Photography Students Visit Indian Canyon

Students from Jefferson Elementary write about their experience.

Beginning of November, students from Jefferson Elementary visited Indian Canyon as part of their photography class. Indian Canyon is located in the Gabilan Range in southern Hollister.

The E Cube Foundation is sponsoring the course given by photography teacher Kriti Bassendine, who has previously reported for BenitoLink.

The Indian Canyon Expedition introduced students to the culture of Indigenous peoples and allowed them to practice their photography skills and write about their experience. Kanyon CoyoteWoman Sayers-Roods taught students about medicine, rituals and indigenous beliefs.

Students wrote the following about their experience (BenitoLink didn’t make any changes):

Kathy miramontes

Hello, my name is Kathy Miramontes, I am in grade 8 and the school I attend is called Jefferson Elementary in Paicines CA. I went on an excursion to Indian Canyon; this field

Photo by Kathy Miramontes.

trip took place in early November. The purpose of this excursion was to learn more about the indigenous peoples and to practice our photography skills. This lesson was led by Kirti Bassendine, our photography teacher, and the teaching of indigenous peoples was led by a woman named Kanyon.

An educational part that I enjoyed on this field trip was learning about a medicinal plant called mugwort. I have learned that this plant can be used in case you touch poison oak. The mugwort oils are what helps heal the area that has been in contact with the poison oak. I observed that this plant had a very strong scent. After holding the plant, it leaves a very strong odor on your hands.

One event that I found exciting was when Kanyon showed us what tarantulas do when they feel threatened. She started by enclosing the tarantula with her arms, then the tarantula lifted her buttocks to show that she felt threatened. Then the tarantula crawled on Kanyon’s arm. Once on his arm, the tarantula quickly crawled up his arm and onto his back. Kanyon also mentioned that she didn’t like spiders, but she still let the tarantula crawl over her without panicking.

After the tarantula, we continued the nature walk, discovering the place and taking photos of plants. These are some of the experiences I had while going to Indian Canyon.

Atticus Ortiz

When I went to Indian Canyon, I met a person named Kanyon. Kanyon is the person who owns the place and she spoke about the people who lived in Indian Canyon a long time ago.

Photo by Atticus Ortiz.
Photo by Atticus Ortiz.

Kanyon was playing an instrument she made. When she shook it, it sounded like applause.

We took pictures of different types of plants, leaves, trees and rocks. We also took other photos of totem poles, rocks, a teepee and an arena. We took pictures inside the tipi. Inside the tipi was a blue tarp, the pattern of which resembled people’s shadows on the tarp. At the top of the blue tarp, the design looks like a red circle.

The most exciting thing was when a student saw a tarantula. Kanyon let the tarantula crawl down his arm and back. We took pictures of the tarantula on Kanyon’s arm and back.

I enjoyed my trip to Indian Canyon and hope to be able to return.

Justin delgado

When I went to Indian Canyon our guide was called Kanyon. She sang because it can heal the earth. She screamed at the end of the music. Kanyon said she lived in Indian Canyon. She said, “Do not touch the poison oak tree, for it is itchy. “

I took pictures of the sun, trees, leaves and an arena. When I showed my photos to Ms. Volmer, she liked them. My favorite photo is the sun because when I took it it was shining.

Photo by Justin Delgado.
Photo by Justin Delgado.

I saw a tarantula crawling on Kanyon. Kanyon put his hand next to the tarantula to show us that if you try to make the tarantula mad, it will push its body higher. He does this to appear taller.

I entered the teepee and it was made of fabric. When I walked in the walls were blue and I saw pictures of humans who looked like witches. I also like the shape of the tipi because it reminds me of a triangle.

I had fun at Indian Canyon because it was my best outing on the field.

Daniel Miramontes

The Jeffersonian students, including me, took a field trip to Indian Canyon. We went there at the end of October. It was amazing because there were so many big trees and it was beautiful.

Kanyon, our tour guide, played this beautiful song using an instrument called the clapper. I think it was called that, but I’m not sure. She performed for us a song that her grandmother taught her to sing that is supposed to heal the earth.

Photo by Daniel Miramontes.
Photo by Daniel Miramontes.

I remember taking pictures of Kanyon later because she had a tarantula on her back. We were doing a thanksgiving ceremony by putting tobacco in a lint that looked like a nest then the tarantula came and didn’t move until we were done

There was this shelter called the sweat lodge. The natives would heat stones for hours until they turned red in this small shelter and when it was cold outside the stones would keep the sweat lodge very hot inside. The first time Kanyon was taken to the sweat lodge was when she was six months old.

I also remember that there was a plant called mugwort and this plant would help you if you touched poison oak or some other poisonous plant. You would simply rub mugwort and the rash would be gone in about 5 minutes.

We entered a huge tent called a tipi. It was so beautiful there! I took a lot of pictures in the tipi. The tipi was made of this material that looked like a tarp and there were designs on the interior wall that looked like humans.

It was my first time in Indian Canyon and I really liked it.



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