Ah-Lo’-Mah’, “basket” in the Miwuk language, is a temporary, placemaking installation located in Mariposa, California.
Atlas Lab was awarded the Mariposa County Creative Placemaking Master Plan in 2019 by the County of Mariposa and the Mariposa Arts Council, through a National Endowment for the Arts grant.
For this master plan effort, we employed tactical strategies to embrace the community during the process. Working closely with the Mariposa Placemaking Strategy Advisory Committee, made up of residents, business owners, and community activists, the committee selected a concept that celebrated the Miwuk practice of basket making. This, in turn, established a collaborative relationship with the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation, who was involved in the design and execution for the duration of the placemaking installation.
The intent of the installation is to engage the public, garner feedback through an online survey and showcase an example of placemaking to the community. But the impacts of Ah-Lo’-Mah’ go far beyond that. The basket making process engaged native women who had never weaved before, learning from experienced tribal members, to create their first baskets that adorn the installation. Moreover, the installation recently secured additional grant funding to expand the project along the Mariposa Creek Parkway. The project is a display of the positive affect that small scale placemaking installations, done with a limited budget but ample collaboration, can have on a community.