Traditional Basketry of Grays Harbor (Photo Diary)

7888 photo DSCN7888_zpsc686c6fb.jpg

7974 photo DSCN7974_zps48320811.jpg

The Polson Museum in Hoquiam, Washington, has a room dedicated to “Common Land, Uncommon Cultures: Traditional Peoples of Grays Harbor.” The Quinault and Chehalis basketmakers used both wrapped and plain twined techniques. Shown below are some of the baskets which are on display.

7972 photo DSCN7972_zps1f157b4b.jpg

7874 photo DSCN7874_zps4decbc27.jpg

7875 photo DSCN7875_zpsa7fcd704.jpg

7876 photo DSCN7876_zps93b160ee.jpg

7877 photo DSCN7877_zps6793caf9.jpg

7878 photo DSCN7878_zps591a2cff.jpg

7879 photo DSCN7879_zpscbcc5356.jpg

7881 photo DSCN7881_zps0db6972d.jpg

7882 photo DSCN7882_zps8f292f5f.jpg

7883 photo DSCN7883_zpsa842ef5f.jpg

7891 photo DSCN7891_zps0d7c2d6f.jpg

7892 photo DSCN7892_zpsd5ffda5e.jpg

7893 photo DSCN7893_zps3eb75745.jpg

7895 photo DSCN7895_zps2ba23697.jpg

7896 photo DSCN7896_zpsde538ae1.jpg

7897 photo DSCN7897_zps2f50cb60.jpg

7900 photo DSCN7900_zpsd0fe6151.jpg

7903 photo DSCN7903_zps7d423e7f.jpg

7904 photo DSCN7904_zpsfe7d7b8a.jpg

7907 photo DSCN7907_zpsc25e3d4d.jpg

7981 photo DSCN7981_zps9050639d.jpg

7863 photo DSCN7863_zps6f3c103a.jpg

7865 photo DSCN7865_zpse5dc9763.jpg

Shown above is a Quinault storage basket which uses cedar twining.  The lid is Makah in design.

7867 photo DSCN7867_zpsabc05ffd.jpg

7868 photo DSCN7868_zpsdfdc81ed.jpg

Suquamish Basketry (Photo Diary)

The Northwest Coast is a region in which an entrenched and highly valued artistic tradition flourished and continues to flourish. The Suquamish are the people of the clear salt water. For more than 10,000 years they have occupied that area known today as the Kitsap Peninsula, Bainbridge Island, Blake Island, and parts of Whidbey Island in what is now the state of Washington.  

8609 photo DSCN8609_zpsfe0f7d62.jpg

Traditionally, the Suqamish made several different kinds of baskets, each with a special use. Writing in 1895, anthropologist Franz Boas reported:

“A great variety of baskets are used-large wicker baskets for carrying fish and clams, cedar bark baskets for purposes of storage.”

Coiled baskets were used for collecting berries, carrying water (yes, they were woven tight enough to be waterproof), cooking (hot stones were dropped in the water filled baskets to cook the food), and for storing dried foods. Open weave baskets were used for gathering clams, small fish, and seaweed.

After the European invasion began, the Suquamish basketmakers began making special baskets for sale as collectables. They also wove other small items for sale including dolls and toys.

Shown below are some of the baskets which are on display in the Suquamish Museum.

8561 photo DSCN8561_zpsd09d5672.jpg

8603 photo DSCN8603_zpsf9fa426c.jpg

8608 photo DSCN8608_zpsa7f4fa1a.jpg

8607 photo DSCN8607_zpseb47069b.jpg

8606 photo DSCN8606_zpsd98269dc.jpg

8605 photo DSCN8605_zpsde91aba0.jpg

8604 photo DSCN8604_zps85b87f03.jpg

8602 photo DSCN8602_zps9aa545e4.jpg

8601 photo DSCN8601_zps6452248d.jpg

8600 photo DSCN8600_zpse04b07f4.jpg

8599 photo DSCN8599_zps3819dad6.jpg

8598 photo DSCN8598_zps026f3563.jpg

8597 photo DSCN8597_zps18cede66.jpg

8596 photo DSCN8596_zps643b4e71.jpg

The Suquamish Museum (Photo Diary)

8685 photo DSCN8685_zps7b44850c.jpg

The area along the Pacific Coast north of California and between the Cascade Mountains and the ocean, is the home to many Indian nations who traditionally based their economy on the use of sea coast and river ecological resources. The Suquamish are the people of the clear salt water. For more than 10,000 years they have occupied that area known today as the Kitsap Peninsula, Bainbridge Island, Blake Island, and parts of Whidbey Island.  

“We are the Suquamish people. We are a tribe, a nation, a culture, and a family.

We share a proud heritage founded on the teachings of our ancestors, and an enduring future forged from our spirit, wisdom, and enterprise.

We are born of these ancient shores, where the water touches the land, and where the gifts of opportunity are revealed with every changing tide.

Wherever those tides may carry us, these shores will always be our home.”

8594 photo DSCN8594_zps28dfd0bb.jpg

One wall of the museum (shown above) presents a time-line history of the Suquamish people.

8558 photo DSCN8558_zps3c82e7b6.jpg

One of the most important Suquamish villages once stood on the shores of Agate Passage. This is where the Suquamish built Old Man House, the largest longhouse on the Salish Sea. This was a major intertribal gathering place where people from all across the region came together for trade, celebrations, and diplomacy. In 1841, Joseph Perry Sanford, a member of the United States Exploring Expedition, described the Old Man House:

“It measured 200 ft by 100 ft. The floor is of earth and sunken. It had on either side 20 uprights and on which were rudely carved uncouth figures with head, eyes &c.”

8560 photo DSCN8560_zpse7694018.jpg

The entrance to the museum is between two carved house poles which are sometimes called the welcoming figures.

The Museum:

8552 photo DSCN8552_zps7b1c0dc4.jpg

Shown below are some of the items displayed at the museum:

8584 photo DSCN8584_zpsaab99a08.jpg

8581 photo DSCN8581_zps71b464ff.jpg

8588 photo DSCN8588_zps795c9284.jpg

8587 photo DSCN8587_zps2a0b9e77.jpg

8579 photo DSCN8579_zpsca2c00cf.jpg

8586 photo DSCN8586_zpsfe0a515a.jpg

8585 photo DSCN8585_zps801b9e49.jpg

8613 photo DSCN8613_zps4e138784.jpg

8612 photo DSCN8612_zps20600195.jpg

8592 photo DSCN8593_zps595114c6.jpg

8683 photo DSCN8683_zps8223fbf8.jpg

The Squamish were traditionally a fishing people. Mounted on the museum’s ceiling is a display (see photos above) showing a woven net/basket and a school of fish.

8580 photo DSCN8580_zps2bb6259f.jpg

The rather nondescript rocks shown above, labeled as “cooking rocks”, were heated in a fire, then dropped into a water-filled basket. In this way, the water could be brought to a boil and the food cooked. It should be noted that not just any rocks can be used for this since many rocks simply disintegrate when heated.

Spirituality:

8562 photo DSCN8562_zpsef94200a.jpg

8561 photo DSCN8561_zps36398324.jpg

As with other Indian tribes, living a successful life depended on the assistance of spiritual helpers. Individuals had songs and dances, set to the rhythms of hand drums, to obtain their help. Much of the carving and painting on both common and ceremonial objects was designed to gain cooperation from one’s spiritual guides.

8667 photo DSCN8667_zps67ce70f0.jpg

Shown above is a raven rattle.

8539 photo DSCN8539_zpsd1f52947.jpg