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Author Comment
Ruth
Registered User
(11/11/02 1:38:55 pm)
Basketry Folklore
I am collecting folktales, myths, legends, poetry, songs, proverbs etc.. that relate to baskets, basket makers, basketry material and would appreciate sources or texts that might be relevent....I am particularly interested in locating a story about "the gentleman learns basket making" which is from Lithuania and also an Irish story about a woman recognizing her long lost love by his baskets. Any help would be appreciated........or other stories etc. . Many thanks!!

Lotti
Unregistered User
(11/11/02 3:39:39 pm)
Trushbeard
Hello Ruth,
the first thing that comes to my mind is King Thrushbeard - one of the things he gives his wife to do is making baskets. Also, as far as legends go, there is always good old Moses in his basket :-)
I am not sure if this counts, but in the 7 Swans (or 6 or 12 depending on the story) the girl is knitting shirts out of nettles, which I pictured always closer to basket weaving than to pullover knitting.
Then there is the Italian story of the Pear Girl (I think that's the title) where her father always has to present a certain number of baskets with pears to his king and when he hasn't enough one year he makes up the missing amount by hiding the little girl among the pears.
Can't think of more at the moment...
Best regards, Lotti

Carrie
Unregistered User
(11/12/02 9:44:55 am)
Native American baskets
In the Southwest there are several tribes that have traditionally woven ceremonial baskets including the Pima, Papago (Tohono O'Odham) and the Chemehuevi, also known as the Southern Paiute. Wedding baskets have become popular gifts even with Anglos nowadays and the Chemehuevi baskets especially are collectors items. The Chemehuevi often represent insects in the designs of their highly prized baskets, which are woven out of such raw materials as willow, devilís claw and juncus. I don't know that much about the basketry of the other southern tribes, but I bet Terri would have some information.

Carrie

Judith Berman
Registered User
(11/13/02 7:30:11 am)
baskets
For sources on Native American basketry, you might start with Otis Mason, American Indian Basketry, and George Wharton James, Indian Basketry, both published ca. 1905 but since reprinted.

Native Californian basketry, which is probably the most technologically sophisticated in the world, and surely among the most beautiful, is particularly worth looking into. The Pomoan groups had basketry houses, mortars, fish traps, cradles, cooking baskets, pack baskets... the most astonishing being those into which colored bird feathers have been woven (woodpecker, bluebird, meadowlark and so on). So there would be a lot of basketry-related folklore. Women were not supposed to weave while they were menstruating, but if they did, they would weave the shaft of a flicker feather into the basket -- you can see this on many old baskets. The design was supposed to contain an imperfection so, when the basket was burned (a person's possessions would be burned with them at death) the basket's 'spirit' could escape. And so on.

For Pomoan baskets you could start with Samuel Barrett, POMO INDIAN BASKETRY and (much more recently) Suzanne Abel-Vidor et al. REMEMBER YOUR RELATIONS. There was a great basket 'craze' at the turn of the century and a lot of stuff written then can't be relied upon, and a lot of the work in this area has been published in magazines and journals. An important article on basketry materials, "'The basket is in the roots, that's where it begins'" was reprinted in a book called BEFORE THE WILDERNESS, edited by Kit Andersen (sp?) and another author. If you can lay your hands on it through the Museum Publications office, also look at our special issue of the University of Pennsylvania Museum's EXPEDITION magazine called "Pomo Indians, Their Baskets and The Art Market." My own interest in and involvement with baskets wasn't in the area of folklore, so unfortunately I can't point you in one particular direction, but Pomo baskets are so beautiful you should go look at (color) pictures of them regardless!

Ruth
Registered User
(11/18/02 3:10:20 pm)
Basketry Folklore
Many thanks for your thoughts...I am fairly familiar with the Grimms etc. that you have mentioned and have versions of these. I would really appreciate any suggestions you might have on how to obtain more information or texts on the Lithuanian and Irish stories that seem a bit difficult to find. I have perused a number of collection (print) but have not found either???Thanks again for your interets and support.

Ruth
Registered User
(11/18/02 3:20:04 pm)
Native American Basketry and Lore
Again, many thanks for your suggestions and thoughts. Are you acquainted with "Basket Tales of the Grandmothers: American Indian Baskets in Myth and Legend" by William Turnbaugh and Sarah Peabody Turnbaugh (Thornbrook Publ., 1999). It is an extensive collection of materials, comprehensive bibliography and notes, and many B and W photos. I am hoping to supplement and expand upon this type of collection, using both print and e sources. I have aslo found some beautiful websites. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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