TIMARA LOTAH LINK
TRIBE: Chumash Coastal Band
LOCATION: Pasadena, CA
Timara Lotah Link is one of California's preeminent weavers. A generation younger than many of her weaving counterparts, she has dedicated her life to learning, reviving and teaching California’s oldest and most rooted arts in her Chumash community and broadly to Native Peoples throughout California.
“I am an ‘alaleqwel, a maker,” Timara said. “I am much more than a textile artist — I am a rich tapestry of human connections to the past, to the present and to the future, and my role is an active one. My art draws from the past, interacts with the present and prepares for the future.”
She makes baskets, fish traps, bows, seed beaters, headdresses, cradles, boats, traditional houses, dolls, hats, jewelry, regalia, musical instruments and canoe paddles. Each new skill she obtains is a small piece of her culture she can return to her community, though proximity to one another is her People’s greatest challenge.
Timara’s art helps heal her community by returning tangible cultural skills to the people, which in turn gives them a fierce sense of identity they can pass to their children. Her father taught her to be proud of her heritage. “Because of him, I care about my basketry, not as a craft but as part of my heritage — it’s who I am, not what I do.”
Lindsie Bear, contributing editor for News from Native California magazine, nominated Timara for the Community Spirit Award. She said, “We, like the communities she touches with her teaching and weaving, are sustained by knowing her.”