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Basket (part a) and lid (part b) with simple coiled work, bifurcated stitches, and parallel slat base construction. Slat flange on the basket (part a) with two overcast loop handles. Partially imbricated with a foot of one slat. Design in black/bullrush/red alternating and staggered with the same motif in red/bullrush/black.The foot is beaded in red. Double-stitch fillers on the lid (part b), while the side of the lid has discrete checkered areas alternating in black and red. Button handle on the lid.

History Of Use

Coiled basketry traditionally had many uses. It was used for storage of foods, medicines and personal belongings. Some baskets were used for cooking and boiling water, while others had more private uses. Haeberlin and Teit (1928) suggest that in the past not all women were basket makers, but that the skill became more widespread during the early and middle twentieth century when basketry was highly collectible and it became a source of income for many local First Nations women. Basket making declined after the 1950s, but it is still present in many Coast Salish communities and interest is growing.

Cultural Context

basketry; plant technology; storage

Iconographic Meaning

This basket has an interesting variant of a diamond design. It also has some similarities to the cluster of flies design. Diamonds are associated with good luck, according to Nlaka'pamux basket maker and Elder, Minnie Peters.

Item History

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