Miwok Archeological Preserve of Marin

Spring Classes - 2003


MAPOM's Fall Classes in California Indian Skills will take place in the Spring and Fall. Classes are held at the reconstructed Miwok village, Kule Loklo, at beautiful Point Reyes National Seashore near Olema in western Marin

The classes are designed to give students a concentrated look at one aspect of Native culture. The subjects of all classes are adult skills taught on an adult level and usually involve hands-on participation by students. Traditional materials are used in our classes. Students provide some tools.

Classes are for adults (over 15-years-old) and participants must pre-register by mailing a check or money order to MAPOM, 2255 Las Gallinas, San Rafael, CA 94903. Please add $5 membership fee if you are taking a class from us for the first time (or are a senior or a full time student), and $10 if you are renewing your membership. We'll send a confirmation with details of what to bring and a map. Price reductions for California Indians and people working with groups of Indian children.
MAPOM thanks the American Indian Cultural Center of San Francisco for a generous donation in support of these classes.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call Sylvia Thalman 415-479-3281 or e-mail us at MAPOM@aol.com. For registration information or detailed info, see our website at www.MAPOM.com.


TOOLS FOR CHOPPING, SCRAPING AND DRILLING - April 5 (Saturday) 10 am - 4 pm
This new class will cover manufacture of chert hand tools, including hafted hand axes, used for working wood as in bow and arrow making, adzes for reducing wood on bows and arrows and for scraping willow for basket making, bits for shafted drills. These were fastened to the shafts with sinew and asphaltum.
Instructor: Joe Dabill

(Saturday) 10 am - 4:30 pm
Beads made from clam shells (Saxidomus nuttalli) traditionally were used as money by Coast Miwok people, as well as for religious and ceremonial jewelry by Coast Miwok and their Pomo neighbors. Abalone ornaments were part of dance regalia. Clam beads and abalone were traded from this area to distant parts of California and beyond. You'll make a clam shell bead and abalone necklace with traditional methods and tools, including pump drills and rock grinding. Limit: 16 Instructors: Sylvia Thalman and Pat Rapp

(Saturday and Sunday) 10 am - 4 pm
This class is designed for beginning bow makers, but will also be geared to people who may have already made traditional bows. The self bow is larger than the sinew-backed bow, and will be finished during the class. The goal is to help students become competent in bow design and enable them to make fast and efficient bows of any type of wood. Bay laurel, oak or cedar staves will be used, and staves of other woods will be available. Students will steam-bend wood for reflex and recurve, Sunday afternoon will be devoted to archery practice with your new bow
Instructor: Joe Dabill

(Saturday) 10 am - 4 pm
Plant identification and traditional uses of plants at Kule Loklo and the surrounding area. Ethnobotanist Renee Shahrokh will discuss gathering practices as well as edible, cermonial, medicinal and material culture of plants used by local tribes. Limit: 15
Instructor: Renee Shahrokh

(open to the public) - April 26 (Saturday) 12 noon - 4 pm
KULE LOKLO, PT. REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE. The Strawberry Festival is the traditional spring Thanksgiving for the first fruits, with blessing of the strawberries and traditional prayers and dances. Free admission. Bring strawberries to be blessed, and something to sit on. Indian tacos and fry bread and soda pop for sale by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo).

FIREMAKING - May 3 (Saturday) 10 am - 4 pm
Make fire by friction with your own hand drill firemaking kit made from local native materials. Both hand drill and bow drill techniques will be explored and you will have ample opportunity to practice making fire. Time permitting, we will also try other firemaking techniques. Limit: 15.
Instructor: Tamara Wilder

(Saturday and Sunday) 10 am - 4 pm
Students will make a miniature coiled trinket basket of juncus and deer grass with the design made with Joshua tree root which creates a red pattern. The combination of these materials creates the unique style used among the Serrano's in the making of their basketry. The Serrano people live in the desert areas in San Bernadino County, east of Los Angeles. Instructor: Abe Sanchez

(Saturday) 10 am - 4 pm
Arrow, spear and drill points and knife blades of obsidian (volcanic glass) and chert have been made in California for thousands of years. In this introductory course, you will learn about styles of points and blades, and how they were made and used. Your own flintknapping kit will be provided and used to make obsidian points.
Instrucotr: Bill Mulloy

MINIATURE POMO COILED BASKET- May 17 and 18 (Saturday and Sunday) 10 am - 4 pm
Tiny finely worked baskets are a highlight of California basket weaving. Students will learn to make the miniature coiled basket of willow and sedge with the design in redbud bark.
Instructor: Julia Parker

(Saturday) 10 am - 4 pm
Class participants will make a necklace of pine nuts made traditionally by the Maidu and other tribes in California from the gray/bull pine tree. Pine nuts will be sanded into beads using sandstone, and students will have an opportunity to start shaping an abalone piece to add to their necklaces. Additional design beads will be available to add to the necklaces. There will be a demonstration of cordage making and blackening of the pine nut beads. Additional colored beads may be purchased at the class. Limit: 15
Instructor: Renee Shahrokh

A wide variety of games of chance and skill were played by California Indians. Stick dice and the hand game are gambling games. Children played with dolls, acorn buzz toys, acorn tops and other diversions. Students will learn these games and make the pieces for them.
Instructor: Chuck Kritzon

USING BUCKSKIN - June 7 (Saturday) 10 am - 4 pm
Braintanned buckskin is a material widely used by most Native American groups for a variety of products. While California Indians have a material culture largely dominated by fiber arts, leather still plays an important role and is used for moccasins, skirts, breechclouts, dolls, "footballs", and certain styles of cradleboards, as well as for bags to hold beaded necklaces, gaming sticks, pipes, etc..Come explore a variety of patterns, stitches, sewing materials, and sewing methods. Bring an awl and your own buckskin piece to get started on your personal project, or purchase a piece of buckskin from the instructor to make a small sampler bag. A limited number of awls will be available to use and/or buy. Limit: 20.
Instructor: Tamara Wilder
Fee includes buckskin but bring your own, too, if you wish to.

PAIUTE TWINED MINIATURE BURDEN BASTKET (TRINKET BASKET) - June 7 and 8 (Saturday and Sunday) 10 am - 4 pm
A miniature Paiute burden basket will be made of willow and California redbud . Each student will learn how to prepare willow and redbud for the foundation and the strings. A form of twining will be used to construct the basket and a redbud design will be added. Burden baskets are used to gather acorns, pine nuts and other food materials.
Instructor: Lucy Parker



Joe Dabill, survival specialist, has taught classes for the Santa Cruz Mountains Natural History Association and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, and demonstrated his skills at the California Academy of Science. He has taught primitive technology at Rabbitstick and Wintercount gatherings He also teaches from his home in San Juan Bautista.

Chuck Kritzon is a long time volunteer at the California Indian Museum in Sacramento. He is very knowledgeable about rock art and has made jewelry showing rock art motifs.

Bill Mulloy is an archeologist, anthropologist and lithic specialist with many years of experience in the field. He lives in Redway.

Julia Parker, Coast Miwok/Kashia Pomo, is a renowned basketweaver and cultural demonstrator at Yosemite National Park and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, as well as elsewhere in the United States and abroad. She is the co-author of It Will Live Forever, Traditional Yosemite Acorn Preparation. She lives at Midpines.

Lucy Parker, Coast Miwok/Kashaya Pomo/Sierra Mewuk, lives in Lee Vining on the eastern slope of the Sierra She is a basketry instructor and a well known demonstrator in the Bay Area, Yosemite National Park, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and in Nevada. Lucy and her mother Julia have also demonstrated at museums in New York City and Milwaukee recently.

Abe Sanchez has been a student of Justin Farmer and is an ongoing student of Lucy Parker. As a weaver of Southern California Native American basketry his intentions are to contribute knowledge and skills to all those interested in the revival and preservation of this ancient art. He makes all efforts to learn and to teach others all that he can about the growing conditions of basketry plants, processing the plant materials, and applying all the respected traditional techniques of weaving. He dreams of making a difference in the well being of this local art form that has been threatened by extinction like numerous other Indigenous craft forms around the world.

Renee Shahrokh is a Professor of Botany at American River College where she teaches Ethnobotany, Botany and Plant Identification. She has also taught Ethnobotany at DQ University, the only tribal college in California and for other Native organizations. She gives professional lectures and teaches field courses on edible, medicinal and the material culture of plants used by Native tribes in central and northern California.

Pat Rapp lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains. She is a long-time bead maker. She is a cultural demonstrator at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and at Ohlone Day.

Sylvia Thalman of San Rafael was a founding member of MAPOM, a demonstrator with Don Thieler at Kule Loklo, and has been an instructor for the Santa Cruz Mountains Natural History Association, the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Sacramento and the Jesse Peter Museum of Indian Art in Santa Rosa. Her work has been published in the Bulletin of Primitive Technology. She has written and edited books about the Coast Miwok people.

Tamara Wilder of Redwood Valley is a primitive technologist who teaches and demonstrates ancient living skills at different locations across the Western States, including the California Academy of Sciences. The work of Tamara Wilder and Steven Edholm has been published in the Bulletin of Primitive Technology and Woodsmoke: Collected Writings on Ancient Living Skills. Their book Buckskin: The Ancient Art of Braintanning will be available at the class.


Some of our instructors are California Native Americans with a special interest in their tribal traditions; others are non-Indians who have actively studied traditional skills for many years.



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