Water Storage Basket


Coiled, fully imbricated basket with geometric, human, and horse figure designs. Braided, lobelled rim. Buckskin loops at rim., height: 14"; Diameter: 12",

Cultural Narrative: 

Vivian Adams always did the three white rows on the bottom of the basket. Well that might be her form of identifying as her makings. This basket says it was a water storage basket between 1800 and 1813, which means it is tightly woven and wrapped of cedar, but it has designs of horses, a human being, and a geometric connected upright triangle and a reverse triangle. It also has hoops on the top for balanced carrying. And it says that it is a Klickitat maker. There must be a couple of books we can look into such as Nettee Jackson’s book, who is a cedar basket weaver, or maybe Mary Schlick. Mary Schlick is an authority, she can look at that. But huckleberry baskets also have the hoops on the top, so that when you get your basket full and you cover it, with those little leaves that helps keep them fresh. To me, it looks like a berry basket. Yes, it doesn’t look like a water basket. It has been mis-identified as a water basket. A water basket might look something like this, but there would be ropes hanging down, so you can just carry it. This basket is a Yakama wedding basket from 1813. There is a female and male design into the basket as well as a horse. At first we thought it was the skeleton people, but the skeleton people look different. We thought it would be rodeo too, but there is a female design. The horse might be a trade horse, you know. Or maybe the male design is rich with horses. See how those designs grew into that basket? That has to have some symbolism behind it too. Vivian Adams