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Catalog Number 045.020
Object Name Basket, Cooking
Collection Dr. Fred R. Neumann Basketry Collection
Collector Dr. Fred R. Neumann
Description (Heather Martin 5/14/15) This is a coiled basket with flaring sides that was likely a cooking basket. The foundation is three rods. The workface is the exterior and the work direction is to the left. The basket has a pinhole start with a thick first coil that may have been started with a bundle of shredded material. There is no indentation at the start. The stitches are non-interlocking and not widely spaced. The rim finish is plain wrapped and the coil ending is missing. There are many split stitches on both the interior and exterior, though they do not seem to be intentional. The slant of weft is up to the right. The fag ends are concealed and the moving ends are mostly concealed while some are bound under multiple stitches of the coil above. This technique results in the moving end visibly crossing diagonally over one coil before it is bound under. Interestingly, the loose moving end is incorporated with the foundation in the opposite direction of the coil and then stitched over until it is taught. Signs of use include abrasion at the base, loss at the rim, weight that indicates that the basket has absorbed food particles, and an unidentified dried substance between the stitches that blocks any light from passing through the basket. The foundation is a peeled shoot. Both the background and red design material are red bud (Cercis occidentalis), with the design created by twisting the weft so that either the red bark or buff interior is showing in the desired locations. The design consists of three horizontal zigzag bands. Each band has vertical extensions above and below and the uppermost band only appears on the basket at the low points of the zigzag. In the spaces above these low points there is a "U" shape created by three connected rectangles. There are no decorative items attached.

All of the mechanical features and materials indicate that this basket is of Maidu origin. The Maiduan people include three linguistic branches: the Nisenan (southern), the Konkow (northwestern), and the Mountain Maidu (northeastern). Interestingly, the differences in basketry among the Maidu relates to environmental differences rather than cultural boundaries (Shanks 2006: 134). Maidu baskets made in the valley and in the foothills share many features, such as a leftward work direction and a three-rod foundation, which can be seen in this basket. Further, the concealed fag ends and the use of red bud for both the design and background material are typical of foothill Maidu baskets. On the other hand, the concealed moving ends are more typical of baskets made in the valley (Shanks 2006:136-137). However Shanks (2006:137) comments that weft splicing techniques were known to be mixed among foothill groups living in the transition zone between the valley and the foothills. Therefore it is likely that this basket was made by a Maidu weaver from the foothills. It should also be noted that the moving ends in this basket are concealed in a manner not typical of any cultural group. Basketry appraiser Mary Wahl has described this basket as "Northeast Maidu" and the basket is labeled with the same distinction. All of these forms of evidence are consistent in that the Mountain, or Northeast, Maidu traditionally occupy land in the foothills. It is important to note that Maidu baskets very often contain split stitches on the interior and that the lack of this extremely diagnostic feature is unusual (Shanks 2006:135-138).

(Don Hankins 10/27/2016) Cooking basket with redbud pattern and possibly maple with willow foundation. Basket is woven in clockwise direction, which is not typical Mt. Maidu style. Pattern is reminiscent of Achumawi/Atsugewi twined work, and may be a product of weavers from those tribes who learned coiled techniques. Diagonal back lash of some inside weavers are incorporated into later rows. Start is a course bundle of material with an opening in the center.

(Sue Campbell 5/2/2017) This is a Maidu basket. It is a three-stick foundation coil basket with redbud from the spring, which is the white, and from the fall, which gives you the beautiful red color. It has the quail top knot design on it. It's a large basket, and it has that design kind of like the flower-where it has three pointed mountain or valley-I call it. They repeated it three times but at the top they would wrap the design up and off the basket and then bring it back down to continue the design. There's three levels of the design and then there's a fourth level of the square box and I'm not sure if that's a signature design. It's beautiful. The weaver would weave with the spring redbud, which is white, and at a certain point she would leave a tail, and then after weaving one or two rounds, she would bend the tail backwards and lock it into the third round of her stitching. She would be stitching to the right and then she would weave the tail in from the left. So she is putting in there backwards and then stitching over, leaving it open from about one or two of the rounds, which is really interesting. I've never seen that. She has done this throughout her basket, every so often, so that you can see where she is bringing it backwards into the stitching. Very unique. She finished off the top of the basket with the white redbud.

(Mary Wahl 4/19/2001) Foothill Maidu.
Material red bud
Place of Origin Northern California
Provenance Foothill Maidu (Mary Wahl 4/19/2001)
Foothill Maidu (Heather Martin 5/14/15)
Dimensions H-17 Dia-38 cm
Imagefile 004\045020-12.JPG
Caption 045.020 image showing the start from the exterior