Leah Mata is a member of the Northern Chumash Tribe, located on the Southern California Cost. Leah has worked as a traditional artist, creating contemporary living forms of regalia and jewelry, allowing tribal and non-tribal audiences the opportunity to experience California Indian arts. Her work in traditional Chumash arts is rooted in the past, yet she also incorporates her contemporary artistic expressions and blends them with traditional knowledge to create special pieces.
Leah holds a B.A. in Anthropology, a Masters in Cultural Sustainability from Goucher College. Returning to academia after a successful career in the traditional arts has afforded her access to collections and ar- chives, to further understand the artistic expertise of the Chumash people. Her work in sacred sites protec- tion with the North Chumash Tribe focuses on protecting the resources need for tribal arts, making sure each generations has access to materials.