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California Pit River twined conical basket

20th Century
20th Century
13 in. x 14 1/2 in. (33.02 cm x 36.83 cm)

Native American, Native American

Object Type: Baskets
Creation Place: North America, United States, California
Medium and Support: Possibly willow or sumac with Conifer root weft. Bear grass and fern for the overlay.
Credit Line: Gift of Laurette Schorcht in honor of Doris Dennison, Music Director, Dance Dept. 1939-1972
Accession Number: 1997.14.3
Technique: Twined basket with a full-twist overlay (design in fully visible on interior and exterior). It’s very strong and sturdy, probably a sumac warp? Possibly sumac wrapped around the edge too? It’s twined with a bear grass overlay and fern used for the designs.

Design: For the design in the top band, I’ve seen this described in other sources as the flying geese design, Kroeber describes this on 121-122 as a variation on the foot design or umetsqaa in Yurok.

Structure: So similar to 1969.71 might be good to relate in some way, this one is a little bit smaller. It is what is typically called a burden basket for gathering. Can also call it a gathering basket or a conical basket. Has lots of residue inside as well as staining, maybe from use with acorns or other food from gathering. This one has a hole at the top edge, punched through (see photos), could have been nailed to a wall or hung from here. No clear markers of carrying strap or any kind of strings. It’s a little warped in structure, from age or use, but also very strong and sturdy, a good warp foundation

Cultural affiliation notes: Could certainly be Pit River. Klamath basin region probably. See page. 235 of GW James book for a very similar image featuring a similar basket that I believe he labels as Shasta.

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
James, George Wharton. Indian Basketry, a republication of 4th ed (1909). New York, Dover, 1972 (original published 1901).

Jesse Dutton-Kenny, Visiting Researcher, October 26th - 27th & 29th - 30th, 2020

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