kwelmexwus (Lunch Basket)

About this object

History of use

Sto:lo basket maker and weaver, Rena Point Bolton, identified this basket as a lunch basket. 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

Basket (part a) and lid (part b) constructed using simple interlocking coiled work with bifurcated stitches on the sides. Parallel slat base and lid construction with reinforced edges. Overcast rim and lid with indented flange. Decorated with partial imbrication on the sides and beading on the lid. Sides of the basket (part a) feature two continuous wave bands (with variation) with an extending arc around the entire basket,one in red and the other in black. The lid (part b) has its circumference beaded in a double row of black while its interior is beaded in a series of double red stitches.