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Imbricated Basket

Arts of the Americas

CULTURE Klikitat
MEDIUM Cedar root, bear grass, horsetail root dye, rawhide
DATES late 19th or early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 15 x 15 x 15 in. (38.1 x 38.1 x 38.1 cm)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The object is a basket with an imbricated pattern made from brown bark, yellow bark, and ivory-yellow grass wrapped over cedar root. Imbrication is a regular overlapping arrangement technique that is used exclusively by Native Americans of the Plateau and Northwest Coast areas. The Klikitat maker used a coil technique that is more like sewing than weaving. Coiled baskets are built up spirally from the center and require two components: the first is a central core of rods or grasses serving as a foundation for the second component which is a group of fibers that simultaneously wrap around the foundation and stitch the coils together. An awl creates holes in the foundation through which fibers are pulled or stitched. While sewing is in process, imbrication decoration is also going forward. Imbrication involves wrapping dyed grasses into the basket, forming an overlapping pattern. The basket is in stable condition.
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