THIS WINTER, Southern California kids can experience one of the world's coldest-weather cultures--right here in Los Angeles. The Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, in conjunction with the visiting "Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska," has scheduled, for children and adults, a series of workshops that explores the culture of Alaskan and Siberian natives.
On Jan. 26, kids can see what basket weaving is all about. In "Baleen From the Whale: North Alaskan Eskimo Baskets," a workshop for children ages 6 and up, paper, yarn and grass become simulated baleen, the fibrous material found in the mouth of the bowhead whale. The $6 enrollment fee includes materials.
The demonstrations of Alaskan and Siberian traditions include a Feb. 2 grass-basket exhibition and "story-knifing," in which an Eskimo artist uses a knife to "draw" on a slab of Alaskan mud a series of stylized narrative symbols. Cost is the museum's admission price ($2.50 to $7.50).
And on Jan. 12 and Feb. 9, whether there's snow or not, Husky-pulled sledding demonstrations will take place on the museum's south lawn. Admittance is free.
The Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, 4700 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles; (213) 667-2000.