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Twined ceremonial basket cap; Hupa, Yurok, Karuk

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Twined ceremonial basket cap; Hupa, Yurok, Karuk

early 20th Century
20th Century
3 in. x 6 in. (7.62 cm x 15.24 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: Gift of Laurette Schorcht in honor of Doris Dennison, Music Director, Dance Dept. 1939-1972
Accession Number: 2005.131
Size: This one is much smaller than expected, 5 ¾ in diameter (I’d expect more like 6 ¾ - 7 ½ in or so)

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 the wax’poo design on page 119-120 of Kroeber, a variation he describes as a distortion of the classic design elements; but it matches more closely what Kroeber calls the tata’ktak design from the Karuk on page 128-130, which he says corresponds to the Yurok sharp tooth design. There are 6 designs around the side, more common to see odd numbers for most designs. Lifeline divisions are present, and the design conventions fit the expectation.

Structure: It is a really nice and tight weave, a very skilled and experienced weaver. No visible hairs in this one.

Cultural affiliation notes: A classic Hupa, Yurok, and/or Karuk ceremonial cap. This cap has all the hallmarks of a ceremonial cap, but it is so much smaller than some of the others, likely made for trade or sale in 20th century. The ones that were too small to wear were often for sale (it’s also quicker to make it smaller).

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

  • Height and diameter Dimensions: 3 x 6 in. (76.2 x 152.4 mm)

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