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Twined ceremonial basket cap, Hupa

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Twined ceremonial basket cap, Hupa

ca. 1910
20th Century
3 1/2 in. x 7 in. (8.89 cm x 17.78 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: 1985.4.1
Size: 7 in diameter and much shallower, like a Hupa, Yurok, Karuk style

Technique: Twined basket. Half-twist overlay, no overlay shows through to the interior. The overlay is all bear grass (beige) and maidenhair fern (black), perfectly done, the maidenhair is shiny and in great condition.

Design: It’s a flint design and it’s more stepped on the edge. This cap has the tata’ktak design from the Karuk as described by Kroeber on page 128-130, which he says corresponds to the Yurok sharp tooth design. The design in the center of the shape looks like one of the wax’poo designs on page 119-120 of Kroeber, a variation he describes as a distortion of the classic design elements. It very much fits design conventions in the 3 sections with an odd number (3) flint design. “Lifelines,” the division lines at the rim and top, are visible but not as raised with a stick like you might see more commonly in Karuk caps.

Structure: I don’t see any hairs in this cap. This cap shows a real mastery from the weaver, very experienced hand. The cap is really stunning, the interior is perfectly finished, and it is a strong weave with just the right shape. The weave is tight and strong. Edges are just clipped warp shoots.

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 7 in. (88.9 x 177.8 mm)

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