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This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Small cylindrical woven basket with dome-shaped, fitted lid (part b). One side depicts a whale with jaws open, chasing a canoe carrying two people; on the other side, the whale is swallowing them. Flying birds encircle a floral motif on the lid. Motifs are woven directly into the baskets with dyed grasses; inside this basket, protected from the light, the colours remain vibrant: pink, purple, red, orange, and green.

History Of Use

Nuu-chah-nulth weavers on the west coast of Vancouver Island began creating pika-uu, or decorative “trinket baskets,” in the mid-19th century. As the pressures of colonization and colonial legislation grew for Indigenous peoples, basket making became a way for women to generate income in the new cash economy. Making baskets like this one for sale to outsiders was an extension of the ancient practice of weaving whalers’ hats and more utilitarian objects. Weavers perfected a wrapped-twining technique to make a wide range of new items, including lidded containers, covered glass bottles, whaler-style hats, and carrying bags.

Iconographic Meaning

Motifs on these kinds of baskets depicted whales and whalers, lightning serpents, thunderbirds and later steamships and English words.

Specific Techniques

Wrapped twinning technique using tlii-sikum (bear grass), citapt (swamp grass), picup (red cedar bark) and tutanaxkuk (three-corner grass).

Item History

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