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Sarah Reith with Susan Billy

Posted by Women's Voices
Women's Voices
Women's Voices airs every Monday from 7 pm to 8 pm.
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on Friday, 10 June 2016 in Uncategorized

Susan Billy is a living encyclopedia of all the disciplines that go into weaving Pomo baskets. A relative and student of the legendary Elsie Allen, Susan has curated museum exhibits, is a founding member of the California Indian Basketweavers Association, and co-author of “Remember Your Relations: The Elsie Allen Baskets, Family and Friends.” 

Sitting and chatting with Susan in Bead Fever, her store in downtown Ukiah, is a little like taking a guided tour through a museum. I caught sight of a picture of a woman wearing a shawl of something that looked like lace, and Susan told me it was actually made out of tiny shells. She pulled out a National Geographic, and explained what kind of shells they were, who harvested them, and the physics of the tools they used to do so.

She is a much sought-after consultant, lecturer, and demonstrator of the ancient art of Pomo basketry, which incorporates botanical knowledge, historical understanding, technical skill, and spiritual discipline. Susan has all of these things, and she happens to be a great storyteller, too.

Follow this link to the interview.

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Women's Voices airs every Monday from 7 pm to 8 pm.

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