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Pomo Basket Making

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Pomo baskets were used for many practical purposes. The first use of a basket was a baby basket which was well made, and could be transported by placing it on the back and using a net and forehead band, packed at the side, or in the arms.

Baskets were also used for food preparation. The weave of this basket was so tight that it would hold water. When water was added the basket material would swell, ensuring that it would continue to hold water. One would wonder how did we cook food without burning the basket. This was done by only cooking food which contained a considerable amount of water, such as soups or mush. To heat and cook the food, stones were heated in a fire and put into the cooking basket which caused the food to boil.

For articles of any amount a large sized coarsely woven basket was used. Woven of white willow only, the strands were place far enough apart so that the articles within could be easily seen. This basket was used a great deal in holding fish, small pieces of wood and other coarse articles. The weight was packed on the back and supported by a forehead band.

For gathering seed, back packing and conical shaped baskets were used. These baskets were also tightly woven and made with pretty designs. Storage baskets, made to contain a supply of food for winter were tied from the sides and ceilings of the homes or placed on the dirt floor of the dwelling. These were to hold dried fish, acorns, roots, and dried berries.

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