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Local Lake Tahoe Washoe Indians Basket

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Native American Baskets164 of 316Native American Strawberry Basket with Curly Q'sLake Tahoe CA. Washoe Indians  Basket
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    Posted 7 years ago

    (50 items)

    Hi, this is the second basket I purchased at a garage sale in Lake Tahoe Ca. recently and the nice older lady said her grandma got it back in the day and in was Local Washoe Tribe made. So i am wondering is that true, and can age be told by looking at the construction and if so how can I tell?Whats the blue on the bottom. If it is real what would be the condition of this item,Thanks for any info as knowledge is power and I have NO clue . I will also be posting another one with similar questions . Thanks again, BRussel

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    1. CanyonRoad, 7 years ago
      No, it isn't Washoe.

      The materials used, and the construction technique will help identify it. I can't tell from the photo what type of material it is. The bottom looks like it may be spruce root. Or it may just be dirty and dusty. No idea what the blue it. Looks like blue paint, which probably wasn't original to the basket.

      What I can tell you is that it is a twined basket, made with a full-twist twining stitch (which means that the design shows on both sides of the basket.) That is a technique used in north eastern California, as opposed to north western California, where a half-twist twining stitch is used, and the design shows on only one side. The construction will have little to do with identifying the age, however.

      In this specific case, if that is a wire-reinforced top rim, it's an unusual technique, and may be a repair, or may be the identifying characteristic of a specific basket maker's work. It's not something I'm personally familiar with, but someone else may know. The light colored stitches on the bottom also may be a "signature" of a specific weaver.

      This basket has some characteristics of Wintu, Atsugewi (Hat Creek) , and Achumawi (Pitt River). Considering that it's made with full twist twining, with a wrapped rim, and that design pattern on the top (usually called a "quail feather" pattern), I'd say it's probably Pitt River.
    2. BRussel, 7 years ago
      Thank you
    3. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 6 years ago
      CanyonRoad is right, this basket is Pitt River. I have seen many of them with the rim having a bigger "rolled" weave at the top and they have the wire running around the basket under the weave. There are two kinds of rim weaving in Pitt River basketry, and it seems that the bigger baskets have the larger rolled rim with wire inside. I think maybe the larger baskets were used for cooking, and therefore needed a stronger rim to keep it from splitting from the weight of moving it around while cooking. Although there are no measurements for this basket, it clearly has the larger rolled rim and the wire.

      Now, as to the comments about the blue coloring at the bottom, I do have a old Tsimshian basket with the lid, that I put up on this site about 3 years ago. It has the same blue color on the inside, but it does not show on the outside. I have not seen another basket like that and so I do not know if there is anything special about the coloring. I do know that the Spruce Root used to make the basket I have looks like it was dyed the blue color, but I am not sure how the weave was done so as to not show the blue color at all on the outside of the basket. I guess that is why the person making the basket is called an "artist". Or maybe magician....Lol Either way, I love the artistry of basket making and I will be collecting for many years to come.
    4. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 6 years ago
      what a wonderful treasure!!!

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