deer grass, sedge root, bracken fern root, redbud
The basket is a ubiquitous symbol of Native America from California to New York. The ancient history of basket-making is a testament to the forethought, adaptability and high level of skill required by the hunting and gathering people of North America. Weavers sought out specific organic materials, often exotic grasses, harvested and prepared them, and then painstakingly wove them into a wide variety of forms including cooking bowls, seed beaters, cradles and storage jars.
By the late 19th century, Certain tribes, and a handful of gifted weavers, elevated the basket-making tradition to an art form. These three baskets are exceptional examples from this exciting period of transition. They flawlessly fuse form and design -- notice how the designs lead the eye around the surface of the basket, accentuating its form, color and texture. They also speak to thousands of years of tradition and the rich legacy of hunters and gatherers.
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