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Coiled Cooking Basket (Bush-ku) with mountain quail topknot design (wash-wash-ka)

Arts of the Americas

 This cooking basket is decorated with a motif of a mountain quail’s head plume, which was Amanda Wilson’s best-known design. The weaver may have favored it because her Native name (Oymutnee) means “the sound made by a quail.” The mountain quail, which inhabits the foothills and mountains west of the Rocky Mountains, has a very distinctive, thin double plume on its head. In addition to being an accomplished basket weaver, Wilson was an important leader in the Maidu women’s dance society.
MEDIUM Sedge root, split redbud shoots, willow rods
DATES ca. 1908
DIMENSIONS 7 x 15 in. (18.5 x 38.0 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1908, Museum Collection Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Cooking basket (bush-ka) with the design of the mountain-quail top-knot. This design was Wilson's best known design. The mountain-quail has a very long, straight top knot. Author Sally Bates suggests that this design may have been favored as the weaver's name, Oymutnee, meant "the sound made by a quail." Baskets such as this one seem to be characteristic of the Maidu community of Mikchopedo at Chico, CA. (Also see also description for 08.491.8679.)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Amanda Wilson (Maidu, ca. 1860–1946). Coiled Cooking Basket (Bush-ku) with mountain quail topknot design (wash-wash-ka), ca. 1908. Sedge root, split redbud shoots, willow rods, 7 x 15 in. (18.5 x 38.0 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1908, Museum Collection Fund, 08.491.8683. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 08.491.8683_view01_PS9.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 08.491.8683_view01_PS9.jpg., 2019
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