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Catalog Number 2.8
Object Name Basket, Trinket
Other Name Basket Tray
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Hupp Collection
Collector Rosalie Hupp Baldwin (d)
Description (Heather Martin 10/17/2016) This is a small coiled basket tray with decorative handles. The coil foundation is a bundle of pine needles and the binding weft is a commercial cotton string that is held double to increase the thickness. The basket is worked to the left with the weaver facing the interior. The stitches are spaced in a way that creates columns up the walls of the basket. After the first two inches of the base were completed, a decorative effect was implemented by placing two stitches in each location, the first stitch is oriented diagonally as the weaver moves leftward and places the new stitch while the second stitch, which wraps around the foundation and is placed in the same hole made by the first stitch, is oriented vertically. Together, these two stitches create a slanted "V" shape. Each stitch that is made interlocks with the vertical leg of the "V." To replace exhausted weft strands the weaver knotted a new string to the end of the previous string on the non-workface where it is hidden. The basket is started with a tight spiral, has a flat base, straight sides, and is decoratively folded outward at the rim to create a half inch lip. The coil ending is tapered, with the final stitch anchored into the stitch directly below it in the previous coil. Each of the handles of the basket are a single coil that is decoratively looped in the center and attached to the basket with string at each end of the handle. The basket has been coated with pitch or another similar substance that is abrading away on the rim. The stitches along one side of the final coil are missing, allowing the pine needles to fall from the foundation. The damage was stabilized with braces made with Japanese tissue paper and wheat starch paste.

Coiled baskets made with pine needle foundations have not been documented in Native American cultures prior to contact with Europeans. In the twentieth century, these baskets were made by Native communities throughout the United States, particularly in the south. It has been suggested that Native American pine needle baskets were influenced by African American baskets made of sweet grass, a technique that is believed to have originated in Africa and brought to the United States along with slavery (Perdue, Jr. 1968). Additionally, Mrs. M. J. McAfee, a Caucasian woman from Georgia, claims that she invented the pine needle basket when she had no access to materials to make hats for her family during the Civil War (McAfee 1911). McAfee developed the technique into an artful craft and began teaching classes to Caucasian women. In 1917, William C. A. Hammel, the Superintendent of City Schools of Greensboro, North Carolina, advocated for teaching pine needle basket making in schools to encourage students to be resourceful when finding materials and to be creative and artistic while making a craft that has both economic and utilitarian value (Hammel 1917). With so many possible origins and so many communities making pine needle baskets, it is difficult to attribute the origin of this basket to any location or community within the United States. This is consistent with Mary Wahl's attribution in which she gave numerous possibilities for an origin for this basket.

(Mary Wahl 4/19/2001) Pine needle tourist basket, either southeast, Florida area, Seminal Indians from Louisianna, or Arizona, unknown. This type of basket is still sold today.
Material pine needles, string
Place of Origin Unknown
Provenance Unknown (Heather Martin 10/17/2016)
Southeast: Florida, Luisianna Seminal, or Arizona (Mary Wahl 4/19/2001)
Date Collected: 1910-1920
Dimensions H-1.5 Dia-8 inches
Imagefile 004\28-3.JPG
Caption 2.8 exterior of basket