Linda Aguilar – Chumash, Prominent Native American Basket Weaver


Linda Aguilar Gaming Basket Collection.
Linda Aguilar Gaming Basket Collection

In the story Fine Horsehair Basketry, Linda Aguilar’s Fine Horsehair Basketry was discussed and displayed.

Her baskets have also been shown at the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, The Stagecoach Museum at Newbury Park, CA, where there are over 100 in their permanent collection, as well as many others around the world. When Nelson Mandela of South Africa visited Los Angeles, Mayor Tom Bradley presented him with one of Aguilar’s baskets; as well, The Dalai Lama has been presented with her baskets. Aguilar has won over 50 “first place” or “best of show”.

Aguilar has taken her basketry in an impressive new direction. There are new shapes: a canoe (oval), she has worked a long time on developing and a “bottle neck”, an elongated neck on a shouldered basket. Her use of beads is distinctive, much in the tradition of Pomo basketry, and her signature “horse feathers” resembles quail top knots, which reflects that same tradition.

Gaming Basket Collection: This new series of baskets recognizes the traditional forms of gaming in native culture, as well as the games introduced by the Church. The first in this group is: Bingo at Our House. Linda tells the story of Bingo played at home – “we never marked the cards, that would have ruined them; we used beans or buttons. My Mother would go to thrift stores looking for abalone buttons. When she found something with them on she would buy it, take it home, cut off all the buttons and then re-donate it to the same store, button-less! That was kind of mean.”

Story Teller Baskets: These baskets are inspired by the Story Tellers (a seated pottery figure with many children sitting on her lap) of the Pueblo people in New Mexico. The latest is The Spirit Teller. The Story Teller or Mother speaks of “Spirit” to all her children gathered around.

Linda Aguilar has been represented by Pacific Western Traders since 1993 and participates in our Seasonal Markets.

Pacific Western Traders is located at 305 Wool Street in the Historic District of Folsom, California, open Wednesday through Sunday 10:00 to 5:00.

Courtney Puffer is a writer and art dealer, who runs Pacific Western Traders with his father, Herb, in Folsom, California. Courtney is extremely knowledgeable about native American art and customs. Sadly, Courtney passed away on 17th September, 2008, while on a business trip, but his writing lives on at NewsBlaze.