Dry Creek Legend – Laura Somersal

portraitJan. 25 2017Laura Somersal, well known Pomo weaver and teacher who lived among us from (1892-1990). She was known as one of the most talented Basket Weavers that ever lived. Her artistry, knowledge and passion for the spiritual practice of Basket Weaving was only rivaled by her poise and warmth as a teacher and torch bearer of the ancient craft. Her Legacy is carried on by many enthusiastic and inspired people. Clint Mckay and the The California Indian Basket Weavers Association is doing a wonderful job of keeping Laura’s legacy alive.

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 12.49.43 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 12.50.06 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 12.50.24 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 12.50.39 PM From the book .. Remember Your Relations: The Elsie Allen Baskets, Family & Friends

Indian Day 32Pomo baskets are made with many details and many different designs. The patterns that are weaved into them have meanings, such as a Dau. The Dau is the design that is also called the Spirit Door. This allows good spirits to come and circulate inside of the basket; the good or bad feelings are also released.

The Dau can be designed any way chosen — there are no rules or special ways to weave the pattern into the basket. There are also three different techniques used in making Pomo baskets, which are plaiting, coiling and twining. The Dau can be a small change in the stitching or an opening between two stitches.

The materials used in making these baskets are harvested each year.  Willow shoots, sedge roots and redbud are all used in the weaving of these baskets.

Laura Somersal 1In the Pomo tribes both males and females are basket makers, although the styles and uses are slightly different. In general, the baskets made by the women are coiled, twined or feathered, and used for cooking and storing food. The women also make the baskets used for religious ceremonies. The men make baskets for fishing weirs, bird traps and baby baskets.

Baskets are also used for decorating the lodges.
–Michelle, Nah Tah Wahsh PSA – Original Page Here

We have a wonderful collection of photographs of Laura – 

  • DCR Laura Somersal

Memorial location for Laura Somersal