Languages of the Landscape: The Cedar Mesa Perishables Project

Film - Documentary | January 15 | 12-1 p.m. | 101 2251 College (Archaeological Research Facility)

 Laurie Webster, Independent Researcher and Visiting Scholar, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona

 Archaeological Research Facility

During the 1890s, a small group of ranchers and amateur collectors excavated more than 4000 well-preserved textiles, baskets, wooden implements, hides, feathers, and other perishable artifacts from dry caves in southeastern Utah. Now housed at six museums around the country (including the Phoebe Hearst Museum at UC Berkeley), these extraordinary Basketmaker and Ancestral Pueblo collections (200 BCE-1300 CE) were largely forgotten and unstudied until 2011, when the Cedar Mesa Perishables Project began documenting and interpreting them with a collaborative team of Native and non-Native researchers. In this documentary film by Larry Ruiz (Cloudy Ridge Productions), archaeologist Laurie Webster, wildlife biologist Chuck LaRue, Tiwa Pueblo textile weaver Louie Garcia, and Zuni Pueblo basket weaver Christopher Lewis discuss their diverse approaches to the study of these collections, relationships of these technologies to the desert landscape, and cultural continuities with modern Pueblo traditions. The 30-minute film will be followed by a discussion.