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Catalog Number 2.9
Object Name Basket, Trinket
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Hupp Collection
Collector Rosalie Hupp Baldwin (d)
Description (Heather Martin 10/16/2016) This is a large coiled basket with handles that somewhat resembles a modern cooking pot. The coil foundation is a bundle of pine needles and the binding weft is a commercial cotton string. The workface is the interior and the work direction is to the left. The stitches are spaced in a way that creates a spiral on the base of the basket and columns up the walls of the basket. A decorative effect was implemented on the walls by placing two stitches in each location, the first stitch is oriented diagonally as the weaver moves rightward 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 interior of the basket 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 lip that measures three quarters of an inch. The coil ending is tapered, with the final stitch anchored into the stitch directly below it in the previous coil. The handles of the basket are of a single large coil that is separated into two faux coils with a string that runs along the inside and then pierces the coil to capture each weft stitch on the exterior. The handle creates a rectangular shape that encompasses the entire basket, attaches along two sides underneath the lip and then extends from the basket on opposite sides. With the exception of the base, the exterior of the basket has been coated with pitch or another similar substance that is abrading away on the rim and handles. The basket is much more delicate on the base as a result of the lack of coating. The start of the basket has torn from the center, and there is a strip of brown cotton fabric wrapped around the handle and fastened with thread.

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.

Material pine needles, string
Place of Origin California
Provenance Unknown (Heather Martin10/16/2016)
Date Collected: 1910-1920
Dimensions H-5.5 Dia-7.5 inches
Imagefile 004\29-2.JPG
Caption 2.9 side and interior of basket