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.