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Catalog Number 254.009
Object Name Basket, Trinket
Collector Found in CSUC Stiles warehouse during reorganization in 1990.
Description baskets found in storage, no other information or documentation available

(Heather Martin 4/25/2016) this is a tall twined bowl with slightly flaring sides. The slant of weft stitch is down to the right, the workface is the exterior, and the work direction is to the right. The basket has an indented start in which the warps are bound with a single weft and then separated into a radiating pattern. The basket is plain-twined for one and a half inches. Then there is one row of between-weave followed by two inches of plain twining to complete the base of the basket. At the bottom corner of the basket there is one row of three-strand twining in which each weft stitch crosses over three warps. This row is followed by three rows of plain twining and then a second row of three-strand twining, except in this row each weft stitch passes over only two warps. Both of these three-strand twined rows are made with black dyed wefts, except every third weft, which is dyed red. The basket is then plain twined to the rim. The warps and wefts are likely to by Sitka spruce (Picea Sitchensis). The design is done using false embroidery of dyed grass, as well as dyed spruce root. The lower half of the basket features false embroidered letters that read "KYAK." The upper half of the basket has three bands of colorful geometric shapes. The upper and lower band consists of rhombuses while the center band insists of rectangles. The final three weft rows are falsely embroidered, with the lowermost row having a checkered design that alternates in one inch sections. Splice ends appear to be knotted to new warp elements. The rim is finished by folding the warps towards the interior and binding it with the last weft row of the basket. At the end of the last weft row, the wefts appear to be clipped and bound down by the final weft, which is threaded through the weft of the previous row. There is a strand of olive-green thread sewn around the circumference of the basket approximately three rows from the rim. The basket has no signs of native use, but has many tears in the walls that have been repaired using Japanese tissue paper and wheatstarch paste.

This basket is consistent with the spruce root basketry made by the Haida and Tlingit. The fineness of weaving, thin walls, and the use of between-weave and false embroidery are all typical of these cultures. While both of these cultures work in a rightward direction, the groups differ in how the basket is oriented during the weaving process. The Haida weave with the basket upside down and the warps pointing downward (Weber 1986:82). The Tlingit, on the other hand, weave the basket right-side up and the warps pointing upward (Weber 1986:82). The result is that the jog, the area where the weaver completes a row and begins the next, moves up in an upright Haida basket and down in an upright Tlingit basket. This basket has "jog downs" that indicate that it is a Tlingit basket (Busby 2003:47). It is also typical for Tlingit baskets to feature three bands, with the center band differing from the other two (Busby 2003:97). The Tlingit were also known to use dyed wefts, as well as weave place names into basket that were made for the tourist market (Busby 2003:97-99). Therefore, this basket is most likely to be a Tlingit basket made for sale to tourists in the twentieth century. Mary Wahl also attributed this basket to the Tlingit.

(Mary Wahl 4/19/2001) Tlingit.

Material spruce root, grass, dye
Place of Origin Northwest Coast, Canada
Provenance Tlingit (Mary Wahl 4/19/2001)
Tlingit (Heather Martin 4/25/2016)
Date Collected: March 1990
Dimensions H-20.5 Dia-24 cm
Imagefile 004\254009-8.JPG
Caption 254.009 image showing the completed repairs