From time immemorial, infants of the Yurok, Karuk, and Hoopa tribes of modern-day Humboldt County begin life in a traditional baby basekt woven of hazel sticks and spruce roots.  Baby baskets provide a safe place, where infants can be swaddled and tied in with leather straps, proving security and comfort…
Proyecto Purépecha was created with the mission to create an extensive and vibrant Purépecha (a native people of Michoacán, Mexico) community in the San Joaquin Valley and California at large.  Proyecto Purépecha works to restore and flourish Purépecha food, language, music, and dance in the Mexicano/Michoacano community residing in the San Joaquin…
Master artist Juana Alicia Araiza founded the True Colors Mural Project in 2008.  She directs this public mural program based in the East San Francisco Bay Area.  TCMP preserves and revives the legacy of Mexican and Chican@ Mural Movements through the teaching of its philosophy and…
Deshilado (des-ē-lah’-do), or Mexican openwork embroidery, is traditionally used on household items such as tablecloths, napkins, and linens.  Openwork embroidery is the art of removing threads from a fabric to create a design over which embroidery is made. Patricia Zavala de Arias learned deshilado from her mother in her hometown…
The Chicano mural movement began in the 1960s in Mexican-American barrios throughout the Southwest. Artists began using the walls of city buildings, housing projects, schools, and churches to depict Mexican-American culture.  Chicano muralism has been linked to pre-Columbian peoples of the Americas, who recorded their rituals and history on the…
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican celebration with indigenous and Catholic roots.  Observed on November 1 and 2 each year, the holiday honors deceased friends and family.  Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars (ofrendas) honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and…
The Chumash historically inhabited the central and southern coastal regions of California, in portions of what is now San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.  As many other Native peoples, the Chumash wore special regalia during song and dance ceremonies.  Chumash regalia includes a broad range…
Hawaiian hula is an indigenous dance form accompanied by oli (chant) and mele (song).   The oli and the hula dramatize and accentuate the mele, which carries valuable information: history, genealogy, religion, geography, geology, etc. There are many styles of hula which have been divided into two main categories. Kahiko…
In 2013, the Asociation de la Pelota Mixteca de California Central received funding from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program for the Festival de la Pelota Mixteca, taking place each weekend between May and June.  The Oaxcan game of pelota is played by men utilizing an ornate…
In 2013, Comunidad Tlacolulence en Los Angeles (COTLA) received funding from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program for two observances of this Oaxacan indigenous community.  The Mayordormia Tlacolulence, celebrated elaborately with pageantry and symbolism on particular saints’ days, will take place in October in West Los Angeles.