- View Full Item
- Created Date
LEDGER AND CATALOG CARD SAY 1 [ OF 4 ], also called A, SENT TO CHARLESTON MUSEUM, CHARLESTON, S.C. 1923. From card: "Birch bark.
The information below specifically describes basket E260522-0 in this set of baskets, but appears to apply equally to E260522-1 and E260522-2, and so has been added to the records for those baskets as well. Source of the information below: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska Native Collections: Sharing Knowledge website, by Aron Crowell, entry on E260522-0, http://alaska.si.edu/record.asp?id=314, retrieved 8-9-2012: Birchbark basket, Athabaskan. This Koyukon or Gwich'in basket is made of folded birch bark, with a single wooden hoop to reinforce the rim. It is stitched around the top with split spruce roots and black-dyed porcupine quills tucked in around the rim. Birch bark is waterproof, strong, and flexible, and Athabascan women traditionally fashioned it into baskets of many shapes and sizes. These were used to collect water, berries and roots; to hold food and water inside the house; and (with sewn-on covers) to store various foods underground for winter, such as berries, wild onions, fish, oil, bear grease, muskrat, and moose meat.(1) Bark baskets were also used for cooking. The most common method was to fill them with soup or other liquid and add hot stones to bring the contents to a boil.(2) Rough "boiling baskets" made out of extra-thick birch bark could be hung directly over the fire.(3) Although birch bark baskets are no longer used for everyday storage and cooking, many contemporary Athabascan artists produce them as gifts or for sale, using traditional techniques that are similar across the entire region.(4) Bark is peeled in the spring or early summer when it comes off most easily, taking only the outer layer so the tree will not be killed. The bark is cut, warmed to make it flexible, folded into shape, and stitched together with split spruce or willow roots, using an awl to make the holes. To add color to the basket, the stitching roots can be dyed with blueberries (gray-blue), rhubarb (green), or alder (red). Rims and reinforcing strips are made of red willow or cranberry wood. Other decorative materials such as splints of cranberry wood, stems of the mouse berry plant, or porcupine quills can be worked into the design. 1. Carlo 1978:44-45; Clark 1974:133; McKennan 1959:35, 1965:30, 39; Osgood 1936:30, 37; Osgood 1970:133-136; Simeone and VanStone 1986:21; Steinbright 1984:7 2. Clark 1974:133; McKennan 1959:33, 41; McKennan 1965:39; Osgood 1970:42 3. Osgood 1970:142; Steinbright 1984:13 4. Carlo 1978:44-45; Clark 1974:133-134; Madison and Yarber 1981a:61; Osgood 1970:133-136; Simeone and VanStone 1986:21; Steinbright 1984:7-15
2 Feb 2017
- Chicago citation style
- Birchbark Basket. 1910-Jan-27. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID%3Anmnhanthropology_8942926&repo=DPLA. (Accessed November 20, 2018.)
- APA citation style
- (1910-Jan-27) Birchbark Basket. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID%3Anmnhanthropology_8942926&repo=DPLA
- MLA citation style
- Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America <http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID%3Anmnhanthropology_8942926&repo=DPLA>.