Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation
Safeguarding and passing on knowledge
About the Organization
The Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation, also known as the American Indian Council of Mariposa County, are people indigenous to Mariposa and Yosemite, California. Today they live within Mariposa and the surrounding communities and have spread throughout the state and country. Ceremonies and events throughout the year allow for family and extended families to come together to give thanks and pray for all our relations. The objectives and purpose of the American Indian Council include education concerning cultural traditions, protection of sacred spaces, development and health services, and the administration of scholarship programs. The American Indian Council has also coordinated and sponsored “Traditional Indian Days” in Yosemite National Park for the past 29 years and the five-day Tran-Sierra Spiritual Walk.
Living Cultures Grant
Regalia Instruction and Educational Classes
In 2020, the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation received a Living Cultures Grant from ACTA to organize a women’s regalia making workshop for tribal members. The class will take place at the Miwu Mati Family Healing Center beginning in April. Southern Sierra Miwuk traditional regalia is ceremonially created from natural collection and processing of plant and animal materials. Regalia pieces–made from naturally processed rabbit fur, wild-collected feathers, pine nuts, and dogbane cordage– will be used to create feather top headdresses, crowns, and necklaces. Extended classes teaching natural processed buckskin and traditional sewing techniques of bone awl and leather thong will also be offered to create traditional skirts and tops. Through the making of regalia, it is hoped women can help share stories and knowledge about traditions, and in the process strengthen community through the revitalization of women’s ceremonies.