This small lidded basket is a wonderful example of the typical Makah basket made for trade in the early 1920s. It has figures of men in canoes and various sea creatures. The fibers are very tightly and finely woven.
The Makah Tribe was part of the Northwest Coast cultural group and lived near Cape Flattery at the Northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. They relied on basketry for cooking, gathering and even to hold water. When a trading post opened in Makah territory in 1902, Makah weavers sold their baskets in exchange for food and other goods. The most common type of basket made for sale was the small, lidded trinket basket that was commonly adorned with images of small birds, ducks, and banding. The baskets were typically woven from dyed and undyed bear grass twined over cedar bark warp using a wrapped twining technique found only on Makah and Nuu-chah-nulth woven baskets.
Condition: Good- there is some color fading due to its age of over 80 years and one bottom edge has unraveled a bit.
Provenance: This little basket was purchased by my family while on vacation in the Northwest in 1920s.