Do NorCal and Socal speak differently
Pomo. Load basket. 1870-1880. California. Vegetable Fibers Northern California is the ancestral home of numerous Indian tribes, many of whom speak different languages yet share a similar culture and an artistic tradition centering on wicker. Basket is an ancient art, and in some indigenous traditions in America, the graphic character of early wicker designs deeply adjoining ceramics, textiles and other media of visual expression. In California, where making fine baskets always remained a primary art, women from the Karok, Maidu, Mono, Pomo, Washo
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Pomo. Burden basket. 1870-1880. California. Plant fibers Northern California is the ancestral home of numerous Indian tribes, many of which speak different languages yet share a similar culture and an artistic tradition centering on basketry. Basket making is an ancient art, and, in some indigenous traditions elsewhere in the Americas, the graphic character of early basketry designs deeply influenced subsequent ceramics, textiles, and other mediums of visual expression. In California, where the making of fine baskets always remained a primary art, women from the Karok, Maidu, Mono, Pomo, Washo, Wintu, Yokuts, and other tribes produced works unsurpassed in fineness of weave, subtle shape, and sophisticated design. The Pomo were especially accomplished designers and weavers of baskets for all purposes, and the cone-shaped burden basket is a well-known form in their artistic repertoire. This example is in excellent condition considering both its age and the fact that it was subjected to practical use. (As an object made for utilitarian purposes, it has no sacred or ritualistic functions.) The subtly curving, conical shape is beautifully woven with a diagonal twine; alternating, triangular motifs in dark brown and light tan escalate in size from the narrowest, lower point to the wide, open rim. Serrated lines of uniformly smaller triangles separate the dominant shapes and reinforce the overall sense of spiraling, diagonal movement. This is a very old Pomo graphic convention, for such baskets were seen and described by Sir Francis Drake on his voyage of exploration up the California coast in 1577. In the Art Institute's collection, there are other notable Pomo baskets of different shapes and functions but of similar graphic character a large hemispherical bowl [1998.308]; an imposing wedding basket ornamented with quail feathers, shell, and colored glass beads [2000.323]; and a jewel-like gift basket covered with iridescent feathers [2003.173]. This particular basket,
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