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Basket decorated with seals

Basket decorated with seals
Early 20th century
Alaska :
Baleen, rush, walrus ivory
h. 24.4 cm
UEA 696a

Basketry traditions in North America extend back well over 5,000 years in the archaeological record. This coiled basket is of high quality, which indicates the careful selection and preparation of the raw materials. Coiling is a circular weave pattern where a single flexible thread or a bunch of threads are wrapped to give a smooth finish and then ‘coiled’ in a spiralling motion. The decoration with seal images reflects livelihood and landscape of Alaska in the early 20th Century.

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