Plateau basketry traditions encompass several techniques including coiling which we see with this delightful Cowlitz basket. The vibrant design of this sturdy and well-balanced basket is a wonderful example of the decorative use of imbrication. This process transformed a basket of plain appearance (as seen on the inside) with the addition of different colors of bear grass woven onto the outside of the coils. On close inspection, the geometric patterns break down like pixels in a digital image, resembling teeth or kernels of corn.
—Kathleen Ash-Milby, Curator of Native American Art
Cowlitz artist, Basket, ca. 1900/1920. Cedar root, beargrass, and dyed beargrass. The Elizabeth Cole Butler Collection, 2009.9.24