The first time I wore a basket cap I was at the Marin Art of the Americas Show with my friend Vanessa Esquivido. When I told her that I hadn’t worn a cap before, she took me to a table of them and began putting them on my head, looking for a perfect fit. Vanessa was also with me when I finally found my cap almost a year later at another Native American art show in Davis. We walked together to a table full of basket caps and I saw my cap on a shelf. It was so beautiful that I was worried it wasn’t going to fit, but it did. Vanessa helped me buy the cap and told me it was her early graduation gift to me. I wore my cap for the rest of the day and I couldn’t stop smiling, I felt like I had been introduced to myself in a whole new way. I have worn my cap to ceremony, to academic conferences across the country, to my graduation celebration, and just around the house when I felt like I needed to. My cap reminds me to be patient and deliberate about the things I do. It is the most precious thing I own because it is a part of me. Now I am one of the girls who looks pretty in her cap, ts’ehdiya whixo’ji-q’osta:n.
Studies from the University of California, Davis in 2014. In 2011 Stephanie received her BA in Women’s Studies with a Minor in Native American Studies from Portland State University. Her Master’s thesis research focuses on Native American women and the prison-industrial complex in California.