Plein air paintings and drawings from around Silicon Valley.
Monday, May 19, 2014
Chitactac Adams Heritage County Park, Gilroy
Ohlone structures at the park- built from Tule Reeds
This park is new to me, so I was pleased to be able to join the Saturday Paintsites group here. I was fascinated by the Ohlone structures built of Tule Reeds. I talked to the docent there and she told me they take many hours of work to weave the tule and put it all together. The object in the center of the painting, which looks like a large basket, is a granary. It would normally have a top on it, but that hasn't been finished yet. The Ohlone people would keep acorns in it, layering them with bay leaves to keep the bugs away. Close by are enormous rocks with many hollows where the women would grind the acorns to make flour or meal. The docent also told me that the settlement that existed here was a meeting point for surrounding tribes who would come from far and wide to the dances held in the village. As I sat in the shade and painted I tried to imagine what life would have been like back then. I thought about putting some people in my painting, but I think it has a poignancy with their absence.