Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology

Virtual Exhibits

Unbroken Traditions

Take a virtual tour of the museum's exhibition, Unbroken Traditions. Find activities and online learning for families, K-12 learners, and college students in the tour.

Unbroken Traditions exhibit virtual tour

Unbroken Traditions: Basketweavers of the Meadows-Baker Family of Northern California

"When you weave a design into a basket, you put the spirit of what you are weaving right into the basket” – Lilly Baker, Mountain Maidu Basketweaver, 1911-2006

On Wednesday, September 18, 2019, the museum opened a very special exhibit featuring baskets from four generations of Mountain Maidu Weavers of the Meadows-Baker family. The exhibit shows only a glimpse into the lives of the Meadows-Baker family, but their impact on the cultural and artistic Maidu traditions is monumental. The exhibition represents the culmination of one year of research and collaboration between Mountain Maidu weavers, other tribal experts, museums studies students, faculty, and curators.

Visitors can explore and learn about the techniques and materials used to create these practical and ceremonial works of art.

  1. Watch a Live Virtual Tour(opens in new window) of the exhibit. This previously recorded virtual tour features footage of the gallery and narration by the graduate students who curated the exhibit as well as comments from museum faculty, staff, and consultants who worked with them.
  1. Explore the Exhibit Virtual Tour Slide Show. (PDF) Go at your own pace and find activities and online learning for families, K-12 learners, and college students in the tour.

More About the Exhibit:

The exhibition title, Unbroken Tradition, seeks to remind the public of the long unbroken lineage of people who have emerged from repeated attempts to eradicate their culture with their deeply-rooted heritage and traditions intact. 

Weavers and the landscape live and work in harmony. The exhibit exposes visitors to the importance of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). The knowledge of the environment, plant lifecycles, and their unique characteristics was passed down through the maternal lineages of the Meadows-Baker family in this way.

As museums across the nation begin to recognize the injustices of the past against Native American groups and as Chico State publically recognizes the land on which it sits as having been the original land of the Mechoopda Tribe, the museum has worked in partnership with the campus Tribal Liaison, Rachel McBride-Praetorius and local consultants to lift up the voices and experiences of Indigenous California Peoples. 

Land Acknowledgement Statement:

We acknowledge and are mindful that CSU, Chico, stands on lands that were originally occupied by the first people of this area, the Mechoopda, and we recognize their distinctive spiritual relationship with this land and the waters that run through campus. We are humbled that our campus resides upon sacred lands that once sustained the Mechoopda people for centuries.