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Catalog Number 337.002
Object Name Basket, Cooking
Collector Unknown
Description (Heather Martin 6/11/15) This is a large coiled basket with flaring sides. The basket has a three-rod foundation. The workface is the exterior and the work direction is to the left. The basket has an indented pinhole start with a very small opening. The stitches are non-interlocking and are not widely spaced. The rim is plain wrapped and the coil ending is tapered. There are some split stitches on the interior and exterior, though none seem to be intentional. The slant of weft is up the right. Both the moving ends and the fag ends appear to be in the non-workface of the basket, which is unusual. The splices are either clipped or bound under in fairly equal proportions. The fag ends are bound under the succeeding coil, while the moving ends are bound under the current coil. The ends are bound under multiple stitches, evidenced by a bump that can be seen to extend for up to one inch. The foundation material is a peeled shoot, the weft background material is sedge (Carex barbarae) root, while the black material is wart root (Smilax californica). The rim finish is done in a split peeled shoot. The design is done in weft substitution and consists of several design elements. There are three "V" shaped designs created by sets of three stair-stepped "Vs", one above the other. Two of these "Vs" are close together and appear to "overlap" at their shared end. The third "V" is separated from the others by a vertical design on either side. One design consists of four stacked upward-pointed arrows with a horizontal band at the top. The other design is a continuous vertical band that has rectangles extending from it on both sides and throughout its entire length. The basket has no obvious signs of use, though it is abraded to the foundation on the base.

The mechanical features of the basket indicate that it was made by a Maidu weaver. More specifically, the sedge root wefts indicate that it was made by the Valley Maidu, and the wart root material was used most frequently by the Valley Maidu of Butte County (Shanks 2006:76). This contradicts Mary Wahl's determination that this basket is Miwok based on the design.

(Don Hankins 10/27/2016) Large cooking basket with willow foundation 3-rod. Weaving material is Santa Barbara sedge with California green briar root. Sedge is highly polished. Rim looks to be a different material, possibly sourberry (Rhus Trilobata). Origin of basket is not attributed. I'd compare it to works of Nisenan, Patwin, (Wintu), and Konkow.

(Sue Campbell 5/2/2017) This is a large coil, three-rod, sedge basket. I don't think it's a cooking basket because it actually has an indentation on the bottom so the rocks would have worn that away if they were using it. It would have been more of a flat bottom, so it may be more of a storage basket. It's a very old- it has a beautiful patina- that really golden color. I was confused by the shininess on the outside, so I was thinking, "I don't remember sedge being shiny," but if you look on the inside of the basket you can absolutely see the sedge and how dull looking it is. On the very bottom it really has the lighter look of the sedge, but on the outside it has a really pretty shininess to it, so that kind of threw me off for a little bit. You can also see all the variation of the different color of sedge, you've got some lighter, some darker as the weaver went around. She did a really good job in keeping the colors not too uniform, but throughout it it's kind of here and there and everywhere so it is a beautiful color. It looks like she finished it off on the very top with a maple, but it has kind of a cracking look to it. I would still say it is maple, somebody could come along and maybe say it's redbud, but I'm going to say it's maple. It has the design -I'm not an expert on these designs -using a black Smilax root. It's a beautiful black. On the inside you can see little warts on it identify it, and on the outside it has this beautiful shininess to it. It is definitely a very dark black and every so often it actually turns into a little bit of a red color and I think that could be from actually some of it being worn off, and boy this is a very beautiful basket. It has kind of like a zigzag pattern or it's like a lightning pattern and they're coming together. It's on three sides of the basket and then coming down it has three of them -one within the other stacking on each other. On one side it has a tree-like look where it's coming up through the center and then with rectangles on the outside of each side. Then there's one that looks like a tree -with stackable triangles, one on top of the other, four with a top that's actually just stitched two rows of the black root finishing the top of it. This is a beautiful basket. It's nice and big. It's sturdy. It has some damage on the top of the rim -we were thinking it might have been a repair at some point because some of the maple looks a lot shinier.

(Mary Wahl 4/19/2001) Rod as opposed to bunch. Maybe Miwok due to bifurcation of the weave. Older basket.
Material sedge root, wart root
Place of Origin Butte County, California
Provenance Maybe Miwok (Mary Wahl)
Maudi (Heather Martin 6/11/15)
Nisenan, Patwin, Wintu, or Konkow (Don Hankins 10/27/2016)
Dimensions H-10 Dia-16 inches
Imagefile 004\337002-4.JPG
Caption 337.002 image showing the start from the exterior