California Gaming Baskets and ‘Named’ Baskets on Show

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California Gaming Baskets and “Named” and Other New Baskets By Linda Aguilar

June 7 to August 10, 2008

California Gaming Baskets: Inspired by traditional gaming in native culture, as well as the games introduced by the Church and others.

Aguilar Shebang, Natural horsehair, vintage dice, bingo chips, miniature playing cards, glass beads, shells, mother of pearl, abalone bottoms.
The Whole Shebang: Natural horsehair, vintage dice & bingo chips, miniature playing cards, glass beads, shells, mother of pearl & abalone bottoms.

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, she would buy it, cut off all the buttons and then re-donate it, button-less! That was kind of mean.”

The Whole Shebang: The name says it, bingo, dice & cards, (see image below).

Aguilar Bingo Daze Natural and dyed horsehair, vintage bingo chips, glass beads, shells, dress clams, mother of pearl, abalone buttons with horsefeathers.
Bingo Daze: Natural & dyed horsehair, vintage bingo chips, glass beads, shells, dress clams, mother of pearl & abalone buttons with horsefeathers.

Bingo Daze: All the things that her family would need to play bingo plus more, (see image below).

Three new “Named baskets“. Two of which are weather baskets: Wishing for Sunshine & Whirlwind the other is Blackbirds on a Line, (see image below).

Linda perfected a “canoe” or oval shaped basket – it took several years before she “got it right” they take much longer to weave, as well.

Her signature “Horsefeathers“, resemble quail top knots found on Pomo basketry.

Aguilar Trio, Weather baskets.
From the left: two Weather baskets:

Wishing for Sunshine; Natural & dyed horsehair & mother of pearl buttons with horsefeathers.

Whirlwind: Natural horsehair & horsefeathers.

Blackbirds on a Line: Natural & dyed horsehair with horsefeathers.

Linda’s work is in the permanent collection at the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Her baskets have also been shown at the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, the Stagecoach Museum at Newbury Park, CA (they have over 100 in their permanent collection), as well as others around the world. Her baskets have won over 50 “first place” or “best of show” awards. When Nelson Mandela visited Los Angeles, Mayor Tom Bradley presented him with one of her baskets. The Dalai Lama has been presented with her baskets, as well.

Linda and The Whole Shebang are to be featured in the August issue of Southwest Art Magazine.

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