The California Culture Area (Photo Diary)

In providing a broad overview of the hundreds of distinct American Indian cultures found in North America, it is common for museums, historians, archaeologists, and ethnologists to use a culture area model. This model is based on the observation that different groups of people living in the same geographic area often share many cultural features.

 photo P1090342_zpsalbypt9s.jpg The map shown above shows the primary North American Indian culture areas.

The California culture area has the widest variety of native languages, ecological settings, and house types of any North American culture area. The California culture area is often divided into several sub-areas: (1) northwestern California, (2) northeastern California, (3) central California, (5) Great Basin, (5) southern California, and (6) the Colorado River area.

 photo P1090565_zpsq9h6rbkw.jpg The shaded area on the map shown above shows the California culture area.

Shown below are some of the California Culture Area displays in the Maryhill Museum of Art.


According to the display in the Maryhill Museum of Art:

“Basketry was an important art throughout California. The Pomo of the central region were particularly well known for their skill in making a variety of basket styles. Sone, feathers, leather, and shells were used extensively in specific regions of California.”

Shown bellow are the displays of California basketry.

 photo P1090566_zpsjr9v99ug.jpg  photo P1090567_zpshnzazvlw.jpg  photo P1090568_zpszmssizs2.jpg

Mission Baskets

Many museums, including the Maryhill Museum of Art near Goldendale, Washington, have displays of Mission Baskets. The designation “Mission Baskets” was developed by anthropologist Alfred Kroeber in 1922.

According to the Maryhill Museum display:

“Basketry from most of southern California has traditionally been grouped together under the name Mission. This term was used because the native people of southern California came under the influence of Catholic missionaries at a very early date.”

 photo P1090653_zpsdiwxm49h.jpg  photo P1090643_zps0jz0nn2h.jpg  photo P1090644_zps8bfwbowh.jpg  photo P1090645_zpsjxms2eku.jpg  photo P1090646_zpsxter70px.jpg  photo P1090647_zpsof7vzakp.jpg  photo P1090648_zpsqe6tafvc.jpg  photo P1090649_zpsrhcqdyiu.jpg  photo P1090650_zpsb2jdx1o3.jpg  photo P1090651_zpsljcvuumf.jpg

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