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Maria Leyva (Leiva) was a Chumash indian woman who lived in the Santa Barbara area and became renowned as a rawhide braider She learned braiding in the old California style. Her knots were mostly (but not always) continuous crowning or sometimes called “whip braiding”. The Mission Indians learned their technique from sailors that made calls along the California coast. Many seaman knots are used in California style braid work. Mrs. Leyva was from Casitas, California and is often crediting with inventing the Santa Ynez corded reins.