California Hupa twined burden basket
8 3/8 in. x 7 1/2 in. (21.27 cm x 19.05 cm)
North America, United States, California
Medium and Support:
Hazel or willow warp shoots; bear grass or willow and fern weft; possibly alder bark dye
Gift of Laurette Schorcht in honor of Doris Dennison, Music Director, Dance Dept. 1939-1972
Technique: Twined basket. This actually isn’t using the overlay technique for decoration; the overlay materials are used as a weft instead of having a conifer root weft base. Because of that it’s a looser weave, a little more open and less watertight but that’s alright if it’s just decorative. Also, worth a note that the “red” isn’t actually woodwardia fern (as would be typical) - it’s the same regular weft material (willow, but maybe bear grass) but just dyed a little darker with alder bark maybe. It’s like a shortcut to introduce a new color but not a new weaving element.
Design: Very simple design, the twining style is very interesting though, it inverts the zig zag band on the interior to add a little complexity to the design.
Structure: This is a miniature for certain, probably a model made for display based on the prominent hook. It is what is typically called a burden basket for gathering. Can also call it a gathering basket or a conical basket. This small basket is very sturdy and strong, holds it shape well. The loop at the top rim is still very intact. There are little to no use or wear marks
Cultural affiliation notes: The record states “Hupa” and I think it would be accurate to assume that’s correct. Very much matches the style of this region, but I’d be curious how the donor came to know it was Hupa specifically, perhaps they knew a little more about where they acquired it.
Jesse Dutton-Kenny, Visiting Researcher, October 26th - 27th & 29th - 30th, 2020
Click an image to view a larger version