Welcome to the Basket and Urn section of the Lee Coleman Collection.
Baskets & Urns
This is made by the Mohawk Indians in New York state and in Canada. It is a nice, fat goose with a wooden core and tamarack (larch) branches, beautifully molded around the core. In smaller sizes, they are not hard to find, but usually rather uninspiring— strictly tourist items. Not this one.
Alaskan grass baskets are the work of the Eskimo, which by the way is preferred term for Alaskan native people, whereas “Inuit” is preferred by Greenland native people. These baskets typically have little surface decoration, and achieve a quiet elegance of their own.
Japanese bamboo basket. They come in endless varieties, shapes and purposes. This one is a hanging basket for flowers held in a little container. The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco has an amazing collection, so check it out.
Made by the Pima, an Arizona tribe, a shallow bowl. Pieces with some damage, like this one have as much meaning and power as the perfect specimens, are a lot easier on the pocket book, and speak more to me of real life than those that are perfect.
Another Pima tray.
Also a Pima tray, made from willow branches.
A gambling tray made by the Western Mono (Monache) tribe in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada south of Lake Tahoe.
Another winnowing tray from Northern California.
Large and well used winnowing tray from the Hupa or Yurok or Karok people.
Another Western Mono product, this time a winnowing tray
A seed beater from the Western Mono native people of California, using split branches of the redbud plant. Such simple and useful elegance.