Glenbow Museum - Where the World Meets the West

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Title: Basket

Date: mid 20th century

Additional Creator Information: Na Dene

Medium: birchbark, root

I have always admired the elegant and interesting shapes used in birchbark baskets. The narrow bottom flares up and out, and the bark is overlapped and stitched together with the spruce root so that it forms a watertight layer. Sometimes the inside of the seam is covered with sap or pitch to increase the watertight nature.

A beautiful zigzag or mountain design is scraped into the outer part of the bark. The design itself is created by the pale inner layer and the negative spaces are the darker outer layer. The artist has even used one of the knots of the bark to accentuate the design motifs. Even the spruce root binding around the top edge has an intricate and carefully created pattern.

-Beth Carter

Collection Area: Native North America

Rights Holder: Collection of Glenbow Museum

Catalogue No: AC 484

Image No: P0012197

Learn More:
This artifact can be used in conjunction with Honouring Tradition: Reframing Native Art education guide from the online teacher's resource series 21st Century Learning: Links to Our Collection.

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