Basketry of Native American Cultures

Allison Burce and Sarah Jane Stetina
Harvey Mudd College

"A traditional basket embodies carefully selected materials taken from the local environment, including specific vegetal elements (grasses, barks, shoots, vines, roots) and occasionally animal (quills, hair, feathers, shells) or mineral (pigments or oxides) components, all combined with technical skills and aesthetic sensibilities passed from generation to generation. The result is a distinctive cultural product that will not be exactly duplicated by any other people in any other place." [1]

This page is the end product of a semester's study of Native American basketry. Our study combined research in to the histories and cultures surrounding basketry, as well as a hands-on section in which we attempted to produce our own baskets.

Read about our attempts at basket making!


The Origin of Basketry

Basket Forms

Patterns and Meanings

Cahuilla Culture and Basketry

The Pomo Culture and Basketry

Hupa and Yurok Culture and Baskets

Our Thank Yous

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Email us!
Background image courtesy of Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.