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Native basket in NH museum

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Midnight1208's loves317 of 1029Beautiful Jade-like Stone BasePAVEL HLAVA 'GALAXY' VASE FOR EXBOR  c.1964
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    Posted 5 years ago

    (1 item)

    This item is in our local museum in Dover NH. Am trying to identify its origin so we can label it correctly: is it Native? date? Any info would be helpful.

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    1. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
      I think Washoe or Paiute
    2. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
      As to date, early 1900's.

      This is a wonderul example of Native American art, I have over a hundred crammed into curio cabinets and everywhere else LOL. It is hard to stop collecting when there are so many examples that get better and better :)
    3. CathyB1, 5 years ago
      In doing research this afternoon (I'm a librarian!) I think it might be a Yokut (Central California) basket from the early 20th century. It has the red and black rattlesnake pattern, the spirit figures (which I read the tourists liked so they added them because they'd sell for higher prices), and the geometric triangles. Does anyone agree?
    4. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 5 years ago
      CanyonRoad may have some thoughts to offer when he sees this thread as well.
    5. CathyB1, 5 years ago
      Thanks, I welcome all opinions!
    6. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
      It could be Yokut, they used the same colors as the Washoe and Paiute tribes alot. If that is what you are seeing in your research then I defer to that.
      I do not use any books to check this stuff, and my area of expert is in other tribes anyhow. I just looked at the colors used and plus the snakes head is at the bottom so I could not see it in the pics.
    7. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
      "I do not use books to check this stuff"...

      I had to laugh at myself because a librarian is going to see that and it was too late to take back what I said. I LOVE BOOKS, have since I was a child. I would go every week to the library and take out 12 books...and have them all read in a day or two. They were and continue to be friends of mine.
    8. CanyonRoad, 5 years ago
      Based solely on the photo, I would agree that it does appear to be Yokuts. (Yokuts is a pretty general category, however, and can apply to some 40 related groups in south-central California.)

      I do think this one warrants a second opinion from someone who specializes in this type of basket. Check out the similar patterned basket on the Other Native Basketry Sites web page:

      Not knowing how long you have had this basket, or what, if any, information came with it, and only based on the form, the design layout, and the patterns, it certainly appears to be right.

      The most important factors, however, meaning what materials it is made from, and the specific coiling technique used, are sometimes difficult to determine from a photo.

      If it's the real thing, it's an outstanding basket, certainly the best that has shown up on this site!
    9. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
      See, I should have waited for Canyon Road to give an opinion...after looking at the picture of the basket at the website CR gave here, I would say Yep it is Yokuts :)
    10. CathyB1, 5 years ago
      Thank you all so much for your help. I'm going over to the Museum to investigate any provenance/history they have on its origins and to examine it more closely. Will look for coiling (what I read is that Yokuts "coil right") and its actual condition. I've only seen it in its glass case so am looking forward to also seeing the exterior.
    11. CanyonRoad, 5 years ago
      Main thing to check for concerning the coiling, is the specific technique, if that can be determined. Yokuts baskets are traditionally "bundle" coiled, where the coil is made up of "bundle" of short fibers bound together. That would be different than a basket where the coil is made up of a single "rod" or stick, or "3-rod" made up of a stack of 3 separate sticks. (There are some tribes that use a combination of bundle and rod construction, or other slight variations, as well.)

      What looks like a break in the rim (at about 2 o'clock on the upper right) should be able to let you see the inner construction of the coil.

      This is why just looking at the design can not necessarily identify the tribe. Designs can easily be copied. The red and black "rattlesnake" pattern is found on the work of several different tribes, for example. But it's the combination of materials, weaving technique, form, designs, and patterns that is usually unique to one specific tribe.
    12. CathyB1, 5 years ago
      OK, I just went to Museum and they let me handle the basket and take photos (I don't think I can post photos in this comment box, but if someone wants to email me at, I'd be happy to share them.) The basket is beautiful and in nearly perfect condition as far as I can broken fibers or coils, just a few gaps between stitches. There are about 12 stitches to the inch. It measures 15" across and is 6.5" deep. It is coiled in clockwise direction. In the gap at the rim I can see various small fibers bundled together but can't count how many. It is definitely not one single rod.
      Thank you for your help!
    13. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 5 years ago
      Cathy, there is an edit function at the left of the page, you can click that and add three more photos. I hope this helps.
    14. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
      Yes, please edit and put more pictures in of this wonderful basket. I for one would LOVE to see more, this basket is beautiful and if I could add another 20 "LOVEs" I certianly would :)
    15. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
      what an amazing California native basket! by the coloration, it has quite a bit of age too. really beautiful piece! if you do enough research, you might even figure out who it is probably made by. a real museum piece!
    16. CathyB1, 5 years ago
      I have added 3 more pictures! Thanks, katherinescollections, for the tip!
    17. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
      WOW. Just wow!
    18. CanyonRoad, 5 years ago
      Glad to find out that wasn't a break! Everything looks right...I'd say it deserves a far better display presentation, rather than being stuck next to a factory-made Skookum doll.

      And if it isn't in a light and climate controlled case, it certainly should be. It's a beautiful example of an early Yokuts.
    19. CathyB1, 5 years ago
      Don't know how it got all the way to NH, but if you're ever in Dover, please visit the Woodman Institute Museum to see it! The Museum is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and the local newspaper is publishing 100 articles (one item per day) to highlight the Woodman's varied collections. I'm writing the copy and that's why I was researching the basket.
    20. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
      Can every one see the pictures online, or do you have to have a subscription to see the paper?
    21. CathyB1, 5 years ago
      See all the treasures here:
      We're only up to #15 so far...
    22. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 5 years ago
      You may want to mark this mystery as solved and credit those who helped you, including of course CanyonRoad, expert extraordinaire. :)
    23. CathyB1, 5 years ago
      Again, thanks to all! The museum staff here are pleased to finally know their wonderful basket's origins. I certainly appreciate everyone's help!

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