Pomo Weavers Society
November is Native American Cultural Awareness Month, which is the perfect time for the Corner Gallery to feature the Pomo Weavers Society in their front windows. Silver Galleto, the founding member of the group, is very excited to have this opportunity for outreach with the public. He wants to let people know that Pomo weavers are active and trying to reestablish many of their traditions, especially basket making, that haven't been fully practiced for decades.
This show will feature a wide variety of contemporary baskets made by Pomo artists from three counties: Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma. In addition, there will be other woven items such as a dowry bag, and photos of both the gathering process and PWS members who are restoring this part of their rich heritage.
Silver is a teacher who is passionate about Pomo weaving. He is always looking for more Pomo students so he can teach people the traditional skills and then allow them to teach others. Over last three years the Pomo Weavers Society has created many mentors who are now actively teaching the skills to others. "This," says Silver, "is my dream... as one person cannot do it all."
The growing group of mentors represent a wide span of ages... the youngest is pre-teen and there are several elders. Silver affirms that it is never too late to learn. He adds, "I wish I had started teaching earlier, but it took me a while to get started." Now he has been doing it for several decades. Silver's enthusiasm is contagious... he says, "I'm truly excited that there are so many people who want to learn and gather now. We want hundreds of weavers continuing our traditional greatness." He continues, "I'm huge on tradition and culture. I believe that reviving our traditional ways is not only going to strengthen our People but also make our ancestors proud in the process."
Corine Pearce also has a lot of baskets that will be in the show. She started weaving about the same time that Silver did when she was 9. Although they were both weaving for many years their paths never crossed. When they eventually met they were both surprised to learn that other people were weaving, as they both thought they were alone.
The Pomo Weavers Society is a new group that started in 2019, right before the pandemic. The group had only met in person twice before the pandemic hit and everything was shut down. "Out of necessity," Corine explains, "we changed the way basket weaving was taught... we made online videos and held zoom calls instead of teaching with the traditional in-person mentor. "Somehow we survived and now we are looking forward to moving forward with a greater number of members committed to preserving this beautiful art form that is our heritage."
Artists participating in the show are Robin Meely, Martina Morgan, Melody Williams, Katie Williams Elliott, Meyo Maruffo, Patricia Franklin, Buffie Schmidt, Silver Galleto and Corine Pearce. The First Friday opening celebration will be on November 4 from 5-8pm at the Corner Gallery, 201 S State St in Ukiah. Live flute music will be performed throughout the evening.
The First Friday opening celebration for this show will be on November 4 from 5-8pm at the Corner Gallery, 201 S State St in Ukiah. Live flute music will be featured throughout the evening.