GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Jessica Lomatewama and her daughter Janel celebrated Archaeology Day at the Grand Canyon March 22. The two are from Hotevilla, also known as Third Mesa, on the Hopi reservation.
Jessica has been weaving baskets for 34 years. She collects the material, known as rabbit brush plant, in the desert. A small basket takes her about 15 hours of weaving but that is after she has gathered the materials and cleaned them.
Janel uses the narrow leaf Yucca plant. She also collects the materials from around her home. She said the process of collecting the plants, cleaning them and sizing them takes quite a bit of time. The actual weaving takes a day to three days depending on the size of the basket.
The March 22 event featured opportunities for visitors to try their hands at making clay pinch pots and split-twig figurines, creating rock art using scratch art paper, sifting for artifacts, and planting corn, beans and squash seeds - traditional foods of the park's Native peoples. Additionally, there were cultural demonstrations of Hopi kachina carving and basket making, and a weaving demonstration.