The baskets here are from the Mr. and Mrs. Harris A. Thompson Collection. Most date around the turn of the 20th century. Obviously, baskets were made by those Native people who had access to the plant materials necessary to construct the baskets. These individuals used everything from willow, cottonwood, and sumac to yucca and hemp. They used numerous roots and grasses, too, such as bulrush root, spruce root, deer grass, bear grass, sedge root, and maiden hair fern. The baskets had a variety of uses including a water jar, sally bag (wallet), seed jar, all kinds of trays, and ceremonial and gift baskets. The tribes represented in this collection are the familiar (Apache, Salish, Hopi, Paiute, and Ojibwa) and the not so familiar (Pomo, Pima, Yokuts, and Yavapai, to name a few). The majority of the descriptions are quite extensive having been studied by basket expert Ms. Bryn B. Potter, Adjunct Curator of Anthropology, Riverside (CA) Metropolitan Museum. Learn more about construction, materials, and purposes below. See if you can map out the locations of the tribes represented!
A Buffalo Bill Center of the West Virtual Exhibit
Curated by: Marg2309