Other Native Basketry Sites

California Yokuts coiled women's gambling tray -- $45,000 from pricey Morningstar gallery

Leave me a little of the sun!
Do not devour it altogther from me!
Leave me a little!
--Yokuts prayer

According to Kroeber, "The [typical Yokuts basket] foundation is a bundle of epicampes grass, the wrapping was woody root fibers of sedge, fern root for black, redbud inner bark for red. Yokuts women employed the finest of their trays for dice, but of course the type was also put into more lowly and daily service. Dice was the women's game. Huchuwish was played with 8 huech, half-shells of nut filled with pitch and bits of sea-shells [which formed the spots], thrown with both hands onto the basketry tray, t'aiwan. " Gwiunauzhid mak meant "Let's gamble!" and goyuwinich meant a gambler. So take a gamble on some of the sites below . . . win some knowledge, and it won't cost you any $45K!

Morningstar Gallery's pricey baskets page -- emphasis is on Apache baskets. Makers not IDed, and very little info given. Good photos, typical pricey rare curios dealer

  • 1920 Yokuts coiled basket gambling tray, pictured above, $45,000, MorningStar Gallery, most expensive basket advertised and one of their most expensive items. This collector-price shark feeding frenzy does not benefit today's basketmakers, just as it never benefitted those who made these now-expensive baskets decades or a century ago.

California Indian Basketmakers' Association homepage. Traditional basketmakers -- news of their travelling show (Crocker Museum), environment, cultural and spiritual revival/survival of the art. These ladies don't get any tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars for their work. Hey, they're alive! Nor do those dealer-collector prices contribute to support of educational, environmental preservation. Check the page of CIBA's detailed, thoughtful environmental policies statement.

California Indian basket-weavers refuse to cooperate with DNR pesticide assessment incomplete CNN news story. DNR got a grant to study its affects on basketry. CIBA had requested the study. They don't agree with the methodology of relative damage assessment (a lot of scintists are on their side about this). Study is in Klamath river area, northern CA. CNN story appeared on their west coast newsweb January, 1996. I complained about the racism and bias of this story, and was told of a followup news story, run a month later:

  • Basket Weavers Limit Their Participation in Pesticide 'Risk' Study This contains some quotes from Steve Nicola, who is environmental coordinator for CIBA (though the news story doesn't say so). This followup story isn't linked to the first, and isn't indexed, so the average CNN webnews browser is unlikely to find it, as I didn't until told about it after complaining of CNN's bias. It remains unclear why CNN would take their main story straight from California DPR propaganda, and also why they leave the word "Indian" out of the CIBA name. And the DPR line about how they can't do it without knowing how individual Indian women use the plants -- Hey, DPR! they gather those plants and then they make baskets of them. So how much pesticide residues are on and in the plants?

Shapes and Uses of California Indian Basketry, California Indian Library Project page, many typs of practical baskets illustrated -- unfortunately, with small black and white photos. Equally unfortunately, this museum-library project did not see fit to ID most tribes. A California Indian is an Indian. Actually there was very wide variation in tribal basketry: methods, materials, styles, uses, plants.
California Tribal Groups, another CILP computer project. There's a nice high-quality map of pre-contact tribal areas in California, then lists correlating tribes to counties.
Yosemite Sisochi Gallery Baskets page -- baskets by Julia Parker, water bottle from Carrie Bethel's family, many nice baskets made by California basketmakers, especially Miwok-Paiute traditional residents of Yosemite Valley. Planned: A biography of Julia Parker, Kashia Pomo, related by marriage to famous Miwok-Paiute basketmaker Lucy (Parker) Telles. Parker is a tribal scholar, cultural consultant, wll-known basketmaker, Her bio promised "soon" for this website.
Sierra Mono Museum Baskets theft. More than 100 baskets by Mono Lake tribal weavers were stolen August 8, 1996 from the Sierra Mono Museum, North Fork, CA. Most were family collections, stored for safekeping at the museum. CIBA board member Isabelle Mowry, whose mother's and grandmothers's cooking baskets were stolen says "Everybody's sad. It's like a death in the family." The museum is working on a brochure with pix and descriptions of the stolen baskets, contact the museum at (209) 877-2115. Anyone with info on the theft or baskets now: Contact Detective Ray Kern at (209) 642-3201.
Santa Barbara basket theft [Page no longer online.] Mission exhibit of Chumash historic basket and other items stolen Jan 1996, thought to be a repatriation theft
Students at Mendocino Middle School apparently made some coiled baskets better than I could for a Native studies class. The shaky shapes depicted indicate the years of apprenticeship learning (usually with mothers or grandmothers) required to become a real basketmaker, but these kids did get started on something real, and will now appreciate basketry. The teacher has provided almost no info other than the pix. It seems very likely there was a visiting Indian teacher for the project, but she's not mentioned.
Hopi Basketry presentation by several anthro students. Long, academic, illustrated, short bibliography. The illustrations are of Plaque (illustrated) baskets, a recent development. Most are dyed with commercial chemical dyes. Patterns are recent innovations.
Native Tech basketry (East Coast woodland): coiled technique and pine needle. Construction diagrams.
Hudson Museum - Trees and Tradition Baskets, mostluy informative text. Exhibit travels starting Oct 1, downloaded. Basket tree (Brown Ash) dying. Maine Indian Baksetmakers Alliance met with scientists, task force on browh ash a couple years ago. Explanation givn on this website is it's a natural phenomenon (actually seems to be same pollution from St Lawyrenc seaway industry that killed Akwsasne trees a generation ago, now reaching Maine).

Wingspread article about basketry changes -- with the ending of tribal life functionality, a few continued to weave and made many innovations (productions of junk, oddities) dominated by a souvenir and curio market. Contrast to the Big Buk$ old basketry collectors' hype market (Dat-so-la-lee,markting legends fake Deigkup), this is the curio-souvenir trade growth (teapot-shaped baskets, etc.)

Several pictures of different tribal types of baskets for sale from Canyon Art dealer. Bio note on Mary Black, Navajo basket weaver who invented the idea of plaque - that - tells- story, and brief version of the legend she made her plaque pic about.
Lydia Pesata, Jicarilla Apache, 1990 demo of duplicating old basket, Maxwell Museum, UNM.

Elsie Allen Baskets-- 3 generations of Pomo weavers -- Elsie Allen, her mother, and her grand-niece Susan Billy. Unfortunately the exhibit (Oakland Museum) is over, and there are no pix and not much info on this page. Too bad, it's the basket exhibit I'd most like to see.
Vermont Museum Abenaki basketry The only Indian item (brown ash basket w/handle) in an "All the Precious Past" Vermont Historical Society museum exhibit, prepared by Montpelier h.s. students with a USDOE grant
Traditional Native Plants and Herbs is a section of this site that has plant info and photos on food and som medical-us plants. There is also a section there of rferences and links for the science teacher that may help integrate this native-centred material -- as well as what's been presnted here about basketry plants, into school science study of plants, botany, environmental studies.

These galleries have little or no info about the baskets they display but their prices, i.e. no historical, artistic, cultural info. They are included here only because you can occasionally see nice pix of baskets, and you can also get an idea of varying basket prices (if you are a weaver)

Basket Weaver Armida Mattia (Papago) sells her own traditional-style baskets, several shown. [Apparently no longer online.]
Sunshine Studio baskets page
Gallery of the American West Baskets Page
Migrations Gallery baskets Page
Cree and Dene Artists of North Saskatchewan -- Angie Campbell runs the gallery, featuring birch bark basketry of Ben Campbell, Cree, Saskatchewan. These are sewn, lidded circular birch boxes, not woven baskets.
Inuit Baskets -- Isaacs Gallery. A few examples, twined beargrass, stone topknot on lid.

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CREDITS: Pomo feather basket and Yokuts gambling tray are both reduced-size pix from Morningstar Gallery's sales catalog web page linked-to above. The pricey Yokyuts tray may be the one written about in "The Yokuts Gambling Tray," Jerald Collings, American Indian Art, 1, No. 1, 1975. Seems odd they don't mention that write-up for this high-priced thing, though.

Webmistress -- Paula Giese Explanatory text and graphics copyright 1995.

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 08, 1996 - 5:32:46 AM