Daria Mariscal & Virginia Melendrez


Daria Mariscal, Paipai Indian Pottery workshop instructor

Daria Mariscal is a Baja California Paipai tribal member, Native Master Potter, and workshop instructor. Daria is a master potter in an art form that has sustained her people for hundreds of years, producing truly amazing works of art, created for centuries through labor and dedication to Paipai culture and history. Daria makes traditional pit fired pottery with clay quarried from reservation lands to produce functional and ornamental pottery. She also hand weaves baskets with juncus, palm and pinon pine needles. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and teaching these skills to others. Through her labor and dedication to tradition, young tribal members learn their culture and history.

Daria lives in the Paipai community of Santa Catarina, Baja California, Mexico, located about 35 miles east of Ensenada, B.C. The Paipai are the only native people in Baja California who still produce functional and ornamental pottery in the traditional way, without the use of a potter’s wheel or kiln. Daria has taught on the Viejas Indian Reservation, the Barona Indian Reservation in San Diego County, and was be a featured guest artist at the San Diego Art Institute, Balboa Park, “BC to BC: MAKE OR BREAK POTTERY” event that featured “New Ceramic Art from Baja California to British Columbia” in September 2017.


Virginia Melendrez, Kumiai Master Basket Weaver

Virginia Melendrez is a Kumiai native of San Jose de la Zorra, a region near the Valle de Guadalupe wine country with a rich tradition of basketry. The Kumiai of Northern Baja California and the Kumeyaay of Southern California are known as the “Indians of the Oaks” and are related, with a modern international border splitting the band into two groups. They share a common history and many traditional crafts. The Kumiai have been basket weavers for hundreds of years; the art form is passed through the generations, mother to daughter.

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