Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, July 25, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page A:10


Mountain View News Saturday, July 25, 2020 

Pet of the Week 

Two-year-old Madeline is such a sweet and 
loving cat... and beautiful, too! She loves 
attention and petting, and has so much 
affection to give. You may find this cutie 
kneading (or making biscuits, as some call it) 
because she’s so happy and friendly, or head 
butting you to get your attention. Madeline 
would do best as the only cat in the home, 
because she wants all your love for herself, 
and who could say no to that face? If you've 
been looking for your soul mate kitty, look no 

 The adoption fee for cats is $90. All cat 
adoptions include spay or neuter, microchip, 
and age-appropriate vaccines. 

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA 
Animal Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care 
for your pet. 

 View photos of adoptable pets at and fill out an online 
adoption application. Adoptions are by appointment only. 

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by 
phone calls or email. 


Max is a handsome two-year-old Boxer/Shepherd mix with 
a reddish brown and white fur coat. He is very sweet and is 
learning to build trust with new people. Once Max gets to 
know you, he is extremely affectionate. He would do best in 
a home with an experienced dog owner. Max loves to play 
with toys and is dog friendly. He would prefer a home with 
few adults. He knows and responds to commands such 
as “sit” and “lay down” and is definitely treat motivated. 
His adoption fee is $145, which includes neuter surgery, 
microchip, first vaccinations and a free wellness check-up 
at a participating veterinarian. 

Call the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society 626-286-1159 
to schedule a “Meet and Greet” appointment with Max. 



Instrumental in the revival of traditional California Indian 

 [Nyerges is the author of “Foraging California,” “Guide to Wild Foods,” “How 
to Survive Anywhere,” and other books. He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041] 

Some 20 years ago, back 
when Highland Park’s Southwest Museum was 
open full-time, I saw a huge, larger-than-life photograph 
of Justin Farmer on the wall, in which he 
was holding a traditional long bow. I continued 
to hear about Farmer, a legend in Native American 
basketry circles, and see his picture in books 
on Native American survival skills and methods of 
sustainable living. 

Farmer is significantly responsible for the revival of 
Indian basketry in Southern California. 

Farmer, born September 22, 1926 in Julian, California, 
explained that he’s registered with the Bureau 
of Indian Affairs as a “mission Indian,” which 
is the legal term. He quickly adds that they do not 
like to be called “mission” because it implies that 
they are subject to the mission. “We c all ourselves 
Ipai,” explains Farmer, a term in his traditional language 
that means “the people.” 

In the 1970s, Farmer began to collect Native American 
baskets. “These baskets are an art form,” he 
emphasizes. “Yes, they are utilitarian, but they are 
really an art form.” 

Farmer wanted to collect baskets from the makers, 
so in the 1970s, he began on a quest to find Southern 
California Indian weavers. 

He found one elderly lady in Riverside County who 
still wove baskets, and he found three Indian ladies 
in San Diego County. “Ironically, all three of them 
were cousins of mine,” said Farmer with a laugh. 
The oldest of these three women was about the 
age of Farmer’s mother, in her late 70s or early 80s, 
Christina Osuna Berseford. 

He then commissioned Berseford to make a traditional 
basket with a rattlesnake pattern, and she 
agreed to make it. “When I picked up the basket,” 
says Farmer, “she finally agreed to teach me the dying 
art of basketry. I sat at her feet and she walked 
me through this whole process and I took it upon 
myself to promulgate this art,” said Farmer, who 
has conducted at least 40 basket-making classes 
over the years, and taught at 12 different colleges 
and universities. 

He points out that there are maybe 100 styles of 
basketry, and that he learned and teaches what 
he calls the Southern California Mission-style of 

“When I started with this whole learning process, 
there were only 3 Indian women left in all of Southern 
California who knew the traditional basketry 
technique,” said Farmer. “Three, out of maybe 20 
million people! Now, there are perhaps a hundred 
traditional weavers in Southern California.” Farmer 
is now on the board of the directors of the California 
Indian Basketmakers Association, which has 
an annual gathering. 

He’s also the author of four books. 

His first book was “Southern California Luiseno Indian 
Baskets: A study of 76 Luiseno Baskets in the 
Riverside Municipal Museum Collection” (2004).” 
Book number two is “Basketry Plants Used by 
Western American Indians” (2010) which shows 
the 37 common plants used in Southern California 
Indian baskets. 

His third book was “Creating an Indian Style 
Coiled Basket” (2012), a complete guide to making 
a coiled-style basket from the raw material. 

Farmer’s fourth book, “Indian Cradles of California 
and the Western Great Basin” (2013), is a cataloguing 
of the styles of cradles and the people who 
made them. 

Over the years, Farmer has practiced bow-making, 
flint-knapping, arrow-making, and learning to 
make throwing sticks. “I’ve gotten involved a lot 
in the old skills. Not just so-called survival skills, 
but all the things we do today, except in the past, 
people had no Walmart to go to. Everything came 
from scratch, from nature.” 

Books by Justin Farmer are available from The Justin 
Farmer Foundation, 1954 Evergreen Ave., Fullerton, 
CA 92835, or by calling (714) 256-1260. 


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