Arctic Baskets (Photo Diary)

The Artic Culture Area includes the Aleutian Islands, most of the Alaska Coast, the Canadian Artic, and parts of Greenland. It is an area which can be described as a “cold” desert. Geographer W. Gillies Ross, in his chapter in North American Exploration. Volume 3: A Continent Comprehended, writes:

“The North American Arctic is usually considered to be the region beyond the northernmost limit of tree growth.”

 photo P1090346_zpsj0bdpyzw.jpg The shaded area on the map shown above shows the Arctic culture area.

Shown below are some of the baskets from the Arctic that are on display in the Maryhill Museum of Art near Goldendale, Washington.

Western Alaska Native Baskets

Shown below are baskets made in the 1970s by unknown Alaska Native artists. These appear to have been made for sale to non-Natives.

 photo P1090361_zpsbhqki26z.jpg  photo P1090362_zpsfgavrqfl.jpg  photo P1090363_zpsm7kdcsf4.jpg  photo P1090364_zpsawtmcn3o.jpg  photo P1090365_zpszykfsoan.jpg  photo P1090366_zpszatmfnx1.jpg


 photo P1090368_zpsjo0995ar.jpg Shown above is a lidded basket made in the 1970s by Mary K. Atti.

Eskimo Baskets

According to the Museum display:

“Typical Eskimo baskets were coiled using wild grasses. When weavers began to make baskets for sale, designs were added in wool yarn and other materials.”

 photo P1090409_zps013rgygx.jpg

Aleut Baskets

According to the Museum display:

“Aleut basket makers were known for their fine weaving and delicate designs. The baskets were twined of wild rye grass and decorate with wool yarn, silk embroidery thread, or feathers. Weavers took their designs from both traditional and modern sources. Wallpaper patterns and candy boxes are among the sources cited.”

Lidded baskets were generally made for the tourist trade.

 photo P1090411_zps2qtri29c.jpg  photo P1090412_zpskfajcyjs.jpg  photo P1090414_zpstrvgyber.jpg  photo P1090420_zpsh5dcgreo.jpg  photo P1090421_zpspdxqxlnw.jpg  photo P1090422_zps05kayuvh.jpg  photo P1090426_zps6axd7crf.jpg Shown above is a bag for carrying fish and other items.  photo P1090427_zpsmvwq1hqi.jpg  photo P1090428_zpsgqtbpeyu.jpg

Baleen Basket

According to the Museum display:

“An elastic, horny material, baleen forms the fringed jaw plates of some whale species, and is used to strain plankton and other foodstuffs out of the sea.”

 photo P1090415_zpsxvqpjzul.jpg Shown above is a contemporary basket made of black coiled whale baleen. This basket was made by Herbert Kunuk in 1974. The lid handle is a carved walrus-ivory seal.

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