University logo Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 255.008
Object Name Basket, Trinket
Collector Marion Hohensee
Description (Heather Martin 7/3/16) This is a miniature twined treasure or fancy basket with a lid. The workface is the exterior and the work direction is to the right. The basket has a plaited start that uses three warps and three wefts to create a square of cedar bark (Thuja plicat). These cedar elements extend from the square start to form the warps of the basket, with additional warps added at the corners to form a circle. Following the plaited start, the basket base is plain-twined with a root weft, ending with a row of three-strand twining where the walls of the basket begin. The walls are woven in wrapped-twining with bear grass (Xerophyllum tenax) wefts and cedar bark warps. There is a slight shoulder with a neck made with a cedar bark strip that is woven between the warp strands. The neck is finished with two rows of plain twining with an up-to-the-right slant of weft. The final row of twining is used to bind down the warp ends, with the warp of the previous stitch bent downward and bound with the following stitch. At the end of the final row, the weft end is knotted on the interior. The exterior of the basket appears to be without decoration, however, the interior of the basket shows that there was a design created using dyed bear grass that has since been faded. The majority of the wall is woven in deep turquoise with a depiction of a whale that repeated twice in undyed bear grass. Below this design there is a single row of pink and a single row of turquois. The design is created using weft substitution, with the splices being clipped on the interior of the basket. The lid is woven in a similar manner to the base. However, the lid starts with a knot of root warps, rather than a plaited square of cedar bark. The design is the same as on the walls of the basket, with two whales on a turquoise background. There is a checkered ring around the start and a single turquois band on the lip if the lid.

This basket is typical of the styles made on the northwest coast of North America, in British Columbia. More specifically, this basket is of the style made by Nootka (Nuu-chah-nulth) and Makah weavers. However, Makah are known for using plaited cedar bark starts and bear grass wefts, a unique combination of features in the area (Gogol 1981:8). Therefore, this basket was likely made by a Makah weaver.

Material cedar bark, spruce root, beargrass
Place of Origin British Columbia
Provenance Makah (Heather Martin 7/3/16)
Date Collected: 1940-1960
Dimensions H-4.4 cm
Imagefile 004\255008-3.JPG
Caption 255.008 image showing the interior of the lid