Picking Willows: Daisy and Lilly Baker, Maidu Basket Makers of Lake Almanor

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iUniverse, Oct 6, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 136 pages

PICKING WILLOWS, With Daisy and Lilly Baker, Maidu Basket Makers of Lake Almanor earned the iUniverse Editor's Choice recognition and stated that it is a compelling memoir and a valuable anthropological and cultural record.

The seeds of a cross-cultural friendship were first sowed in 1955 when author Pat Lindgren-Kurtzs family first met indigenous Mountain Maidu basket makers Lilly Baker and her mother, Daisy. As the friendship grew, the contrasts in their backgrounds only enriched their experiences. In her heartfelt memoir, Lindgren-Kurtz not only retells the story of a lifelong friendship, but also details how two cultures intertwined while Daisy and Lilly create beautiful baskets to be cherished by many generations.

As she shares charming anecdotes from her life living with the California Mountain Maidu people, picking willows, and observing their basket-making techniques, she offers an intriguing glimpse into the Maidu culture, their personal trials and tragedies, and the dramatic environmental changes affecting Maidu life from the Gold Rush to contemporary times. Lindgren-Kurtz details that Lilly and Daisy, as part of a large family of skilled basket-makers, persisted in sharing their culture and traditional art through hands-on demonstrations for thousands. Women basket makers from Daisys and Lillys Maidu family are recognized as some of the best artisans of Indian basketry in North America.

A charming basket of untold California history, family memoir, and especially friendships among talented artists from two different cultures.
Bruce Shelly, screenwriter and author


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About the author (2011)

Pat Lindgren-Kurtz, artist and art teacher, lived in the rugged and beautiful Mountain Maidu country of the Sierra Nevada in Plumas County, California, for over sixty years. For nearly all that time, she enjoyed a close friendship with basket weavers Daisy and Lilly Baker. She currently divides her time between Kailua-Kona and Lake Almanor.

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