p'oth'es (Basketry Cradle)

About this object

History of use

Basketry cradles are thought to be of relatively recent origin by some basketry experts, such as Andrea Laforet of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. They may first have appeared in the late 1800s or early 1900s. In the early to mid 20th Century basket makers began expanding their reportoire of shapes and styles for collectors, and many new forms were seen including tea cups, tables, suitcases, and hand bags to name a few.

Cultural context

basketry; children

Iconographic meaning

The designs represent diamonds, which are equated with good luck according to Nlaka'pamux Elder Minnie Peters.

Physical description

Tan basketry cradle with simple interlocking coiled work (bifurcated stitches) and parallel slat base construction with reinforced stitches at base. Overcast rim is decorated with imbrication. Other surfaces are beaded. Top row is imbricated mostly in cat-tail grass bordered with black cherry bark in a recurring pattern. Sides have a beaded design of vertical bands of diamonds in alternating black and red with spaces between filled with checker work beading on the top half in cat-tail grass and in a single cat-tail grass diamond in the bottom half. Foot end has a variation of the same pattern on the sides (vertical diamond band), but has a hole in the middle.