Coiled Gift Basket (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

Willow, sedge root, bulrush, feathers, clamshell disk beads
United States,California
Overall: 6 × 12 in. (15.24 × 30.48 cm)
Pomoan baskets were the prized possessions among collectors from 1890 to 1920, when the basket trade among European-Americans reached its height. To create their wares, Pomoan weavers used a wide variety of native grasses, roots and brush that were separated into thin splints. Each splint was moistened and coiled over rods used as the basket foundation.

Baskets adorned with feathers originally held a societal role of honor among the Pomoans and other central California peoples. Coiled Gift Baskets such as this one were traditionally given to special persons among clans, but were later produced in response to the high demand for Pomoan basketry by collectors. The plumes used to decorate this basket most likely come from the acorn woodpecker or California quail. The basket is further trimmed with white clamshell disk beads, which was also used as currency in several parts of aboriginal California.
From the Robert and Nancy Nooter Collection, Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.