Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Pomo Basket Making

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. Pomo Basket...

Yuchi Basket Making

Another handicraft in the seemingly well-rounded industrial life of the Yuchi is basket making. The women possess the knowledge of at least two processes of basket weaving; the checker work and the twilled. The baskets in general are of two sorts. One is a large rough kind made of hickory or oak splints not unlike the ordinary split baskets made by the Algonkian tribes, with handles for carrying. The other kind, in the manufacture of which cane rinds are chiefly employed, is distinctly characteristic of the Southeastern and Gulf area. A collection of Yuchi baskets resembles those of the Choctaw or Chitimacha in general appearance and technique, although the Yuchi forms obtainable today do not show as much diversity as the others. In their present location, unfortunately, the Yuchi are handicapped by the lack of basket stuffs, while the other tribes still occupy territory where cane is abundant. This may perhaps be the reason why we find the Yuchi comparatively deficient in variety of basket forms and weaves, when other tribes of the southern or Gulf area, as the Chitimacha, Attakapa and Choctaw, are considered. The regular basket material is cane {Arundinaria). For baskets of the common household storage type, intended as well for general domestic utility, the cane rind is the part used, as the outside is fine and smooth. Splints from the inner portion of the cane stalk are employed in the construction of basket sieves and other coarser types. The forms and outlines of common utility baskets, däst’, shown in PI. IV, Figs. 1, 2, seem to resemble the common pottery forms in having the opening...

Choctaw Baskets

The Choctaw are excellent basket makers, although their work at the present time is greatly inferior to that of a generation ago. The best baskets are made of narrow strips of cane, Arundinaria macro­sperma (Choctaw, uske), though now, at Bayou Lacomb, they are using the stems of palmetto, Serrenoa serrulata (Choctaw, tala), as cane is no longer found nearby, and to obtain it a journey has to be made to Pearl river, some fifteen or twenty miles away. The baskets now made, with few exceptions, are very crude and rather poorly formed. Brilliant aniline dyes are used in the place of the more subdued native colors. Large numbers of small baskets provided with handles are made and exchanged in the stores of the nearby towns for various goods; these are purchased by strangers and taken away as examples of native art. Kishe’ (pack basket). The bottom is rectangular; the top flares on two sides. Extreme height, 21 inches. Made entirely of natural colored cane, no dyes being used. The strap (aseta) passes through four loops of the cane, as are shown in the illustration.   This particular basket was made at Bayou Lacomb about five years ago by Pisatuntema (Emma).   Taposhake shakapa (basket elbow [shape]) .—A very old specimen of this peculiar basket is shown. This is made of cane, some parts being colored yellow and red with native dyes.   Taposhake chufa (basket pointed). A typical specimen is shown. This is claimed by the Choctaw to be one of the oldest forms made by them.   Covered baskets. These are no longer made, although they are remembered...

Pin It on Pinterest