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Ceremonial Cap, Klamath River groups (Hupa, Yurok, Karuk)

early 20th Century
20th Century
2 3/4 in. x 6 1/2 in. (6.99 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; 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: 2005.134
Size: This one is a bit smaller than expected, 6 3/8 in diameter

Technique: Twined basket. Not much overlay on the interior, hard to say if they were going for full or half-twist overlay, probably half. Mostly bear grass overlay background with some woodwardia for the flint design and maidenhair accents. It’s my understanding that it is more unusual to “red” used in a “yellow” cap.

Design: Looks like it matches what Kroeber calls the tata’ktak design from the Karuk on page 128-130, which he says corresponds to the Yurok sharp tooth design. I have also seen this variation called a grizzly paw in other sources. There are 3 flint/grizzly paw patterns. There are lifelines/division lines, though not prominently raised so less likely to be Karuk.

Structure: It is well finished and very smooth on the inside with nice trimmed edging. This is another one of those caps that might be considered a little “off” or was put up for sale, potentially like the other two in this accession. No visible hairs on this one.

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

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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