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Royce Manuel | NMAI Artist Leadership Program

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Published on Jul 27, 2011

After researching cultural material associated with the Aw-Thum people who live near the Phoenix metropolitan area in the southern region of Arizona, Royce Manuel (Salt River Pima--Maricopa Indian Community) coordinated a series of Artist Community Workshops for community members. Through "Binding Our Future to the Past: Agave," Mr. Manuel shared his research experience with 45 community members, ranging in age from 5 to 65, to bring the Kiaha (traditional burden basket) back to life for the Aw-Thum. This workshop included an overview of plants used in Aw-Thum basketweaving, history, harvesting, processing cordage, the Kiaha Legend, cordage strings, and gourd straps. Here Royce Manuel and students Gabriel 'Joe' Martinez, Juanita Homer, Zelda Reed, Shannon Rivers, and Leslie Xavier share personal stories to explain why they participated in this workshop. Video created by the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community Video Productions Department, including Frank Turfler, director, producer and editor; Jerrod Glasser, principal photographer; and Darren Harris, secondary photographer.

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