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Twined ceremonial basket cap; Hupa, Yurok, Karuk

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Twined ceremonial basket cap; Hupa, Yurok, Karuk

before 1969
20th Century
3 1/2 in. x 6 1/2 in. (8.89 cm x 16.51 cm)

Native American, Native American

Object Type: Baskets
Creation Place: North America, United States, NW California
Medium and Support: Hazel or willow warp shoots; conifer root weft; bear grass and maidenhair fern overlay material
Credit Line: Found in Collection
Accession Number: 1969.112
Size: It seems a little smaller for wearing, 6 ¼ in diameter.

Technique: Twined basket. Half-twist overlay, no overlay shows through to the interior, very cleanly finished on the interior. It is all maidenhair and bear grass overlay.

Design: Looks like some of the Hupa patterns described in Kroeber p. 134-138 which he describes as a Lenoulon, corresponding to the Yurok elk and ladder design, or the Karuk cut- wood designs. This design does seem to be way more common in Hupa though. The name means something like joined or tied together and is used because this pattern is continuous around the basket, not broken up into odd numbered elements. Does have the division into three sections but not raised division lines so it is likely Hupa or Yurok. The design is lovely.

Structure: This hat has pretty severe damage at the button and on the side, which allows you to see that incredibly thin willow or hazel shoot were used to weave it and the overlay is super fine. The thin warp may have led to it being easier to damage. No hairs visible in this one. It also kind of tucks in on the edge so it would sit right on the forehead but would have to fit a small head.

Cultural affiliation notes: A classic Hupa, Yurok, and/or Karuk ceremonial cap, most likely Hupa or Yurok.

Citation: Kroeber, Alfred L. “Basket Designs of the Indians of Northwestern California.” University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology 2, no. 4 (1905): 105-164

Jesse Dutton-Kenny, Visiting Researcher, October 26th - 27th & 29th - 30th, 2020

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:

  • Height and diameter Dimensions: 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (88.9 x 165.1 mm)

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