kwelmexwus (Basket)

About this object

History of use

Coiled basketry traditionally had many uses. It was used for storage of foods, medicines and personal belongings. Some baskets were used for cooking and boiling water, while others had more private uses. Haeberlin and Teit (1928) suggest that in the past not all women were basket makers, but that the skill became more widespread during the early and middle twentieth century when basketry was highly collectible and it became a source of income for many local First Nations women. Basket making declined after the 1950s, but it is still present in many Coast Salish communities and interest is growing.

Cultural context

basketry; storage

Physical description

Circular shaped coiled cedar root basket (part a) with a lid (part b). Basket and lid both have four alternating red and black diagonal bands of design on them that are centred with white-yellow. Lid (part b) is coiled in watchspring pattern and has a knob handle on the top.