Basket weaving was once an everyday skill used by the Native peoples of Northern California. Today, basketry has become a highly specialized art form with a limited number of tribal people who possess the skill and knowledge the gather materials, process those materials, and create a living basket. Baskets are used yearly at a minimum for tribes in Northern California, especially for the Hupa, Yurok, Karuk, and Tolowa.
The Warrior Institute aims to make the skill of basketry an everyday occurrence in the homes of a core group of committed women. The Chi-loy Project, a year-long basket weaving class, aims to teach this core group of women gathering, processing, and weaving basketry materials, with the final product of finished, functional baskets. Chi-loy is the Hupa word for she is weaving.
In 2015, the Warrior Institute received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to support their Chi-loy Project.