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Catalog Number 29.1
Object Name Basket, Winnowing
Other Name coiled basket
Collection Mrs. Carl Johnson Basketry Collection
Collector Mrs. Carl Johnson
Description (Heather Martin 7/11/2016) This is a coiled tray with curving sides for winnowing, sifting, and parching. It has a grass bundle foundation, probably of bear grass (Xerophyllum tenax), the workface is the concave side, and the work direction is to the left. The stitches are non-interlocking and are not widely spaced. There are split stitches on the non-workface, but they seem to be unintentional due to their random nature. The slant of weft is up to the right, the fag ends are clipped and the moving ends are concealed. The tray has a non-indented plaited start similar to those on a boondoggle keychain. The rim is plain wrapped in alternating black and white stitches. The coil ending is slightly tapered with a few backstitches. The background material is a split leaf, possibly sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri), while the black design material is probably strips of devil's claw pods (Harpagophytum procumbens). The design is done in weft substitution and consists of four bands of even spaced triangles and six ticked rectangles.

This basket resembles those made by the Papago and Pima in the American Southwest. Although both regularly use tree materials for light colors, only the Papago are known to make baskets out of sotol leaves to sell (Kissell 1916:197). The Papago are also known to make trays that are more globular shaped such as this one, while the Pima make more straight-sided trays (Kissell 1916:254). Therefore this basket is likely to be a Papago basket. This corroborates Mary Wahl, a basketry appraiser who also attributed this basket to the Papago. However, this assessment contradicts the documentation for this basket; which attributes this basket to Sally Bell of Humboldt County, California. This is unlikely due to the fact that Native Americans in Humboldt County traditionally did not make coiled baskets and did not have access to the materials used to make this basket. The original description also states that this basket had quail feathers woven in, but there are no signs that there are or ever were feathers woven into the foundation.

(Unknown contributer) Tan and dark brown coiled basket, with quail feathers woven in; triangular patterns woven in dark brown around body of basket. Basket made by Mrs. Sally Bell, a Native American who resided near Thorn, Humboldt Co., California. She wove the baskets in 1910 when she was 70 years old. She is believed to have lived well over 100 years.

(Mary Wahl 4/19/2001) Papago Indians, Arizona. Papago are now called Odamtash. Basket is about 30 years old. An older Papagp basket would have had a tighter weave.
Material sotol, devil's claw
Place of Origin Arizona or California
Provenance Humboldt County, California (Unknown source)
Papago (Mary Wahl 4/19/2001)
Papago (Heather Martin 7/11/2016)
Dimensions H-2 Dia-12 inches
Imagefile 004\291-3.JPG
Caption 29.1 exterior of basket