Oregon Coast Indian Baskets (Photo Diary)

The North Lincoln County Historical Museum in Lincoln City, Oregon has two floors of displays relating to local history. The region was originally the homeland for the Siletz and Alesa Indians and the museum has a small display of American Indian basketry.

 photo P1180021_zpst9mw3jsk.jpg

For thousands of years prior to the European invasion, American Indians occupied the Central Oregon Coast area. In his book The Indians of Yaquina Bay, E.Wayne Courtney writes:

“Since there is no written record, the verification of the presence of humans during prehistoric times has been mainly the responsibility of the work of carbon-dating archeologists. On the Oregon coast, the analyses of shell middens and ancient housepits have been the primary source for getting prehistoric evidence.”

E. Wayne Courtney also explains:

“Middens are really heaps of shell bones and tools which were left by ancient people who camped and worked close to the ocean.”

The Museum display describes the Central Oregon Coast Native Americans this way:

“These relatively peaceful peoples shared a mild climate and plentiful foods obtained through hunting, fishing and harvesting root, nut and berry crops.”

 photo P1180141_zpsgawt4krn.jpg

As in other American Indian cultures, the Siletz weavers were women and the art and craft of making baskets was passed from the older weavers to young girls. According to the Museum display:

“Fiber, form and individual finish all assure that each Siletz basket is unique. In addition to this, the symbols used to decorate each work are a traditional concept expressed in visual form, making Indian basketry an art form, not just a craft.”

 photo P1170984_zpslnzvwdcv.jpg Shown above is a Siletz basket made in the 1920s from hazelnut shoots. Judging from the handle, this basket was probably made for the tourist market.  photo P1180016_zpsgnnxnujn.jpg Shown above is a Siletz basket.  photo P1170987_zpsraxvl0a5.jpg Shown above is a small Siletz basket made for the tourist market.  photo P1170988_zpsggpquduv.jpg Shown above are a basket of unknown origin and a Siletz basket made for the tourist trade.

 photo P1170989_zpstxzj2o1t.jpg Shown above is a possible Tillamook/Clatsop basket. Lidded baskets of this type were generally made for the tourist market.

 photo P1170990_zpsennrbb75.jpg Shown above is a possible Tillamook/Clatsop basket

 photo P1170991_zpszklgds9p.jpg Shown above is a possible Tillamook/Clatsop basket made for the tourist trade.

 photo P1170992_zpsahed4d7w.jpg Shown above is a Siletz basket with a decorative beaded rim.  photo P1170993_zpsefkc7aaw.jpg Shown above is a bark container of unknown origin  photo P1170985_zpsenamevj8.jpg Shown above is a possible Tohono O’odham (Papago) basket from the Southwest  photo P1170986_zpsg2fl5ymk.jpg Shown above is a Klickitat “water basket”  photo P1180011_zpsel9tpl1x.jpg Shown above is a basket hat.  photo P1180012_zpsi8yinkoz.jpg Shown above is a berry basket.  photo P1170994_zpsfrptpypi.jpg Shown above is a old photograph of Siletz weavers displaying their baskets for sale.  photo P1170998_zpszklscrsj.jpg Shown above is a display of weaving techniques.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.