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California Hupa twined basket

20th Century
20th Century
4 1/4 in. x 6 1/4 in. (10.8 cm x 15.88 cm)

Native American, Native American

Object Type: Baskets
Creation Place: North America, United States, California
Medium and Support: Hazel or willow warp shoots; conifer root weft; woodwardia fern dyed with alder bark, bear grass and maidenhair fern overlay materials
Credit Line: Gift of Laurette Schorcht in honor of Doris Dennison, Music Director, Dance Dept. 1939-1972
Accession Number: 1997.14.6
Technique: Twined basket. Half-twist overlay, no overlay shows through to the interior. The bear grass overlay is the background color, with woodwardia and maidenhair ferns for the design overlay. The overlay inside is very well cleaned and the edge is very smoothly finished.

Design: This one looks like another wax’poo variation, also called the friendship design. It looks quite like the one on page 119-120 of Kroeber, also called apxanko’ikoi design by the Karuk that corresponds to the wax’poo of the Yurok.

Structure: This basket has a lot in common with 1997.14.4. I would put this in the “fancy” or “trinket” basket category, partially because of the size (it’s not a classic storage basket), and also because it’s not the right shape or style to be a hat, bowl or tobacco basket. It’s so strong and sturdy, with very little warping and seems like this was a very experienced weaver. The weave of the bottom is interesting, it is starting out with a looser weave and wider warp and weft materials and progressively gets smaller and tighter in the materials and weave. Maybe it’s just easier to start that way or they’re using the bigger shoots to make a stronger bottom.

Cultural affiliation notes: The original record states, “Hupa twined bowl” and I think it would be accurate to assume that’s largely correct. It could surely be Hupa and it Is twined but I wouldn’t call it a bowl. This very much matches the style and materials of Hupa baskets, 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.

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

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