On Monday, November 18th the students in American Indian Studies classes were treated to a demonstration of basket making by Mrs. Francisca Soriano. Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, Mrs. Soriano is a member of the Mixtec tribe. The men and women of her family have been making plaited baskets for untold generations from the leaves of the palm trees that grow in their village in northern Oaxaca.
Students were amazed at her skill, the speed at which she works, as well as the beauty of her products. She works in both traditional (palm leaves) and modern (plastic) materials. Student were amazed to discover that as clever as humans are, we have been unable to make a machine that produces baskets because there are too many individual and complex decisions that need to be made by the basketmaker during construction of the basket. Thank you, Mrs. Soriano, for sharing your wealth of knowledge with students.