Posted 2 years ago
This is an Urchin Basket, made by the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribes. The way to tell which tribe made it is to look at the wraps for the lid and rim, Penobscot uses one way wrapping while the Passamaquoddy does a criss-cross double wrap. This one is about 8 inches in diameter and almost 2 inches in height, and was made by a member of the Penobscot tribe. It is made of Ash and Sweet grass. I am not sure about dating this one, but I can tell it is an older one based on the shape. It is thinner than the newer ones that were made later on (1930). I believe this one was made much earlier than 1930 due to the severe bend in the splints, and because of that I have tissue paper placed inside to help take some of the pressure off the splints. These Urchin baskets were very hard shape to weave, and they did not use a basket mold to weave around to get the shape. They would have to bend the larger splints more than the other baskets they made, and had to keep everything uniform for the shape while they wove the smaller splints in. Because of this, the artist could charge more for Urchin Baskets and not many were made. Even after they are done, the splints can still break and it is hard to find one now that does not have damage. I was lucky to find this one, and I only paid 10 dollars for it! It has the lid still and that is harder still to find, one with the lid on it. I have many other urchin baskets, one is a perfect miniature that has the same colors as this one. It is a favorite shape of mine, of all the Native American basketry I have in my collection and I am always on the lookout for more of them.
This is a gorgeous basket, and I am proud to have it in my collection.