University logo Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 337.001
Object Name Basket, Cooking
Collector Unknown
Description (Heather Martin 5/15/2016) This is a twined, globular shape basket. The slant of weft stitch is up to the right, the workface is the exterior, and the work direction is to the right. It has a cross-warp start with no indentation. The start is surrounded by half inch of three-strand twining followed by two and three-quarters inches of plain twining. At this point there is two rows of three-strand twining and then plain twining to the rim, where there are two final rows of three-strand twining. The warps are trimmed at the rim and the end of the last row, though now missing, was once fastened with beige commercial thread, which is still knotted at the third coil from the rim. The warp materials are probably hazel (Corylus sp.) and the weft material is conifer root with a single-sided overlay (showing through in the back face in an irregular pattern) of bear grass (Xerophyllum tenax), maiden hair fern stem (Adiantum sp.), and red dyed woodwardia fern stem (Woodwardia sp.). The warps are added in concentric circles by incorporation into preexisting weft crossings. The design on the base consists of three concentric dotted bands, one of bear grass, one of maiden hair fern (black), and one of dyed woodwardia (red). The design on the main panel of the basket consists of a band of red downward facing triangles. Above this there is an up-to-the-right stair step shape that is bordered on each side by a diagonal row of triangles. This design is red with black and brown (conifer root) horizontal stripes, and repeats four times around the baskets circumference. The final band is made of red downward facing triangles. There are no signs of Native use on this basket. However, there is some damage including a small hole near the base likely caused by rodent gnawing and a tear in the rim that was improperly repaired with glue. The entire basket is warped with an undulating surface.

This basket was likely made in the Northwestern region of California. These cultures included Yurok, Karuk, Hupa, Tolowa, and Whilkut. While Mary Wahl identified this basket as Hupa, all of these cultures use single-sided overlays of bear grass and maiden hair fern stem, which can be seen in this basket (Shanks 2015:18). This basket resembles a cooking basket, which varied in shape across cultures in Northwestern California. This basket more closely resembles Whilkut cooking baskets, which are globular, yet widest at the lower one-third of the basket (Shanks 2015:22). Whilkut cooking baskets typically have two rows of three-strand twining at the rim (Shanks 2015:23). However, this basket does not have the lattice-twined reinforcing rods typical to this area, which may indicate that it was a ceremonial cooking basket (Shanks 2015:23).

(Mary Wahl 4/19/2001) Hupa group, basket was made around 1900-1930, using alder bark, the red color.
Material hazel, conifer root, bear grass, maiden hair fern, woodwardia fern
Place of Origin Northwestern California
Provenance Hupa (Mary Wahl)
Whilkut (Heather Martin)
Imagefile 004\337001-2.JPG
Caption 337.001 image showing the start from the interior