Monday, September 04, 2006

California Beaded Basketry

While in Yosemite, we spent some time at the museum in Yosemite Village. They house a nice collection of some of the finest basketry from the area. One style of basketry uses beads as a surface embellishment. I've only seen two of these items, one from the Turtle Bay Museum collection and the second from the Yosemite collection. These baskets were woven with the beads strung onto the fiber, each coiling of the fiber setting the bead on the exterior of the basket. It's a beautiful effect and as I mentioned, less prevalent than the classic style of basket weaving. A small search on the net tells me that many of these baskets were woven by the Paiute.

One source for these beautiful baskets is Cowans The image I've shown above is actually from the Nevada State museum - click on the image to learn more about the "Frog Basket".

In searching for an example for you for beadwork woven baskets, I came across a site which offers, at auction, some beautiful beaded baskets. If you click on the title above, you will see what is currently available. There appears to be two different styles of weaving used in these baskets - one is a netting overlay from the Paiute and the other is from the Cascades and uses beadwork that appears to be intrinsic to the basket but could also be an overlay.

I also found a number of interesting items from the California Basketry website. Beadwork from Pitt River and Hat Creek can be found on this site with one tiny example of a bead embellished basket: HERE

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1 comment:

SuzyQ said...

I must add that the techniques used to cover these baskets are varied. As mentioned, the basket I saw in Yosemite used the basket fiber with beads strung on it during the weaving process. The frog basket, pictured, apparently uses peyote stitch as an overlay, as does the netted basket in the link. The basket in the Cowan's Auctions link is of unknown technique, possibly intrinsic to the basket or attached as an overlay, as is the Cascades basket in the link.