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“If they only knew…”: Ways of Knowing through Native Californian Belongings

Karuk basket weaving

2:00 pm | 12/7/2020 | Live on Zoom | Until 4:00 pm | 12/7/2020

Dr. Carolyn Smith (Karuk), Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow University of California, Berkeley

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Through stories of the lived experiences of three, early 20th century northwestern Native California women, this paper reveals the inextricable strength that ties belongings to families, histories, and tribal nations. Reading archival materials and museum collections through a Karuk way of knowing, the stories that arise complicate narratives of the alienability of Native American belongings. This paper takes a holistic research practice grounded in indigenous methodologies, illuminating how Native Californian belongings encompass knowledge beyond the tangible object. It speaks of the world of past and present, endeavoring into an indigenous futurity.

Carolyn Smith (Karuk) is the Da’luk Program Coordinator for the Northern California Indian Development Council, and recently served as the interim Executive Director for the California Indian Basketweavers Association. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from UC Berkeley and is a basketweaver and artist. In exploring Indigenous ontological understandings of baskets and their roles, her research addresses how baskets are intertwined with ways of knowing and being in the world. Most recently, she and a group of Indigenous and allied scholars collaborated with Ad Astra Comix to produce the series, “So you care about Indigenous scholars?,” illustrating Indigenous survival, resistance and resurgence.

This event is part of the UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology 290 Lecture Series for Fall 2020.

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