed the lecture or want to learn more, there is currently an indigenous  basketry exhibit at the Healdsburg Museum, and the Metropolitan’s exhibit travels to the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco this winter.