Elena: Still Going

Elena. Faces of the Festival 2018. Photo by Steven Meckler

I’m Native American, from the Tohono O’odham tribe. I make miniature horsehair baskets by hand. My mother taught me how to weave and I taught my daughter. We learned both at age 14.  It’s better to get the younger generation involved and teach them. I believe they’re interested in it, but they need a person to sit down and teach them. At events like this, I meet new people and see family and friends that I knew from a long time ago. The thing that makes me most proud is when I complete a basket from beginning to end and see the process and then when people want to wear my jewelry. A regular basic basket would take up to five hours. I get the inspiration to do it from my mother. She no longer weaves–she has medical issues now, and her eyesight is bad. I want people to know that our culture is still going with basket weaving. So now I will be continuing to make baskets. I would like to teach classes to other people so they can know our culture and how to make a basket.


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