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U. S. SUrLKINlLliULiil ui 

JAN 18 1929 


Smithsonian Institution, 
Bureau of American Ethnology, 

Washington, D. C, Juhj 1, 1924. 
Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith the Forty-first 
Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, con- 
taining the administrative reports of the bureau for the 
fiscal years ended June 30, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, and 1924. 
With appreciation of your aid in the work under my 
charge, I am. 

Very respectfully yours, 

J. Walter Fewkes, Chief. 
Dr. Charles D. Walcott, 

Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. 


This volume contains the administrative reports of the Chief of 
the Bureau to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution covering 
the five-year period from July 1, 1919, to June 30, 1924. 

During a long period these reports have fallen behind, through 
lack of sufficient funds to publish and for other reasons, and it has 
been decided to print the five reports in this voliune in order to give 
subsequent administrative reports current publication. 

This will not change the numerical order of the annual reports. 

The Editob. 




For fiscal year ended June 30, 1920 1 

For fiscal year ended June 30, 1921 25 

For fiscal year ended June 30, 1922 47 

For fiscal year ended June 30, 1923 77 

For fiscal year ended June 30, 1924 99 


Coiled basketry in British Cohiinbia and surrounding region, by H. K. 
Haeberlin, James A. Teit, and Helen H. Roberts, under the direction of 
Franz Boas 119 

Two prehistoric villages in Middle Tennessee, by William Edward Myer_. 485 




Systematic researches 4 

Special researches 12 

Manuscripts 16 

Editorial work and publications 16 

Illustrations 18 

Library 18 

Collections 19 

Property 20 

Miscellaneous 21 






J. Walteb Fewkes, Chief 

Sir: In response to your request I have the honor to sub- 
mit the following report on the field researches, office work, 
and other operations of the Bureau of American Ethnology 
during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1920, conducted in 
accordance with the act of Congress approved July 19, 1919. 
The act referred to contains the following item: 

•American ethnology: For continuing ethnological researches 
among the American Indians and the natives of Hawaii, including 
the excavation and preservation of archeologic remains, under the 
direction of the Smitlisonian Institution, mcluding necessary em- 
ployees and the purchase of necessary books and periodicals, $42,000. 

Ethnology is the study of man in groups or races and aims 
to contribute to our knowledge of racial culture and advance 
our appreciation of racial accomplishment. The researches 
of the Bureau of American Ethnolog y deal with the aborigines 
of the United States and the Hawaiian islanders. 

The material from which we may secure this knowledge 
is rapidly disappearing or being absorbed into modern life. 
The culture of the aboriginal inhabitants has in a great 
measure vanished, but modern survivals still remain, and 
it is one object of the bureau to record these survivals while 
this is possible, thus rescuing what remains as a partial 
record of the culture of the race. This is essential in order 
that our knowledge of the North American Indian may 
neither be distorted by prejudice nor exalted by enthusiastic 


In linguistics the necessity of recording those languages 
that are m danger of extinction is urgent. Several of these 
are now spoken only by a few survivors — old men or 
women — and when they die this knowledge which they pos- 
sess win disappear forever. Ovu* Indians had a large litera- 
ture and mythology which on account of their ignorance of let- 
ters they did not record. This is rapidly being lost, and it is 
our duty to secure the information at once before it loses 
its aboriginal character. The lexical and grammatical 
structure of the different Indian languages, their phonetic 
peculiarities, and their relations to each other also require 
intensive studies, which have been industriously pursued by 
the linguists of the bureau. 

It is believed that the publications of the Bureau of 
American Ethnology should be of such a nature that they 
may be studied with profit by all mtelligent persons and not 
so crowded with technicalities as to repel all readers except 
a few specialists. WhUe the bureau publications should not 
be devoted solely to popular articles they fail to advance 
and diffuse ethnological knowledge if they are so technical 
that they appeal only to one class of readers. The policy of 
the bureau is to publish a limited number of technical 
papers, the popular demand also being given due weight. 

Important researches have been conducted by members of 
the staff on the material culture of the Indians, one aim 
being to ascertain the various fibers and foods used by them 
with a view to discover hitherto unused aboriginal resources 
that might be adopted with profit by the white man. 

In order that the character of the habitations of the 
Indian might be better known and an accurate knowledge 
of them disseminated, illustrations of aboriginal buildings 
found in early maps and documentary records are being 
gathered and a series of publications on this subject has 
been inaugiu-ated. These, when available, are accom- 
panied by the original descriptions of the buildings and 
^ incidentally identifications of the sites of the larger villages 
so far as possible. 

The bureau has continued researches on the music of the 
Indians with good results, as the past publications on this 


subject have attracted the attention of musicians who are 
makmg practical use of this knowledge in theu* composi- 
tions. There is a gi-eat demand for strictly Indian music. 

Archeology has been one of the important lines of re- 
search by members of the bureau during the past year. 
Although the methods of research of this science are some- 
what different from those of the ethnologist, the goal is the 

It is urgent to gather all possible data regarding the 
ethnology of the Indian prior to the advent of the white 
man, and where written history is silent on this subject, 
legends, monuments, and other prehistoric remains are the 
only media to supply the unknown chapters of history. As 
the national parks, like the Mesa Verde, and national 
monuments, like the Chaco Canyon, containing the best 
examples of this evidence, have been reserved for perma- 
nent protection, the bureau is engaged in the scientific study 
of these remains in cooperation with the National Park 

The function of the Bureau of American Ethnology is 
both to advance knowledge of ethnology and archeology by 
researches and to dissemmate information on all subjects 
concerning Indians. Much of the time of the chief and the 
members of the staff is occupied in replying to letters re- 
questing this information. This in many cases requires 
special knowledge of experts or extended studies in the 
library. The administration and routme duties of the office 
have also occupied much of the time of the chief. 

The Great War has enlarged our view of the practical 
value of ethnological studies. As our country has become 
a world power and has entered into political and commercial 
relationships with many other races whose ethnology is 
little known, it is desirable that the ethnological researches 
of the bureau be enlarged in order that we may better ap- 
preciate these foreign peoples. From necessity we have 
limited our researches to the American Indian and the natives 
of Hawaii. There is, however, an urgent call for more 
extended studies of all peoples whose amalgamation wiU 
constitute the future American. 



In addition to purely official duties, the chief has devoted 
considerable time to field work and the preparation of 
reports on archeological researches. In the course of the 
year two visits were made to the Mesa Verde National 
Park, Colorado — one in August and September, 1919; 
the other m June, 1920. These researches, in accordance 
with the above-mentioned act of Congress for the excava- 
tion and repair of archeological remains, were in continuation 
of the cooperative work of the Smithsonian Institution 
and the National Park Service of the Department of the 
Interior, and were made with an allotment from the latter 
for the excavation and repair of cliff houses and other ruins 
on the Mesa Verde. 

In the summer and autumn of 1919 the chief excavated 
and repaired Square Tower House, formerly known as 
Peabody House, one of the most picturesque cliff dwellmgs 
of the park. The excavation of small house sites situated 
among the cedars on top of the mesa near the trail to Square 
Tower House was carried on simultaneously by Mr. Ralph 
Linton, under the direction of the chief. 

The work of Square Tower House has enlarged our knowl- 
edge of the structiu-e of cliff dwellings ; that on small house 
sites contributes to theoretical discussions of their genesis 
and evolution. The small house sites on top of the mesa 
were mterpreted as prototypes of kivas in the large cliff 
buildings and are thought to be the ancient stages m their 
development. The whole history of the evolution of hori- 
zontal masom-y can be followed by studies of various types 
of buildings on the Mesa Verde. 

The two unique characteristics of Square Tower House 
are a square tower situated in the middle of the ruin and 
the well-preserved roofs with beams mtact on two of the 
ceremonial rooms, or kivas. The repair of the tower was 
timely, as it had been feared for many years that it would 
fall, since it has long been tottering. As all friends of our 
antiquities would regard the destruction of this as a calamity, 
it was strengthened and put in a condition for permanent 


The roofs of two of the eight kivas in Square Tower 
House were almost intact and show the best specimens of 
aboriginal carpentering in the park. Almost all of the 
original beams are still preserved, and their arrangement 
shows how the al:)original builders constructed a vaulted 
roof. Especial care was exercised in repairing Square Tower 
House to protect these roofs and preserve the beams in 
place for examination by archeologists and visitors. 

Small house sites are very numerous on top of Mesa 
Verde among the dense growth of cedars, and two of these 
situated above Square Tower House w^ere chosen as types 
of the remainder for excavation. The rooms imcovered on 
these sites may be called earth lodges, and had sunken 
floors with roofs now fallen in but originally constructed of 
logs covered with earth. One of these rooms, called Earth 
Lodge A, was completely excavated, and in order that the 
style of the most ancient habitation on the park might be 
seen by visitors it was protected from the elements by a 
shed. Another form of earth lodge, sulDterranean and prob- 
ably of later construction, had stone pilasters like a cliff- 
house kiva for the support of a domed roof, but its walls 
were made of adobe plastered in the earth. It shows three 
periods of occupancy: (1) The original excavation, a sub- 
terranean room constructed on the lines of the unit type of 
kiva; (2) its secondaiy use as a grinding pit, by the intro- 
duction of vertical slabs of stone making three grinding 
mills, the metates of which were in place; and (3) a depression 
filled in with debris containing human skeletons and other 
jjones. It may thus have served distinct purposes at 
different times. 

The theoretical importance of Earth Lodge A is that it 
represents not only the archaic type of building of the mesa 
but also resembles those widely distributed habitations of 
nonpueblo tribes. It points to the conclusion that when the 
ancient colonists came to the Mesa Verde they differed only 
slightly from nomadic tribes and that their descendants 
developed the craft of stonemasons long after Earth Lodge 
A was inhabited. 


Archeological work was renewed on the Mesa Verde in 
June, 1920, and the work of excavating was begun on a ruin 
called Painted House and a neighboring cliff dwelling. The 
result of this work was of great significance, for it brought 
to light a large cliff building that showed no evidence of hav- 
ing l)een formerly inhaljited. It was not a cUff dwelling, but 
built for some other purpose. Its character points to the 
conclusion that this purpose was a temple for the celebration 
of fire rites, or possibly the conservation of that fire from year 
to year. While there was found no evidence that anyone 
ever Uved in it, an adjacent cliff dwelling afforded every 
indication that it was inhabited by at least two clans. New 
Fire House belongs to the same group of ceremonial buildings 
as Sun Temple, except that it is situated in a chff and not on 
top of the mesa. 

The featiu^es that have led to the identification of this ruin 
as one devoted to New Fire rites are the large walled firepit 
full of ashes in the middle of the court and the resemblances 
of phaUic and other pictures on the walls of the rooms to 
those still surviving among the Hopi m the New Fire cult. 

Mr. James Mooney, ethnologist, remamed in the office 
throughout the year, engaged chiefly in the elaboration of 
material relating to the heraldry of the Iviowa and the 
Peyote cult of the southern plains tribes. 

In comiection with the preparation of the Denig Assiniboin 
manuscript for pul:)hcation, a correspondence was carried 
on with members of the Denig family and others for the pur- 
pose of gathermg all available information concerning the 
history and personahty of the author. A valuable comple- 
ment to the Denig work is the German manuscript journal 
of the Swiss artist, Friedrich Kurz, who \dsited the upper 
Missouri in 1851-52, spendmg some months with Denig at 
Fort Union. A copy of the original journal, now in the 
museum of Bern, was made some years ago by direction of 
Mr. Da\dd I. Bushnell, jr., who sold it to the bureau. 

The usual amount of correspondence in answer to requests 
for varied ethnologic information received attention. Among 
these may be noted requests from the War Department 


for Indian designs for regimental flags for two newly organized 

In the latter part of October and throughout November, 
1919, Dr. John R. Swan ton, ethnologist, was at Anadarko, 
Okla., where he recorded about 270 pages of text in the 
Wicliita language and 100 in Kichai, besides considerable 
vocabulary material in both. It should be remarked that 
the Kichai language is rapidly becoming extinct, being now 
spoken fluently by not over a dozen persons. 

Durmg the summer preceding this expedition he was 
engaged in the extraction and card cataloguing of words from 
his Natchez texts, and after his return he prepared a gram- 
matical sketch of the Natchez language, complete as far as 
the material on hand will permit, but -withheld from publica- 
tion for a final review with the help of Indian informants. 
This language is now spoken by only three persons. 

He also completed a sketch of the Chitimacha language, 
the rough draft of which had already been prepared, and 
began the extraction and recording of words from his texts 
in the Koasati language. 

Part of his time has been occupied in correcting the proofs 
of his Bulletin 73, on the Early History of the Creek Indians 
and Their Neighbors. 

Several hundred cards have been added to his catalogue 
of material bearing on the economic basis of American Indian 

Doctor Swanton completed reading the proofs of Bulletin 
68, A Structural and Lexical Comparison of the Tunica, 
Chitimacha, and Atakapa Languages, and the bulletin was 
issued in December, 1919. 

The sketch of the Chitimacha language mentioned al:>ove, 
along with a similar sketch of Atakapa previously prepared, 
is ready for publication. Doctor Swanton has a much longer 
paper on the social organization and social customs of the 
southeastern Indians which requires a little work for com- 
pletion, l3ut is withheld until the bulletin, which it naturally 
follows, is through the press. 

53666°— 28 2 


Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt, ethnologist, took up the critical 
analysis and constructive rearrangement of the three differ- 
ing versions of the Eulogy of the Founders of the League of 
the Iroquois, obtained by him, respectively, from the late 
Seneca federal chief, John Ai-thur Gibson; the late Mr. 
Joshua Buck, Onondaga shaman, of Onondaga-Tutelo ex- 
traction; and chief emeritus Al^ram Charles, of the Cayuga 
Tribe — all of Ontario, Canada. 

This Eulogy of the I*'ounders is a very long chant and one 
of marked difficulty to render accurately. In his report for 
last year it was stated that the long-standing disi-uption of 
the several tribes composing the league had led to the break- 
ing up of the parts thereof and loss of traditions concerning 
the principles and structure of the league; hence there are 
differing versions of most important rituals. In the tribal 
organization the federal chiefs were organized into several 
groups with definite political relationships, which differing 
relationships implied natm-ally corresponding differences in 
duties and oblig^ations for the several persons so politically 

But since the disruption of the political integrity of the 
tribes of the league and of the league itself by the events of 
the war of the American Revolution these relationships have 
become more or less confused in the minds of the people, 
and hence the gi'eat difficulty in determining from the in- 
formants of to-day the correct sequence of the names and the 
exact political relationships subsisting among the several 
chiefships. This accoimts for the difficulties encomitered in 
editing the three variant versions of the eulogy. 

In view of works recently published on the genetic relation- 
ship of certam linguistic stocks of California and other 
North American linguistic stocks, and as a result of a con- 
ference of the staff of the biu-eau early in December on late 
linguistic work in California Mr. Hewitt critically examined 
the methods and the evidences for relationship relating to 
the Yuman, the Serian, the Tequistlatecan, the Waiciu"an, the 
Shahaptian, the Lutuamian, and the Waiilatpuan, claimed 
m recent publications by Doctor Radin and Doctor Kroe- 


ber. In no instance did he find that these authors had 
proved then' case. 

Mr. Hewitt continued the preparation for pubhcation of 
the second part of Iroquoian Cosmology, Part I having 
abeady appeared in the Twenty-first Annual Report of the 
bureau. He spent considerable time m readhag the manu- 
script dictionary and grammatical sketch of the Chippewa 
language prepared by Father Chrysostom Verwyst, m order 
to ascertain its value for publication and to enable him to 
assist the author m a revision of the work; and prepared 
much data for use m reply to requests l3y correspondents, 
often requiring consideral:)le tune and most exacting work. 

In June, 1920, Mr. Hewitt visited the Oneida Indians, 
residmg in the vichiity of Seymour and Oneida, Wis. 

The purpose of this visit was to ascertain what information, 
if any, these Indians retained concerning the prhaciples and 
structure of the League of the Five (later Six) Nations, or 
even concernmg their own social organization, or the mythic 
and religious beliefs of their ancestors, which has not already 
been recorded by him, from other sources. He found that 
these Indians had forgotten the great principles and the 
essential details of the organic structure of the league, of 
which the Oneida before their disruption by the events of 
the war of the American Revolution were so important a 
member, due to the adoption of lands m severalty alwut 
1887, and the admmistration of their public affairs under the 
laws of the State of Wisconsin. 

He discovered that these Oneida spoke a dialect markedly 
different from that of the Oneida with whom he was already 
acquainted and succeeded in recordmg a text relatmg to 
huntmg wild pigeons (now practically extinct) at the time 
of "roosting." 

From the Wisconsm Oneida Mr. Hewitt went directly to 
the Tonawanda Reservation to consult with Seneca chiefs, 
after which he proceeded to the Grand River grant of the 
Six Nations, near Brantford, Ontario, Canada, and there 
detained an mterestmg text m the Onondaga language, with 
a free English translation. This text embodies an old 
Tutelo tradition of the maimer m which the assistant to the 


chief was established, and is reminiscent of the early raids 
of the warriors of the Five Nations into the southern home 
of the ancient Tutelo. 

Information relating to the mtemal structure of the tribal 
organization of the several tribes was carefully revised, 
especially the place of the several clans with regard to the 
symbolic council fire, and therefore their membership in 
either the male or the female side of the tribal organization. 
Certain sentences placed after every Federal title throughout 
the Eulogy of the Founders — originally 49 m numl)er — can 
not be understood without this definite knowledge of mternal 
tribal organization, as there is constant danger of confusing 
tribal with federal relationships. The internal tribal organi- 
zation differed among the Five Nations and the knowledge 
of one or two is not sufficient. 

With the aid of Mr. Asa R. Hill as Mohawk interpreter 
and informant, the work of the textual criticism of the 
Mohawk text of the league material originally collected by 
Mr. Seth Newhouse, a Mohawk ex-federal chief, was revised. 
Knowing that Mr. Newhouse is a fine Mohawk speaker, 
Mr. Hewitt mduced him to translate his material back into 
the language from which he had rendered it into mdifferent 
English. This translation was not desu'ed for publication, 
but to obtam the correct Mohawk terminology or diction 
for the expression of the ideas embodied in the material. 

Durmg the year Mr. Francis La Flesche, ethnologist, 
devoted most of his time to the task of preparing for pul)li- 
cation the manuscript of the first volume of his work on the 
Osage tribe. In February the text of the first volume was 
finished and the manuscript placed in the hands of the Chief 
of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 

The volume contains two elaborate ancient rituals, the 
first of which is entitled "Ga-hi'-ge 0-k'o", Ritual of the 
Chiefs"; and the second "Ni'-ki No"k'o°, Hearing of the 
Sayings of the Ancient Men." These rituals are rendered 
in three forms: Fu'st, m a free English translation; second, 
the recited parts, also the words of the songs, as given by 
the Indians themselves in their own language into the dicta- 
phone; third, a translation from the Osage language into 


English as nearly literal as can be made. Owing to the 
peculiar modes of expression used in the rituals by the 
Indians, such as metaphors, figures of speech, tropes, and 
archaic terms, it is impossilile to give an absolutely literal 
translation. Furthermore, much of the language used in 
these rituals is in ceremonial style and not that in daily use 
among the people. 

On the completion of the manuscript of the first volume, 
Mr. La Flesche took up the task of preparing for publication 
the manuscript of the second volume. 

Mr. J. P. Harrington, ethnologist, spent the months of 
July, August, and September, 1919, on field duty in New 
Mexico in pursuance of his studies of the ethnology and 
linguistic relationship of the Southwest Indians. These 
studies resulted in a large amount of most carefully heard 
textual, grammatical, and lexical material from the Tano- 
Kiowan family of languages, the elaboration of more than 
750 pages of which was completed for publication before 
the close of the fiscal year. 

Important discoveries in coimection with this work are 
that Zuilian is definitely added to the Tano-Kiowan-Keresan- 
Shoshonean stock; and that the religious ceremonial words of 
Tanoan are largely borrowed from Zunian and Keresan. 
This last discovery has proved one of the most interesting 
features of the work, for, just as it can be shown that the 
watermelon and muskmelon, for example, are not native to 
the Tanoan Indians because designated by Spanish loan 
words or by mere descriptive terms, so it can be also demon- 
strated linguistically that the Tanoans have adopted many 
featiu-es of the Zunian and Keresan religion. Even such 
fundamental conceptions as Wenima, the abode of the dead, 
and Sipapu, the entrance to the other world, have been taken 
over by the Tanoans, e. g., as Tewa Wayima and Sip'o phe. 

At the close of September Mr. Harrington returned to 
Washington and was engaged during the remainder of the 
year in the elaboration of his material. Mr. Harrington also 
performed various office duties during this period. 

In August, 1919, Dr. Truman Michelson, ethnologist, 
renewed his researches among the Fox Indians, which con- 


sisted exclusively of working out a grammatical analysis of 
the Indian text of his manuscript on the White Buffalo Dance, 
in order to make a vocabulary for the same. He returned to 
Washington near the middle of September, when he resumed 
his work on the Indian text, as well as the vocabulary. The 
manuscript was submitted in March, 1920. 

During the winter Doctor Michelson worked on the manu- 
script of the White Buffalo Dance; he also spent some time 
on a rough translation of an autobiography of a Fox Indian 
woman written m the current syllabary. This translation 
was based on a paraphrase in English written by Horace 
Poweshiek. In the middle of June he left for Tama, Iowa, to 
restore the syllabary text phonetically, to further work out 
a grammatical analysis to enable him to add a suitable 
vocabulary, to elucidate a number of ethnological points, 
and to correct the translation in a number of places. By 
the close of the fiscal year he entirely restored the text 

In addition, Doctor Michelson has furnished data for official 


In addition to the work of members of the staff mentioned 
m their reports above, the bureau has employed others in 
ethnological and archeological researches. 

Mr. Neil M. Judd, curator of American archeology in the 
United States National Museum, was detailed in June to 
complete a report on his work for the bureau in previous 
seasons m southeastern Utah. At the time of writing no 
report on this work has been received. 

Miss Frances Densmore resumed work on the Pawnee songs 
on September 1, 1919. Transcriptions and analyses of 58 
Pawnee songs have been submitted during the year. These 
comprise songs of the Morning Star ceremony and of the 
Buffalo Dance, the Bear Dance, and the Lance Dance. In 
April, 1920, she visited the Pawnees a second time and was 
permitted to enter the lodge dui'ing the Morning Star cere- 
mony and to see the contents of the " sacred bundle." This 
bundle is opened once a year. (It is said that only one. other 


white person has been permitted to enter the ceremonial 
lodge.) This ceremony afforded an opportunity to hear 
certain interesting rituals which are sung only at this time. 

Three manuscripts on Pawnee music have been submitted 
during the year. In addition to the ceremonial material 
above mentioned these papers contain songs of war and of a 
game, as well as miscellaneous songs and those connected 
with folk tales. The Pawnees were selected as representa- 
tive of the Caddoan stock, according to the plan of comparing 
the songs of the various hnguistic stocks. 

About the middle of February, 1920, Miss Densmore 
began a study of the Papago Indians as a representative of 
the Piman stock. For more than a month she hved at 
San Xavier Mission, a Government station, among the 
Papago near Tucson, Ariz., and recorded more than 100 
songs, 25 of which have been transcribed, analyzed, and 
submitted. Three subjects were studied — treatment of the 
sick, customs of war, and ancient stories. As examples of 
the psychology revealed by musical investigation it may be 
noted that the Papago state that all sickness has its origin 
in the anger of a mythical "creator," and that many of the 
songs used in treating the sick are said to have been received 
from spirits of the dead. 

Miss Densmore considers the chief points of the year's 
investigation to be the e\'ident contrast of songs of different 
linguistic stocks and the increasing e\'idence that rhythm in 
Indian song is more varied and important than melody. 
It is interesting to note that the songs recorded by an indi- 
vidual Indian doctor showed similarity in melodic material 
and formation, but a wide variety in rhythm. The poetry 
of the words of Papago songs is of an unusually high order. 

In April, 1920, Miss Densmore visited the "Mohave" 
Apaches living at Camp MacDowell, near Phoenix, Ariz., 
wdth a view to recording songs among them next season, 
taking the Apache as the representatives of the Athapascan 

In July, 1919, Miss Densmore visited the Manitou Rapids 
Reserve in Canada to obtain data on the customs of the 
Canadian Chippewas for comparison with the tribe in the 


States. She found an interesting contrast in bead patterns 
and collected considerable information on their general 
culture. August 14 to 30, 1919, she worked on the botanical 
section of the book on Chippewa Arts and Customs, this 
section comprising the use of plants as food, medicme, and 

Mr. David I. Bushnell, jr., continued the preparation of 
his manuscript for the Handbook of Aboriginal Remains 
East of the Rocky Mountains, and in the course of his work 
has prepared a bulletin entitled " Native Villages and Village 
Sites East of the Mississippi," which has been published as 
Bulletin 69. He has also written Bulletin 71, on " Native 
Cemeteries and Forms of Burial East of the Mississippi," 
the final proofs of which have been sent to the printer, but 
the work has not yet been delivered to the bureau. The 
favorable reception of these bulletins, as indicated by the 
many applications made at the office for them, is gratifying. 

Mr. Bushnell also gathered notes, maps, and photographs 
to be used in the preparation of two manuscripts for the 
bureau. One is to have the title, "Villages of the Algon- 
quian, Siouan, and Caddoan Tribes West of the Mississippi"; 
the second, "Burials of the Algonquian, Siouan, and Cad- 
doan Tribes West of the Mississippi." The former is 
nearing completion, and both should be finished during the 
next fiscal year. 

The results of the archeological work in Texas imder 
Prof. J. E. Pearce, for which a special allotment was made, 
are important. Reconnaissance work has been done in the 
eastern, middle, and western parts of the State. Indian 
mounds at Athens, in eastern Texas, have yielded pottery 
akin in form and technique to that of the Mississippi, 
suggesting cultural connections which have as yet not been 
completely traced. In western Texas the group of picto- 
graphs at Paint Rock has been given especial attention. 
They are little kno^vn, as they are at present seldom visited 
by tourists. This series of rock pictures is important 
enough to be protected by law. The present o^\^ler of the 
ranch upon which they are situated, recognizing their 
importance, will prevent vandalism. 


The woyk was mainly on the anti({uities of central Texas, 
where mtensive work was much to be desu'ed. Professor 
Pearce, who has charge of this work, believes that the mounds 
in this part of the State are kitchen middens and that they 
were coimected with the first men who came into this region. 
He is also of the opinion that the culture which they repre- 
sent was much cruder than that of the historical Indians; 
that they knew nothing of pohshing stone or of pottery 
making; and that for thousands of years they were the only 
occupants of the open prairies and plains of central and 
west Texas; and finally, that their life was little modified 
during the entire period of the formation of the mounds. 
Professor Pearce's report is so promising of results that 
work in Texas will be continued another year. 

Although the aboriginal monuments called moiuids and 
stone graves of the Cumberland Valley have been investi- 
gated by several well-known archeologists, it appears from 
the researches of Mr. W. E. Myer, of Nashville, that much 
remains to be discovered in this region. Under his guidance 
the chief visited the aboriginal mounds on the Harpeth 
River at Oldtown, Castalian Sprmgs, and elsewhere. It 
was seen that while many of the smaller mounds have been 
plowed down by the cultivation of the land the larger ones 
still bear mute evidence of the industry of the builders of 
these structures and the magnitude of the population. 

Mr. Myer has transmitted to the bureau a manuscript 
on the antiquities of the Cumberland Valley, Term., the 
results of a lifelong devotion to the subject. 

Mr. Otto Mallery has presented to the bureau a valuable 
pueblo collection from the Chama region. New Mexico, 
made by Mr. J. A. Jeancon, who had charge of the work, 
and has transmitted a report which is now being prepared 
for publication. 

Mr. Gerard Fowke was given a small allotment for an 
archeological reconnaissance of the Hawaiian Islands. He 
loegan work in May and reports important results which it 
is too early to detail at this time. 



The following manuscripts, exclusive of those submitted 
for publication by members of the staff of the bureau and its 
coUaljorators, were purchased: 

"Wawenock Texts," by Frank G. Speck. 

" History of the Jesuit Mission in Paraguay." The original 
manuscript, being an English translation by Dr. George 
Spence, from the original French manuscript of the Abbe Jo. 
Pedro Gay, Cure de Uruguayana. 2 vols., 4to. Circa 1880. 
275 pp. 

"A New Guarani Grammar," the original manuscript 
complete, being a translation into English by Dr. George 
Spence from the French manuscript of I'Abbe Jo. Pedro 
Gay, Cure de Uruguayana, 2 vols., 4to. 

"Manuel de Conversation en Fran^ais, en Portugues, en 
Espahol, en Guarany Abaneeme par le Chanoine J. P. Gay, 
Cm'e de Uruguayana," arranged in four columns. 

" Nouvelle Grammah-e de la Langue Guarany et Tupy, 
etc., par le Chanoine J. P. Gay, Cure," etc., 188 p., folio. 

"Mappa geogi-aphico da republica do Paraguay pelo 
conego Joao Pedro Gay, pelo engenhiero Falix Alx. Gri^•ot. 

A copy of "Manuel de Conversation en Frangais, en 
Portugues, en Anglaise, en Espanol, en Guarany Abaneeme." 
Arranged in five colimms. No date. 

In addition to those purchased Mr. Edward M. Brigham 
has submitted for publication a valuable manuscript with 
many plates on "The Antiquities of the Marajo," Brazil; 
and Mr. W. E. Myer, of Nashville, Teim., a manuscript on 
"The Antiquities of the Cumberland Valley of Temaessee." 
" A Chippewai Bible History in manuscript in four volumes. 
8vo. A. D. 1896-1901," was presented by Fr. Chrysostom 
Verwyst, O. F. M. 


The editing of the publications of the bureau was con- 
tinued through the year by Mr. Stanley Searles, editor, 
assisted by Mrs. Frances S. Nichols. The status of the publi- 
cations is presented in the following summary: 



Tliirty-tiiird Annual Report. Accompanying papers: (1) Uses of 
Plants by the Indians of the Missouri River Region (Gilmore) ; 
(2) Preliminary Account of the Antiquities of the Region between 
the Mancos and La Plata Rivers in Southwestern Colorado (Mor- 
ris) ; (3) Designs on Prehistoric Hopi Pottery (Fewkes) ; (4) The 
Hawaiian Romance of Laie-i-ka-wai (Beckwith). 677 pp. 95 pis. 

Three separates from the Thirty-third Annual Report. 

Bulletin 60. Handbook of Aboriginal American Antiquities (Hoknes). 
380 pp. 

Bulletin 68. Structural and Lexical Comparison of the Tunica, Chiti- 
macha, and Atakapa Languages (Swanton). 56 pp. 

Bulletin 69. Native Villages and Village Sites East of the Mississippi 
(Bushncll). 111pp. 17 pi. 

Bulletin 70. Prehistoric Villages, Castles, and Towers (Fewkes). 79 
pp. 33 pi. 


Thirty-fourth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: A Prehistoric 
Island Culture Area of America (Fewkes) . 

Thirty-fifth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: Ethnology of 
the Kwakiutl (Boas). 

Thirty-sixth Annual Report. Accompanying paper : The Osage Tribe 

Thirty-seventh Annual Report. Accompanying paper: The Winne- 
bago Tribe (Radin). 

Thirtj'-eighth Annual Report. An Introductory Study of the Ai-ts, 
Crafts, and Customs of the Guiana Indians (Roth) . 

Bulletin 67. Alsea Texts and Myths (Fraclitenberg) . 

Bulletin 7L Native Cemeteries and Forms of Burial East of the Mis- 
sissippi (BushneU). 

Bulletin 72. The Owl Sacred Pack of the Fox Indians (Michekon). 

Bulletin 73. Early History of the Ci-eek Indians and their Neighbors 
(Swanton) . 

Bulletin 74. Excavations at Santiago, Aliuitzotla, D. F., Mexico 

Bulletin 75. Northern Ute Music (Densmore). 

Bulletin 76. Archeological Investigations in the Ozark Region of 
Central Missouri (Fowke). 

Bulletin 78. Handbook of the Indians of Cahfornia (Kroeber). 

Bulletin 80. Mandan and Hidatsa Music (Densmore). 



The distribution of publications has been continued under 
the immediate charge of Miss Helen Munroe, assisted by 
Miss Emma B. Powers. Publications were distributed as 
follows : 

Annual reports and separates . 3, 373 

Bulletins and separates 12, 886 

Contributions to North American etlinology 32 

Miscellaneous publications 572 

Total 16,863 

As compared with the fiscal year 1919, there was an in- 
crease of 5,380 publications distributed. Fourteen ad- 
dresses have been added to the mailbig list durmg the year 
and 28 dropped, making a net decrease of 14. 


Mr. De Lancey Gill, with the assistance of Mr. Albert 
E. Sweeney, continued the preparation of the illustrations 
of the bureau. A summary of this work follows: 

Photographic prints for distribution and office use 500 

Negatives of ethnologic and archeologic subjects 300 

Negative film s developed from field exposures 100 

Photostat prints made from books and manuscript 250 


Photographs retouched and otherwise 350 

Line and color drawings 215 

Illustration proof edited 1, 400 

Lithographic proofs examined at Government Printing Office. . 5, 200 


The reference library continued in the immediate care of 
Miss EUa Leary, librarian, assisted by Mr. Charles B. 

During the year 820 books were accessioned, of which 140 
were acquired by purchase and 680 by gift and exchange. 
Volumes made by binding serials are included in these 
figures. The periodicals currently received numl^er about 
800, of which 35 were obtained by purchase, the remainder 


being received through exchange. The library has also 
received 260 pamphlets. The catalogue of the bureau now 
records 23,380 volumes; there are about 14,508 pamphlets 
and several thousand unbound periodicals. 

Successful effort has been made to complete the sets of 
certain publications of scientific societies and other learned 
institutions. For the use of the members of the staff there 
has been prepared and posted copies of a monthly bulletin 
of the principal accessions of the library; also information 
has been furnished and l)ibliographic notes compiled for 
the use of correspondents. 

During the year the work of cataloguing has been carried 
on as new accessions were acquired and good progress was 
made in cataloguing ethnologic and related articles in the 
earlier serials. 

Attention has been given to the preparation of volumes 
for binding, with the result that 502 books were sent to the 
bindery. The number of books borrowed from the Library 
of Congress for the use of the staff of the bureau in prose- 
cuting their researches was about 400. 

A pressing problem is the congestion of books on the 
shelves. For some time the library has l^een overcrowded 
and we are now taxed to find room for the current acces- 

The librar}'- is constantly referred to by students not con- 
nected with the bureau, as well as by various officials of 
the Government service. 


The following collections acquired by members of the 
staff of the bureau, or Ijy those detailed in connection with 
its researches, have been transferred to the United States 
National Meseum: 

Archeological objects collected in Cottonwood Canyon, 
Kane Coimty, Utah, by Mr. Neil M. Judd, duiing the 
spring of 1919. Accession 63841, 257 specimens. 

Ai-cheological objects (748) and skeletal remains (24) col- 
lected for the bm-eau by Mr. Gerard Fowke, from Miller's 


Cave, Missouri, during the spring of 1919. Accession 
64150, 772 specimens. 

Archeological collection, including human bones, from 
Sell's and Bell's Caves, Pulaski County, Mo., forwarded by 
Mr. Gerard Fowke. Accession 64198, 83 specimens. 

Archeological material from Texas, gathered from the 
surface by Dr. J. W. Fewkes and Prof. J. E. Pearce in the 
autumn of 1919. Accession 64248, 165 specimens. 

Sculptured stones of Huastec culture, presented to the 
biu-eau by Mr. John M. Muir, of Tampico, Mexico. Ac- 
cession 64249, 5 specimens. 

Three fine hardwood bows and three ceremonial clubs 
from British Guiana, and a blanket of the Cowichan In- 
dians (Salish), Northwest Coast. Accession 64327, 7 speci- 

Collection of archeological objects (262) and skeletal 
material (16 specimens), together with ethnologica of the 
Apache Indians (4 specimens), obtained in Arizona by Dr. 
Walter Hough during the spring of 1919. Accession 64603, 
282 specimens. 

Collection of archeological objects (212) and two human 
skulls, gathered by Dr. J. Walter Fewkes, at Square Tower 
House and contiguous ruins on the Mesa Verde National 
Park, Colo., in cooperation with the National Park Service 
of the Interior Department in 1919. Accession 64646, 214 

Archeological objects (446) and skeletal material (5) col- 
lected by Mr. J. A. Jeancon in an ancient ruin near Abiquiu, 
N. Mex., for Mr. Otto T. Mallery during the summer of 
1919, and presented to the Bureau by Mr. Mallery. Ac- 
cession 64885, 451 specimens. 


Furniture and office equipment was purchased to the 
amount of $162.73. 



■ Personnel. — The position, of honorary philologist, held for 
several years by Dr. Franz Boas, has been al:)olished. 

Clerical. — The correspondence and other clerical work of 
the office has been conducted by Miss May S. Clark, clerk 
to the chief. Mrs. Frances S. Nichols assisted the editor. 
There has been no change in the scientific or clerical force. 
Respectfully submitted. 

J. Walter Fewkes, 
Chief, Bureau of American Ethnology. 
Dr. Charles D. Walcott, 

Secretary, Smithsonian lyistitution. 



Field researches of the staff 27 

Special researches 35 

Editorial work and publications 41 

Illustrations 42 

Library 42 

Collections 43 

Property 44 

Miscellaneous 44 

53666°— 28 3 23 





J. Walter Fewkes, Chief 

Sir: In response to your request, I have the honor to 
submit the foUowmg report on the field researches, office 
work, and other operations of the Bureau of American 
Ethnology during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1921, con- 
ducted in accordance with the act of Congress approved 
Jime 5, 1920. The act referred to contams the following 

American ethnology : For continuing etlmological researches among 
the American Indians and the natives of Hawaii, including the ex- 
cavation and preservation of archeologic remains, imder the direction 
of the Smithsonian Institution, including necessary employees and 
the purcliase of necessary books and periodicals, $44,000. 

In the expenditure of this money the chief has tried to 
cover the field as economically as possible and to broaden 
the researches of the bureau staff in order to include as 
many stocks of Indians as the limited appropriation will 
allow. The science of ethnology is so comprehensive and 
its problems so numerous and intricate that to do this 
scientifically is extremely difficult. Work has been done 
on the Algonquian, Iroquois, various meml)ers of the Musk- 
hogean stock, Kiowa, Pueblo, Osage, Paw^lee, and others. 
The plan of work embraces many different aspects of the 
cultural life of the Indians, mcluding their languages, social 
and religious customs, music, mythology, and ritual. 

Researches have been made on the condition of the 
Indians in their aboriginal state before or directly after 
the advent of the Europeans, and the desire has been to 
increase the relative amount of field work. Archeological 



explorations have been prosecuted in Texas, Missouri, 
Tennessee, Kentucky, Colorado, New Mexico, and the 
Hawaiian Islands. This Ime of study is destined to be- 
come the most popular in anthropology, and publications on 
the subject are always eagerly sought by the correspondents 
of the bureau. 

To the development in recent years of the movement 
known as "see America first" we owe in part the creation 
of a biu-eau of the Department of the Interior called the 
National Park Service. Incidentally the movement has 
stimulated a desire for research in both ethnology and 
archeology. Several monuments and one national park 
have been set aside by presidential proclamation to pre- 
serve Indian relics which they contain. The main attrac- 
tions of most of these reserves are ancient buildings more 
or less dilapidated and buried underground, and to increase 
then educational value it is necessary that they l^e excavated 
THider the supervision of men trained in the scientific methods 
of the archeologist. They should also be repaired by equally 
competent hands. This work is now bemg shared with other 
institutions, but it is desirable that the Bureau of American 
Etlinology should continue to occupy a very promment 
place in this work, in which it was the pioneer, as its appro- 
priation was made in part for this service. 

While the majority of these monuments are prehistoric 
cliff dwellings or pueblos situated in our Southwest, there are 
others of equal interest in other parts of the cotmtry. For 
instance, among the most instructive of these monuments is 
the Kasaan Monument, an abandoned Haida village situated 
in Alaska. This \allage has many of the old totem poles, 
several "grave houses," and other buildings still standing, 
but rapidly going to ruin, Uable to be destroyed by fire or by 
vandals. It is very desnable that steps should be taken to 
preserve tliis deserted tow7i and that ethnological studies be 
made before these rehcs are lost to science. The bureau is 
also contributing its part, in an miobtrvisive maimer, in the 
efforts to preserve Cahokia, the largest aborigmal mound in 
North America. 


In his previous reports the chief has annually called atten- 
tion to the time consumed by the staff in ansv^ering corre- 
spondence asking information regarding American ethnology 
and related subjects. Some of these letters request elemen- 
tary knowledge, others demand more or less research. 
Whether for the one or the other purpose, they often neces- 
sitate investigation and absorb considerable time, which 
tends to distract the attention of the experts from intensive 
scientific research, thus causing the scientific output to be 
reduced to a greater or less degree. Nevertheless the chief 
regards tliis aspect of the work of the bureau as a very 
important one and indicative of the respect in which the 
bureau is held by its correspondents. For this reason replies 
have been prepared with great care, so that they may be 
rehable and authoritative. 


Two members of the staff, the chief and Dr. Truman 
Michelson, engaged in field exploration at some time during 
the year. 

During the past year the chief made three visits to the 
Mesa Verde National Park, Colo.; one in July and August 
and another in November, 1920. On the second visit he 
was the guest of Mr. Stephen T. Mather, Director of the 
National Park Ser-vice, Mr. F. A. Wadleigh, general passen- 
ger agent of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, and other 
gentlemen. The object of this visit was an inspection of 
past work in the park and formulation of plans for the 
future. The work in July and August was a continuation 
of cooperative work of the Bureau of American Ethnology 
and the National Park Service, with an allotment by the 
latter for the excavation and repair of the ruins in the park. 
A tliird visit was made in May and June, 1921, at the expense 
of the bureau. 

In the report for 1920 attention was called to the begiiming 
of the work of excavating a ruin known as Painted House, 
which is situated near the head of Fewkes Canyon, 2 J^ miles 
south of Spruce Tree Camp. The result of this work, which 
was not finished at the close of last year, intensified the 


suspicion that this large chff Ijuilding was used for some 
communal purpose, and that it was coim.ected with the 
worship of fire. The further excavation of this ruin was 
continued in July, when the floor of a great coiul; was laid 
bare, verifying this suspicion and giving undoubted evidence 
of the existence of a large fireplace in the middle of the court. 
Taken in connection with other evidence, the statement that 
this was a building devoted to fire worship is practically 
proven. Fire Temple, as it may be designated, was com- 
pletely excavated and its walls repaired. Ladders were so 
placed as to make it accessible to the public. 

To facilitate the opening of Fire Temple to visitors, a road 
was constructed along the southern rim of Fewkes Canyon, 
ending hi what is now called Sun Point, from which a mag- 
nificent view can be obtained of Sun Temple, Cliff Palace, 
and other important ruins of the mesa. The importance of 
this road is reflected Ijy its popularity; it is now the most 
frequented road in the park. Its construction also opened 
to visitors two little-known ruins near Fire Temple, one of 
which has been knowii for several years as Oak-tree House 
and the other as Fire Temple House. The walls of the latter 
were deeply buried but were completely excavated, bringing 
to light a most mteresting cliff dwelling with kivas in a lower 
and storage rooms in an upper cave. A number of large 
oUas and a few unique specimens of black and white pottery 
and other artifacts were found in this ruin. The mdications 
are that this was the dwelling and granary of the New Fire 
clan or of the priests who controlled the ceremonies in the 
Fu'e Temple. The ventilator of one kiva of this cliff dwelling 
resembled those of Sun Temple. 

Oak-tree House lies in a s^Tnmetrical cave in full sight of 
Sun Point Road, about midway between Fire Temple and 
Sun Temple. The excavation of this rum, which has unique 
features, was completed in September, and it is now m con- 
dition for inspection by visitors. A trail was constructed 
along the top of the talus connecting the ruins in Fewkes 
Canyon and ladders placed on the rim of the canyon, making 
access to the ruins easy. ' These ladders follow the Indian 


trails,- foraied of foot holes cut iii the perpendicular walls 
of the cliff. 

One of the most uiteresting results of work in July, 1920, 
was the excavation of a tower situated ui the cedars about a 
mile north of Spruce-tree Camp and described in 1892 by 
Baron G. Nordenskiold. This tower, which will m the future 
be called Cedar-tree Tower, enlarges our knowledge of the 
use of towers, as it is a type of a large number of these struc- 
tures found on the Mesa Verde and in McElmo and Yellow- 
jacket Canyons. The special feature of this type before 
excavation is indicated by a saucer-like depression on the 
surface of the ground south of the walls al:)Ove ground. The 
significance of this depression was imknown previously to 
the work here mentioned. It marks the existence of a cir- 
cular subterranean kiva which once had a vaulted roof, and 
pilasters like those repeatedly described in cliff-house kivas. 
This tower was completely repaired and a road buUt around 
it to make it accessible to tourists. 

In his field work at Mesa Verde 30 years ago Baron Nor- 
denskiold, whose Cliff Dwellers of the Mesa Verde has become 
a classic, partially excavated a ruin in Soda Canyon about 
half a mile north of Cedar-tree Tower. The approach to this 
cliff dwelling was very difficult, but has been much improved 
by a trail constructed under the direction of the chief, making 
this ruin readily accessible, aided by several ladders where 

The attractive feature of this ruin is a kiva, the inner waU 
of which still retains on its plastering decorations almost as 
brilliant as when they were first made. On this account " Ruin 
9," as it was formerly called, will be referred to in the future 
as Painted Kiva House. The decoration consists of a red 
dado below and white above, with triangles in clusters of 
three at intervals on the upper border of the dado. These 
decorations are identical with those on the court and rooms 
of Fire Temple, and those used by the Hopi in decorating their 
walls 30 years ago. The row of dots which accompanies this 
mural decoration is also a common feature on the archaic 
black and white pottery from Step House, one of the most 
ancient cliff dweUings on the park. 


Many specimens were found in Painted Kiva House, 
among which may be mentioned pottery, stone implements, 
metates, axes and celts, bone needles, fabrics, sandals, and 
problematic wooden objects. Several ears of corn with ker- 
nels intact, seeds of squash and pumpkin, and abundant 
cornstalks and shucks left no doubt of the food of the hihabi- 
tants. A fragment of the so-called paper bread called by 
the Hopi piki, possibly over 500 years old, found at the 
bottom of an Oak-tree House kiva, allays any doubt on 
this point. 

Futm-e field work on the Mesa Verde ought to be especially 
directed to the study of the relation of the Earth Lodge 
culture and that of the pueblo, in which is included the cliff 
dwelUngs and pueblos on top of the mesa. Both are char- 
acterized by distinctive pottery as well as architecture, 
although the essential features of the former are not very 
well known. Aztec and the Chaco ruins have local differ- 
ences from the Mesa Verde, but it is not known which area 
first lost its population. Both populations flourished at 
about the same time, and it is believed the cliff dwellings on 
the Mesa Verde were older than the community houses of 
the Chaco Canyon. 

In May, 1921, the chief resumed his work on the Mesa 
Verde, remainmg there until the close of the fiscal year. 
During this time he completed the excavation of Far View 
House, and protected with a cement groat the tops of about 
two-thirds of all the walls of rooms. 

About 385 feet north of Far View House, on higher land, 
in about the center of the cluster of 16 mounds that are 
included in the Mummy Lake group, the excavation of a 
most interesting building wholly buried mider fallen walls 
was begim. Enough work was done to show that it is a 
remarkable type of building, consisting of a central circular 
tower with several subterranean rooms or kivas on the south 
side, overlooking a large cemetery. It has all the appear- 
ance of a necropolis of the cluster, and important results 
await its final excavation. Unfortunately work on this 
mound had to be suspended at the close of the fiscal year. 


The Mummy Lake cluster of mounds is a typical \dllage 
and is duplicated again and again on the mesa and the sur- 
rounding valleys. The complete village consists of buildings 
of several forms and functions, isolated or united, although 
the components are largely habitations of the unit type. 
Evidently the tower, with its accompanying kivas and ceme- 
tery, was the necropohs but not a habitation. The spade 
alone can divine the true meaning of members of this group. 

In ]\Iay the tops of all the walls of Sun Temple were re- 
cemented with groat to protect the walls from snow and 
rain, a work of no small magnitude. 

During the entire year Mr. James Mooney, ethnologist, 
remained in the office, engaged in formulatmg replies to 
ethnologic inquiries and in digesting material from former 
western field seasons. No new material was collected or 
completed. His work during the winter was interrupted by 
a period of serious illness. 

During the last fiscal year Dr. John R. Swanton, ethnolo- 
gist, practically completed the proof reading of Bulletin 73, 
Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors, 
which is now going through the press. He also copied the 
Koasati texts which were collected a few years ago, and com- 
pleted the extraction of words from these texts, of which a 
beginning was made last year. 

Doctor Swanton has added a few hundred cards to his 
material bearing on the economic basis of American Indian 
fife, and has gone over Mr. James Murie's paper on the 
Ceremonies of the Pawnee twice, in order to make certain 
necessary changes in the phonetic symbols employed. He 
has also devoted some time to studies of the Alabama, 
Hitchiti, and Muskogee languages. 

Doctor Swanton also continued the preparation of a paper 
on the Social Orgamzation and Social Customs of the Indians 
of the Creek Confederacy, covering over 700 manuscript 

Dming the entire fiscal year Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt, ethnolo- 
gist, was engaged in office work. His first work was devoted 
to the completion of the preparation by retyping of the 
Onondaga texts of the second part of the Iroquoian Cos- 


mology, the first part having appeared in the Twenty-first 
Ainaual Report of tlie bureau. Not only is the orthography 
of a large number of the native terms being standardized to 
conform m spelling with the other Iroquoian texts recorded 
by Mr. He\vitt but the statements and phrasing of numerous 
passages are also amphfied or amended in such manner as 
to utihze information obtained by Mr. Hewitt since the re- 
cordmg of the original texts. 

Mr. Hewitt also took advantage of the opportunity pre- 
sented by the presence in Washington of ]\Ir. George Ga- 
boosa, a mixed-blood Chippewa Indian of Garden River, 
Ontario, Canada, who speaks both Chippewa and Ottawa 
dialects of Algonquian, by securing his aid in revising and 
translating a number of Ottawa texts supplied in 1900 by 
John Miscogeon, an Ottawa mixed blood, then in Washing- 
ton, D. C. These texts are either myths or traditions em- 
bodying myths. Mr. Gaboosa supplied the Chippewa ver- 
sions of these stories. In addition to this work he supphed 
interlinear translations to all the texts. The following is a 
list of these texts: The Myth of Nanabozho's Mother; 
Living Men Visit the Sky-Land; The Myth of Summer and 
Whiter; The Myth of Dayhght-Maker, or Day maker; The 
Myth of Nanabozho. 

Mr. Hewitt is at work on some material relatmg to the 
general culture of the Muskhogean peoples, especially that 
relating to the Creeks and the Choctaw. In 1881-82 Maj. 
J. W. Powell began to collect and record this matter at first- 
hand from Mr. L. C. Ferryman and Gen. Pleasant Porter, 
both well versed in the native customs, beUefs, culture, and 
social organization of their peoples. Mr. Hewitt assisted in 
this compilation and recording. In this way he became 
familiar with this material, which was laid aside for lack of 
careful revision, and a portion of which has been lost; but 
as there is still much that is valuable and not available in 
print it was deemed wise to prepare the matter for pubhca- 
tion, especially in -view of the fact that the objective activities 
treated in these records no longer form a part of the hfe of 
the Muskhogean peoples, and so can not be obtained at 
first hand. 


In addition to tliis material, it is designed to add as sup- 
plementary matter some Creek tales and mythic legends 
collected by Mr. Jeremiah Curtin. 

The following brief Ust of topics treated may give some 
idea of the natm'c of these field notes: "Towns and clan, 
hsts," " Crime and murder," " The government of the clan," 
" The town government or organization of a town," " The 
council square," " The chief," " The system of coimcils," 
" The clan," " The ranks and the title of persons," " The 
busk or puskita," "Medicine practices," "Names and nam- 
ing," " Festivals," " Maniage customs," " Insanity," " Proph- 
ets," "Souls or spirits," "Mythic notes," and the short hst 
of tales collected by Mr. Curtin. Much of the material here 
recorded is not available either in any other manuscript or 
in print. 

Mr. Francis La Flesche, ethnologist, devoted nearly aU of 
his time to putting into book form his notes for the second 
volume of his work on the Osage tribe. This task was t^\'ice 
interrupted by the reading of the galley and the page proofs 
of the first volume. 

The second volume is nearing completion and embraces 
two versions of an ancient rite entitled " No"'-zhi°-zho'' 
Wa-tho", Songs of the Rite of Vigil." Up to tliis date the 
completed part of this manuscript, exclusive of the illustra- 
tions, contains 582 typewi'itten pages. 

Sho'^'-ge-moM", who gave the No'^'-zM°-zho'' ritual of Ms 
gens, the Tsi'-zhu Wa-shta-ge, died m the autimm of 1919. 
He was the fourth to die of the old men who aided in the 
recording of the ancient tribal rites of the Osage. Two old 
men died before the time set by them to give the ceremonials 
of their gentes arrived. Sho'^'-ge-mo^-i" remarked, as he 
was recording the child-naming ritual, to be pubhshed in a 
later volume, " The Osage people are fast dying out since 
they abandoned the supphcatory rites formulated by their 

The beginning of the fiscal year found Mr. J. P. Hamng- 
ton, ethnologist, engaged in the preparation of Ms material 
on the language of the Kiowa Indians. The entire material 


was copied, collated, and analyzed, and constitutes a manu- 
script of more than 1,000 pages. 

Iviowa is a typical Tano-Kiowan dialect, closely related 
in phonetics, vocabulary, and structure "with the Tanoan 
languages of New Mexico. This proves again, as in the case 
of the Hopi, that culture areas cut across linguistic ones. 
The Tano-Iviowan is fiui^hermore genetically related to the 
Keresan and Zunian groups of New Mexico, also to the 
Shoshonean, and certain languages of Cahfornia. Mr. Har- 
rington has in hand a comparative study of these languages 
which is very bulky. 

Upon finishing the manuscript of the Kiowa paper, Mr. 
Harrington took up the Taos material, aided by a set of 
excellent texts dictated by Mr. R. Vargas, and comprising 
400 typewritten pages. He finished this for publication 
before the close of the fiscal year. 

On July 1, 1920, Dr. Truman Michelson, ethnologist, was 
at Tama, Iowa, engaged in researches among the Sauk and 
Fox of that State and preparmg for publication by the biu^eau 
a manuscript entitled " The Autobiography of a Fox Indian 
Woman," as far as practical in the field. A good deal of 
the work on this had been done in the previous fiscal year. 
Near the close of July he left for Saskatchewan, Canada, 
where he made a recomiaissance of the Plains Cree at File 
HiUs Agency. From this study it appears that physically 
the Plains Cree have a cephalic index of about 79, thus 
belonging to the so-called Mississippi Valley type of North 
American Indian, which confirms the results of Dr. Boas's 
work many years ago. Linguistically Cree clearly belongs 
to the central division of Algonquian languages, but it is not 
as archaic as has usually been believed. The folklore and 
mythology here show from an analysis of the culture cycle 
that both woodland and plams elements are to be foimd, as 
well as a few plateau elements. EthnologicaEy we have 
the same combination, save that plateau elements are lacking. 

Doctor Michelson returned to Washington at the close of 
August, where he completed the autobiography mentioned 
above, and in January submitted the manuscript for publi- 
cation by the bureau. The remainder of his time at Wash- 


ington was spent working out English translations of various 
Fox texts written in the current syllabary on mortuary 
customs and observances, as weU as one or two folk tales. 

Doctor Michelson left Washington in the latter part of May, 
1921, to renew his researches among the Sauk and Fox of 
Iowa. Arriving at Tama near the end of the month. Doctor 
Michelson spent nearly all his time on Fox mortuary cus- 
toms and observances, mentioned above, with a view to 
their publication by the bm'eau. The Indian texts were 
restored phonetically, the translations corrected where 
needed, a grammatical analysis begun, and additional data 
secured, so that with the close of the fiscal year only about 
two weeks more of field work was necessary to complete the 
preparation of the volume so far as practical in the field. 
He took advantage of a favorable opportunity just before 
the end of the year to obtain data on the society called 
"Ki wa ka mo A ki." 

While in the field and also in the office Doctor Michelson 
corrected proofs of Bulletin 72, The Owl Sacred Pack of the 
Fox Indians. 


Special researches in the field were conducted by Miss 
Frances Densmore, Mr. W. E. Myer, Prof. J. E. Pearce, Mr. 
Gerard Fowke, and Mr. J. A. Jeancon. 

Four manuscripts have been submitted by Miss Frances 
Densmore during the year, entitled "Papago Songs," "Leg- 
end Music of the Papago," "Songs Coimected With Expedi- 
tions to Obtain Salt," and "Viikita and Wakita Ceremonies 
of the Papago." This material comprises 148 pages of text, 
75 transcriptions of songs (with phonographic records and 
technical analyses), and 27 photographic illustrations. 

In September Miss Densmore resumed her work on Papago 
music, and in December, 1920, returned to the Papago 
Reservation in Arizona, where she had worked a few months 
previously. She revisited San Xavier, but her work centered 
at Sells, formerly called Indian Oasis, but now the location 
of the Papago agency. Trips were made from there to 
Santa Rosa village, in the extreme north, and to Vomari 


village in the extreme south of the reservation. Photo- 
graphs, specimens, and records of songs were obtained at 
these places. 

The principal subject of study at this time was the belief 
of the Papago in supernatural agencies controlling their 
food supply. Information was obtained regarding two cere- 
monies connected with this belief, i. e., the making and drink- 
ing of "cactus wine," and the Viikita. Numerous songs 
connected with these ceremonies were recorded. 

Other classes of songs not previously recorded among the 
Papago were those received in dreams, those sung on expe- 
ditions to obtain salt, and those connected with stories told 
to children; also songs for success in the kicking-ball race 
and m hunting. Songs of war and of medicine were recorded, 
as well as others concenimg the deeds of Elder Brother and 
mcluding songs he was said to have sung after creatmg the 
spirits, winds, and clouds. Mention may be made of a song 
that was said to have been sung in order to produce the 
death of an aged woman. It was said that "her grandsons 
decided to kill her by means of a song," as her advanced age 
made her an encumbrance to them. Many songs have been 
recorded whose purpose was to procure health, but this is the 
first instance of a song mtended to cause death. An impor- 
tant phase of the musical work was the hearing of a certain 
class of very old dance songs, a portion of which was in three 
parts, i. e., the voices of the men, the voices of the women 
singing the same melody an octave higher, and the voices of 
two or three women singmg (for a brief period) a still higher 
part, different from the melody. This song was accompanied 
by the shakmg of a gourd rattle and the striking of a basket 
drum, also by stamping the feet, which is the most primitive 
manner of markmg time. This dance is seldom held at the 
present tune, but was witnessed on the desert late Christmas 

As a development of the year's work Miss Densmore notes 
the importance of recognizing estheticism as a factor m 
Indian music. Her analyses have sho\\ii the presence of tones 
whose interval distances correspond to those of the first, 
second, thu-d, and fourth upper partial tones of a funda- 


mental. Thus, in a portion of liis melody, the Indian ap- 
pears to find satisfaction in intervals which are under natural 
laws. Apart from these tones and intervals it appears, from 
the evidence in hand, that his choice of tonal material is 
controlled by a sense of pleasure rather than by "keys" or 

Miss Densmore continued work on her manuscript en- 
titled " Chippewa Arts and Customs." Tabulations of the 
botanical portions of this book were made as follows: Lists 
of botanical names, with bibliogi'aphy, showing the uses of 
these plants by other tribes; lists of plants used as food, 
dyes, channs, and for general utility. Miss Densmore 
made more than 100 blue prints of birch-bark transparen- 
cies, showing a wide variety of interesting patterns. These 
transparencies are made by folding thin birch bark and in- 
denting it with the teeth, the bark, when unfolded and held 
toward the light, revealing the pattern. This form of Chip- 
pewa art is almost extinct at the present time. 

In September and October Mr. W. E. Myer, of Nash- 
ville, Term., excavated, under the auspices of the bureau, 
Indian village sites on the Gordon farm near Brentwood, 
Davidson County, Tenn., and also the Fewkes Group at 
Boiling Spring Academy, Williamson County, in the same 
State. The remains of an old Indian to^vn at the Gordon 
site had walls and towers very similar to those of Pacaha, 
visited by De Soto in 1541. The walls covered an area of 
11.2 acres. 

When the former inhabitants for some unknown reason 
abandoned this site they appear to have left nearly all the 
buildings still standing. The locaUty was never again 
occupied or disturbed, but gradually the buildings of the 
silent and deserted town decayed and whatever vestiges 
were not destroyed by the elements were slowly buried 
under a layer of l)lack loam which is now from 14 to 20 inches 

In the course of time the site of the buried village gradu- 
ally became a beautiful grassy glade set here and there ^vith 
giant forest trees. The charm of the site appealed to one 
of the first white settlers, who built his home here and pre- 


served the grassy glade for a lawn. No one suspected that 
an ancient Indian town was lying buried a few inches be- 
neath the surface; but on the surface of this undisturbed 
lawn there were very faint saucer-shaped depressions and 
other evidences marking the sites of about 125 dwellings. 

When the accumulated superficial black loam was re- 
moved from some of these circular depressions floors made 
of hard packed clay were brought to Ught. Some of these 
floors were very pleasing to the eye, being covered with a 
smoothed and polished coating of fine black, glossy material. 
The stone slab tops of the cofhns of little children were 
exposed here and there projecting an inch or two above the 
level of the floor. 

A building was uncovered in the center of which was an 
altar filled with the pure white ashes of the ancient per- 
petual fire. The neighboring buildings were dwellings with 
fire beds used for domestic cooking. Stone metates, mullers, 
and other utensils used for household pmposes were hkewlse 
fovmd on the floors of these rooms. 

Mr. Myer also explored an umiamed group of five mounds 
and a surrounding village site at Boiling Spring Academy in 
Wilhamson County, Tenn. At the request of many citizens 
of Tennessee he gave tins the name of Fewkes Group In 
honor of Dr. J. Walter Fewkes, Chief of the Bureau of 
American Ethnology, who had visited the site, recognized its 
importance, and caused it to be explored. 

Archeological field work was carried on by Prof. J. E. 
Pearce, of the University of Texas, in cooperation with the 
bureau. The area examined is situated ui the vicinity of 
the city of Athens, in Henderson Coimty, and during this 
work Professor Pearce received many courtesies from Judge 
A. B. Watkins, who has long manifested an interest in the 
archeology of the region. Professor Pearce finds that the 
eastern Texas region contains numerous mounds, village 
sites, and burial places, the objects from which are quite 
different from those found In the central and western portions 
of Texas. Three interesting momids on the MorraU farm, 
4 miles east of Cherokee County, were investigated. The 
highest of these moimds measures 80 feet across the base 


and 45 feet above the level of the base. The second mound 
is 180 feet long by 75 feet wide, but is only 15 feet high. 
Most of the mounds in the neighborhood of Athens hsxxe 
been plowed over and have no regularity m form. Several 
mounds situated m Harrison County, particularly those on 
the farm of Mr. Lane Mitchell, of Marshall, were examined 
and remains of earth lodges discovered, in the floor of which 
are central fire pits. These are proljably recent. Numerous 
other sites were explored, yieldmg collections of pottery, 
stone implements, and other objects illustrating the life 
of the prehistoric al^origines of eastern Texas. Everj'thing 
found implies that the Indians of this region hved in settled 
villages, were agriculturists, and made pottery of a high 
grade of excellence. Their culture was higher than that of 
the Indians who occupied the central region of Texas, 
investigated m 1919. 

With a small allotment, Mr. J. A. Jeancon carried on 
important archeological work on a ruin at Llano, near 
Rancho de Taos, N. Mex., and obtained a valuable collection 
from a locaUty not represented in the Museum. 

The architectural features and relations of the kiva and 
secular rooms of this ruin recall those of the chff dwelhngs and 
pueblos of the Mesa Verde. The circular subteiTanean 
kiva that was excavated proved to be almost identical with 
a typical Mesa Verde kiva, verifying the legends that the 
modern Taos Indians are a mixed type containing Pueblo 
elements, probably of northern origin. 

This kiva was embedded in house walls not free from sec- 
ular buildings as in modern Taos and showed evidences of 
two occupations, or one kiva built inside another. It had 
no pilasters for the support of a vaulted roof, but there were 
in the floor four upright posts upon which a flat roof formerly 
rested. In the floor was an excellent fireplace and a plastered 
pit the purpose of which is problematical. 

Mr. Jeancon's work attracted wide attention, and many 
persons visited the site while he was at work. Members of 
the chamber of commerce in Taos declared their intention to 
protect the excavated walls by means of a shed. 

53666°— 28 4 


The chief visited the ruin before excavation began and 
inspected the excavations after they had been completed. 

Mr. Gerard Fowke represented the bureau at the meeting 
of the Pan Pacific Congi-ess in Honolulu and made a special 
study of the archeology of the Hawaiian Islands. He found 
that all the aboriginal remains on the islands are the work of 
the present Hawaiian race, indicating that when the earhest 
of these people came there the islands were without inhab- 
itants. No archeological evidences were foimd of any 
prehistoric population; and, so far as can be ascertained, 
excavations would not result in the discovery of any speci- 
mens essentially different from those that can be seen on the 
surface or may be foimd shghtly covered by very recent 
natural accumulation. At the same time, as all the remains 
are well worthy of study and preservation, the islands furnish 
opportimity for further research. His report on the temples, 
terraces, and other remains has been received and awaits 

Dr. Clark Wissler has given what time he could spare from 
his duties as cliairman of the division of anthropology and 
psychology of the National Research Council to the comple- 
tion of a Pawnee manuscript, in which he has lieen aided by 
Mr. James R. Murie. The music necessary for this has 
been transcribed by Miss Helen H. Roberts, and Dr. John R. 
Swanton has also assisted in this work. 

Durmg the fiscal year Mr. D. I. Bushnell, jr., completed a 
manuscript bearing the title: "Villages of the Algonquian, 
Siouan, and Caddoan Tribes West of the Mississippi." 
While engaged in the preparation of this manuscript he also 
secured many notes on tlie l^urial customs of the same triJDes, 
and these, together with much additional material, are being 
used in the preparation of another manuscript, entitled 
"Burials of the Algonquian, Siouan, and Caddoan Tribes 
West of the Mississippi." 

Miss Mary Lois Kissell has begim the preparation of the 
manuscript of a Ixilletin on weaving of the Northwest Coast 
Indians, which it is hoped will be later followed by others on 
other geographical areas. 


A small allotment was given to Mr. Gerard Fowke to 
carry on special archeological work in Greenup, Ky., near 
Portsmouth, Ohio, on mounds figured and descril^ed by 
Squier and Davis and T. H. Lewis. On the opposite bank 
of the Ohio River a celebrated cache of pipes has been found 
and it was hoped that a similar deposit might be discovered 
near the effigy mound on the south side. The results of 
this exammation are negative so far as the object desued 
was concerned, Ijut several interesting oJDservations were made 
of a nature too technical to discuss in this place. 


The editing of the publications of the bureau was con- 
tinued through the year by Mr. Stanley Searles, assisted by 
Mrs. Frances S. Nichols. The status of the publications is 
presented in the following summary: 


Bulletin 67. Alsea Texts and Myths (Frachtenberg). 304 pp. 
Bulletin 7L Native Cemeteries and Forms of Burial East of the 

Mississippi (Bushnell). 160 pp., 17 pi. 
Bulletm 72. The Owl Sacred Pack of the Fox Indians (Michelson). 

83 pp., 4 pi. 
List of Pubhcations of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 44 pp. 


Thirty-fourth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: A Prehistoric 
Island Culture Area of America (Fewkes). 

Thirty-fifth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: Ethnology of the 
Kwakiutl (Boas). 

Thirty-sLxth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: The Osage Tril)c: 
Rite of the Chiefs; Sayings of the Ancient Men (La Flesche). 

Thirty-seventh Aimual Report. Accompanying paper: The Winne- 
bago Tribe (Radin). 

Thirty-eighth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: An Introduc- 
tory Study of the Ai-ts, Crafts, and Customs of the Guiana Indians 

Bulletin 73. Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors 
(Swan ton) . 

Bulletin 74. Excavation of a Site at Santiago Ahuitzotla, D. F. Mexico 

Bulletin 75. Northern Ute Music (Densmore). 


Bulletin 76. Archeological Excavations in the Ozark Region of Cen- 
tral Missouri (Fowke). 

Bulletin 77. Villages of the Algonquian, Siouan, and Caddoan Tribes 
West of the Mississippi (Bushnell). 

Bulletin 78. Handbook of the Indians of California (Kroeber). 

Bulletin 80. Mandan and Hidatsa Music (Densmore). 


The distribution of publications has been continued under 
the immediate charge of Miss Helen Munroe, assisted by 
Miss Emma B. Powers. Pubhcations were distributed as 
follows : 


Annual reports and separates 1, 998 

Bulletins and separates 10, 288 

Contributions to North American Ethnology 34 

Miscellaneous publications 475 

Total 12,795 


Mr. De Lancey Gill, illustrator, with the assistance of Mr. 
Albert E. Sweeney, continued the preparation of the illus- 
trations of the bureau. A summary of this work follows : 

Photographic illustrations for distribution and office use 645 

Negatives of ethnological and archeological subjects 351 

Negative films developed from field exposures 70 

Photostat prints made from books and manuscripts 120 

Illustrations prepared and submitted for publication 391 

Line and color drawings 195 

Illustrations proofs edited 158 

Ijithographic proofs examined at Government Printing Office- 25, 000 


The reference library continued in the immediate care of 
Miss Ella Leary, librarian, assisted by Mr. Charles B. New- 
man and Mr. Samuel H. Miller. 

During the year 775 books were accessioned, of which 50 
were acquhed by purchase, 325 by binding of periodicals, 
and 400 by gift and exchange. The periodicals currently 
received number about 900, of which 30 were received by 
subscription, the remainder being received through exchange. 


The bureau has also received 269 pamphlets, giving at the 
close of the year a working library of 24,155 volumes, 14,777 
pamphlets, and several thousand unbound periodicals. 

During the year an increasing number of visitors have 
applied to the library for books. Information has been 
furnished and bibliographic notes compiled for the use of 
correspondents. The officials of the Library of Congress 
and of the Govermnent departments have also made use of 
the library through frequent loans during the year. 

In addition to the use of its own library, which is becoming 
more and more valuable through exchange and by limited 
purchase, it was found necessary to draw on the Library of 
Congress for the loan of about 500 books. 

As mentioned in the last amiual report, one of the most 
urgent needs of the library at the present time is more shelf 
room for its books. 


The following collections, acquired by members of the 
bureau or by those detailed m connection with its researches, 
have been transferred to the United States National 

Stone arrow polisher, presented to the bureau by Dr. Walter E. 
Roth, of Georgetown, British Guiana. (65625.) 

Collection of archeological material, collected in the spring of 1920 
in northwestern Arizona and southwestern Utah by Mr. NeU M. 
Judd. (65764.) 

Pseudo stone implement, found by Rev. E. N. Kremer near 
Camphill, Cumberland Coimty, Pa. (65795.) 

Three human skidls and bones, collected by Dr. J. Walter Fewkes 
at Fire Temple Group, Mesa Verde National Park, Colo. (660n.) 

Skeltons collected during the summer of 1920 near Nashville, 
Tenn., by Mr. W. E. Myer. (65115.) 

Archeologia and skeleton, collected by Mr. J. A. Jeancon from a 
rum near Taos, N. Mex., in the summer of 1920. (66156.) 

Archeologia and human bones, foimd at Indian Hall, Fla., by 
Mr. Charles T. Earie. (65551.) 

Skull bones and lower jaw, found at village site near GatesvLlle, 
Tex., by Prof. J. E. Pearce. (65334.) 



Fumitui'e and office equipment were purchased to the 
amount of $140.83. 


Clerical. — The correspondence and other clerical work of 
the office has been conducted by Miss May S. Clark, clerk 
to the chief. Mrs. Frances S. Nichols assisted the editor. 
Mr. Anthony Wilding served as messenger and typist to the 

Personnel. — Mr. Samuel H. Miller has been appointed to 
assist Miss Lear}^ in the library in place of Mr. Charles B. 
Newman, transferred to the Smithsonian. 

Mr. J. A. Jeancon, who served as assistant to the chief in 
the work at Mesa Verde, was later appointed temporary 
ethnologist, but at the close of two months' work in Wash- 
ington, resigned to accept a position in the State Historical 
Museum, Denver, Colo. 

Respectfully submitted. 

J. Walter Fewkes, 
Chief, Bureau of American Ethnology. 

Dr. Charles D. Walcott, 

Secretary, Smithsonian Institution. 



Field researches of the staff 47 

Special researches 60 

Editorial work and publications 69 

Illustrations 71 

Library 71 

Collections 72 

Property 73 

Miscellaneous 73 






J. Walter Fewkes, Chief 

Sir : In response to your request I have the honor to sub- 
mit the following report on the field researches, office work, 
and other operations of the Bureau of American Ethnology 
during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1922, conducted in 
accordance with the act of Congress approved March 4, 
1921. The act referred to contains the following item: 

American ethnology: For continuing ethnological researches among 
the American Indians and the natives of Hawaii, including the exca- 
vation and preservation of archeologic remains, under the direction of 
the Smithsonian Institution, including the necessary employees and 
the purchase of necessary books and periodicals, $46,000. 

The Indians of the United States are undergoing cultural 
changes which will in a short time so modify their material 
culture that httle wiU be left in that line for the ethnologist 
to study. It is imperative that the bureau exert itself in 
every way to record the material culture and cult objects 
before the final change occurs. The objects illustrating this 
culture are now mainly preserved as heirlooms in ceremonies, 
and it is particularly desirable that these be described and their 
meanings interpreted before they pass out of use completely, 


In 1904 the bureau inaugurated at Casa Grande a method 
of archeological work which has now been adopted by most 
of the institutions working in the southwestern part of the 
United States. Previous to this time archeologists rarely 
paid attention to the preservation of walls of ruins, but 
sacrificed these in their zeal to make as large collections of 
artifacts as possible. 



The bureau method of preserving the buildings for future 
students has now been adopted by other institutions, and 
work of this natui'e is being carried on at Pueblo Bonito, 
Chaco Canyon, by the National Geographic Society; at 
Chettro Kettle, in the same canyon, by the School of Amer- 
ican Research, Santa Fe, N. Mex.; at Pecos, N. Mex., by 
the Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. ; and at Aztec by the 
American Museum of Natural History of New York. This 
method of archeological work has created a great interest in 
archeological problems, as indicated by the increased number 
of visitors to these ruins, and has a great practical value as 
an asset to the communities in which these ruins are situated. 
It is the intention of the chief of the bureau to keep abreast 
of the other institutions in this regard. 

In the past year the bureau has entered upon two new lines 
of work which it is believed will not only increase its scientific 
output by mtensive research but also appeal strongly to 
the popular interest and to the diffusion of knowledge 
already acquired. For many years it has not been found 
practical to continue work on the Hawaiian Islands, which is 
mentioned as one of the important items of ethnological 
research m the above act of Congress. A meeting of the 
Pan Pacific Convention in Honolulu shows an increased 
interest m the study of the Polynesian islands and their 
relation to the question of the peopling of America from 
the South Seas. Mr. Gerard Fowke, a collaborator of the 
bureau, was commissioned to attend this convention in 
the interest of the Smithsonian Institution, and he was 
instructed to gather whatever information he could in rela- 
tion to the archeology of the people, if any, that preceded 
the Hawaiian race of the present day. Although his results 
were negative, it is gratifying that the bureau took part in 
this convention, as it opened up several lines of work in 
other islands which it may later be advantageous to follow. 
The Sandwich Islands lie practically on the periphery of 
the sphere of mfluence of the Polynesian culture, and local 
investigators have the Hawaiians well in hand. There is 
considerable to do m mapping the distribution of temples 
and ancient buildings, but this work is being rapidly done 


by local archeologists. It is desirable, however, that the 
bureau take up archeological work m Samoa or some island 
nearer the center of distribution of the race which has 
occupied almost all the land in the Pacific Ocean. The 
imperfect facilities for transportation from one island to 
another and the loss of time in transit is a serious handicap 
in this work. 

A second line of research which promises even more to the 
scientific investigator .and the tourist is a study of the 
material culture, especially the architecture, of the houses 
of the aborigines of Alaska. In the growth of the canning 
industry the Indians who formerly inhabited southern 
Alaska have been dra\^Ti away from their aboriginal villages, 
leaving them deserted and their totem poles and buildmgs 
to the mercy of fire and decay. The monuments are rapidly 
going to destruction, and it is very desirable that steps be 
immediately taken to preserve these buildmgs or a typical 
example of them before they are utterly destroyed. 

One of these settlements, Kasaan, has already been made 
a national monument. Steps should be taken to preserve 

Dr. T. T. Waterman was sent by the l:)ureau to investigate 
the whole question — primarily to secure whatever vanishing 
ethnological data is still extant. He was instructed to gather 
information on the symbolism of the totem poles, the charac- 
ter of the houses, distribution of clans, and whatever scien- 
tific data can be obtained from those still livmg who once 
inhabited these villages. This Ime of investigation appeals 
very strongly to the chief from his knowledge of the growth 
in interest of the Mesa Verde National Park. In 1908, 
when he began work on this park, only 25 tourists visited 
the Mesa Verde; this year, 1922, the number will reach 
4,500. This shows a great growth of interest in the work 
being done there; and, as many tourists now seek Alaska 
in their summer vacation, one of these villages repaired would 
attract many visitors. It is proposed to continue this work 
next summer with an enlarged appropriation. 

The work of the bureau in other lines has gone on with 
customary vigor. The chief has repeatedly emphasized 


the necessity of rescuing the Unguistic and sociological data 
of those Indian stocks that are rapidly disappearing. It 
would be culpable if any of these languages should vanish 
completely without some record. Interest in the aborigines 
of this continent has greatly increased in the last years, 
especially on account of the stimulus of the movement called 
"see America first." 

In addition to his purely administrative duties, con- 
siderable time has been devoted by the chief to researches 
in the field. This work was archeological in natiu-e and a 
continuation of that of previous years, and was carried on 
in cooperation with the National Park Service of the 
Department of the Interior. 

Two months were spent in the neighborhood of Far View 
House, the first pueblo discovered on the Mesa Verde 
National Park, six years ago. In the course of the work 
this fine ruin was thoroughly repaired and put in such con- 
dition that it will now resist the wear of the elements for 
several years. Ruins once repaired must be watched with 
care. On an average between 3,000 and 4,000 visitors, 
mainly tourists, visit the Mesa Verde National Park and 
examine the excavated ruins. Fifteen thousand visitors 
have already passed through Spruce-tree House and Cliff 
Palace, and the wear on the soft rock of which the ruins 
are made is beguining to show. Unless constant vigilance 
is exercised the walls will fall within a short time. Any 
deterioration ought to l^e repaired annually. Tourists are 
not now permitted to visit any of the ruins on this park 
without a guide, a regulation that has been strictly enforced 
during the past year. 

Field work in May and Jime was devoted to excavating 
a "ruin called Pipe Shrine House, situated to the south of 
Far View House. This was apparently a communal build- 
ing, or one not inhabited, which was used by the people of 
the pueblo for sacred ceremonies. It would appear that 
Pipe Shrine House, so called, bears the same relationship 
to Far View House that the Lower House of the Yucca 
National Monument does to the Upper. The great kiva 
at Aztec, in New Mexico, lately excavated, bears a some- 


what similar relationship to the main ruin, and there are 
several of the Chaco Canyon ruins where similar conditions 

The site of Pipe Shrine House when work began was a 
low mound covered with sagebrush with a saucerlike depres- 
sion in the center, not unlike several others m the immediate 
vicinity of Far View House. The removal of vegetation and 
debris and an excavation of the rooms revealed a rectangular 
building 70 by 60 feet, with walls averagmg one story high. 
It had mdications of a lofty tower in the middle of the western 
side, which must have imparted to the builduig somewhat 
the appearance of a church steeple or the minaret of a 
mosque. The large room was situated in the center of the 
rum, its floor being about 20 feet below that of the other 
rooms. This subterranean room is a kiva, but it differs 
from others of like type on the park in that it has no fire- 
place in the center of the floor, no ventilator or deflector, 
and has eight mural pilasters instead of six to support the 
roof. The fallen walls within showed indications of a great 
conflagration, the stones and adobe being turned red and the 
walls turned bright red by the great heat. On the floor of 
the kiva was an inclosure set off by a semicu-cular wall 
where the action of fire was particularly evident. In the 
inclosure were found many votive offerings, the most numer- 
ous of which were a dozen clay tobacco pipes of various 
shapes and sizes, one or two decorated on their exteriors. 
These pipes, which are the first ever found on the Mesa 
Verde, evidently had been smoked by the priests and then 
thrown into the shrine. Besides the pipes the shrine also 
contained several fine stone knives, smaU decorated clay 
platters, various fetishes, and other objects. Pipe Shrine 
House was entered on the south by two doorways, midway 
between which a large pictograph of a coiled serpent was 
incised on a large stone set in the wall. To the south of the 
building there was a plaza surrounded by a retaining wall 
and directly opposite one of the entrances there are aborigmal 
steps which lead to a rectangular shrine 4 feet in size, in 
which were found a number of water-worn stones surrounding 
a large stone image of the mountain lion. The contents 


of this shrine were replaced, the mountain hon left in his 
original position, and the inclosure covered with a netting 
to prevent the possible removing of the objects from their 
places. Other shrines and several stone idols of considerable 
size were found m the neighborhood. The idols found at 
Pipe Shrine House represent the snake, mountain lion, 
mountain sheep, and bird — an important discovery, as 
previously only one stone animal idol had been found at 
the Mesa Verde Park. 

One of the most instructive experiences of the archeologist 
is to see a skeleton centuries old as it lies in the grave. 
One of the ancient people of Pipe Shrine House was left in 
a prepared chamber for tourists to inspect. 

The cemetery lies on the southeast comer of this ruin, 
and in it were found several human burials from one of 
which a good skeleton was chosen to illustrate the manner 
of burial and the mortuary offerings. This skeleton was 
not removed from the grave but was surrounded by a stone 
wall forming a room, rectangular in shape, protected by a 
gratmg and a waterproof roof. Visitors may now see one 
of the skeletons of the race of cliff dwellers as he was placed 
in his grave more than 500 years ago; not a smgle bone has 
been moved from position. This is the first time m North 
American archeology that an effort has been made to pro- 
tect an Indian skeleton in situ, and the success of the method 
is seff-evident, judging from the comments of visitors. 

The pipes found in the shrine of the kiva have suggested 
"Pipe Shrme House" as a name for the building. It seems 
to have been given up to the rites and ceremonies of the 
mhabitants of the neighljormg Far View House. 

The second ruin excavated at Mesa Verde was formerly 
the habitation of one clan or of one social unit composed of 
relatives on the mother's side, on which account this ruin 
was given the name "One Clan House." It is situated 
about one-eighth of a mile south of Pipe Shrine House and 
consists of a circular subterranean room or kiva of fine 
masom-y surrounded by rooms for sleeping, others for grind- 
ing corn, and still others used as bins for corn or storage 
rooms. The kiva was the ceremonial or men's room. 


One of the most instructive ruins excavated in 1922 is a 
round tower, 15 feet in diameter and 10 feet high, situated 
about 300 feet north of Far View House. In front of this 
tower were found three subterranean kivas under the fallen 
debris, in one of which were constructed walls of a square 
building, indicating secondary occupation, and erected 
after the abandonment of the kiva. This tower and accom- 
panying kivas may be called Far View Tower, and the 
indications are that it was used for observations, particularly 
of the sun on the horizon at sunrise and sunset, in order to 
determuie the time for plantmg and other dates important 
for an agricultural people. These towers were probably 
rooms for the worship of the sun and other sky gods. 

Some distance north of Far View Tower there were dis- 
covered in the cedars a number of large stones arranged 
vertically in rows projecting 3 feet above the surface of the 
gTound. Excavation showed that these megaliths were walls 
of buildings of anomalous character, indicating a new type 
of architecture on the Mesa Verde. This rum, "Megalithic 
House," was not completely excavated, but all the others 
were repau-ed, the tops of the walls being covered with 
cement to prevent future erosion. 

An important collection made by the chief in the course 
of the summer's work contains many rare and unique speci- 
mens, an accomit of which will later be published in a report 
on the excavations. 

Durmg his work at the Mesa Verde the chief gave camp- 
fire talks in the special amphitheater constructed for that 
purpose by the superintendent of the park. The average 
attendance on these talks was about 40 each evening, and 
at times, as on a visit of a convention of teachers, there were 
150 listeners. He also spent considerable time daily taking 
parties over the new work which he was domg m the neigh- 
borhood of Far View House. 

Ever smce 1917 the chief has been attempting to have the 
sites of three clusters of towers in Utah withdrawn from 
private ownership and made into a national monument, to 
be called Hovenweep National Monument. Various cir- 
cumstances have made it impossible to bring this about. 


During the past summer, however, Mr. Hatze, a Land Office 
surveyor, determined the metes and bounds of these three 
clusters and later Doctor Fewkes visited them in order to 
determine their present condition. He found that a settler 
had filed claims on the neighbormg land, the adjoinmg 
one-quarter mile section, and erected his cabin. Some of 
the cabins in the neighborhood have stones remarkably like 
those of the towers; in other words, the necessity for imme- 
diate action, if these towers are to be preserved for posterity, 
is apparent, and the land on which they are situated should 
be withdrawn from settlement and the buildmgs put under 
the care of proper authorities. The three groups are known 
as the Square Tower, the Ruin Canyon group ; the Holly and 
Keeley Towers; and the large ruin at the head of the Cajon 
Mesa called Cool Sprhig House, on account of the fine water 
which is found in the cave back of the cliff house. 

Durmg the fiscal year Dr. John R. S wanton, ethnologist, 
was engaged in extracting the words from his Hitchiti texts 
and adding them to his dictionary on cards of the Hitchiti 
language, and in preparing a grammatical sketch of 75 pages 
based on this material and that collected by Dr. A. S. 

Much time was devoted to transferring words to cards 
from his Alabama texts, and from material in Alal)ama 
secured through native informants, mto an Alabama-Enghsh 
dictionary. The first 25 pages of a grammatical sketch of 
this language have also been completed. 

A comparison has been made between the Natchez 
language on the one hand and Koasati and Hitchiti on the 
other, in order to estabhsh the position of Natchez in the 
Muskhogean linguistic stock. This has not yet been set 
down in full, but all of the essential points have been type- 
written on cards. 

A paper of 44 pages has been prepared in elaboration of 
some recent discoveries regarding the Siouan peoples, 
discoveries which have an especial bearing on the relation- 
ship of the various Siouan groups to one another. 

A small amount of work has been done in continuance of 
Doctor Swanton's mvestigations into the economic basis of 


American Indian life, particularly a study of aboriginal 
trails and trade routes. 

The work of collecting stories dealing with the old clan 
divisions of the Chickasaw Indians, undertaken by a 
Chickasaw at Doctor Swanton's suggestion, has met with 
gratifying success, 10 or 12 such stories havmg already been 
sent in. 

During the fiscal year Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt, ethnologist, 
was engaged entirely in office work. 

In his report for the fiscal year 1921 it was stated that a 
number of Chippewa and Ottawa texts had been obtained 
in 1900 from Mr. John Miscogeon, an Ottawa mixed blood, 
then in Washington, D. C, and that Mr. George Gabaoosa, 
a mixed-blood Chippewa, had been employed to amend and 
to supply the Chippewa versions of these texts. He also 
amphfied the texts by substantial additions. This material 
covers 125 pages. Mr. Gabaoosa's fixed habit of writing 
his native language by means of the alphabet employed by 
the missionaries made it needful that these texts thus written 
be translated into the alphabet devised by Maj. J. W. 
Powell, founder of the Bureau of American Ethnology, for 
recording native Indian languages. This work of trans- 
hteration is one of considerable difficulty, because the aid 
of a native Chippewa speaker is not available in the office 
and Mr. Hewitt does not speak Chippewa. 

In addition, Mr. Hewitt continued work in preparing the 
Muskhogean material detailed in his last report. 

Mr. Hewitt also continued his typing of the native 
Onondaga texts of the second part of the Iroquoian Cos- 
mology, the first part having appeared in the Twenty-first 
Annual Report of the bureau. There are now 255 pages of 
text material in final form. 

As custodian of manuscripts Mr. Hewitt reports that no 
new linguistic records were added to the material perma- 
nently in his charge. Collaborators and others make tem- 
porary deposits of manuscripts upon which work is being 
done, and these are not catalogued as of permanent deposit. 

53666°— 28 5 


Mr. Hewitt spent much time and study in the preparation 
of data for official rephes to correspondents of the bureau 
and of the Indian Office also, the latter by reference only. 
The scope of the inquiries covers almost the entire range of 
human interest, often quite outside of the specific researches 
properly coming within the activities of the Bureau of 
American Ethnologj^ but many are only requests for the 
derivation of some alleged native Indian place or proper 
name, often greatly Anglicized and mutilated. Some of 
these inquiries require more than a day's work to answer, as 
it is sometimes necessary to visit the Congi'essional Library 
in search of data. Data for more than 75 such inquiries 
were prepared. 

Immediately following the death of the late Mr. James 
Mooney, Mr. Hewitt assisted Mrs. Mooney in assorting and 
separating the personal letters and papers of Mr. Mooney, 
some in advanced stages of preparation (the accumulation 
of more than 30 years' activity in an official capacity), from 
those which by their nature are official documents, and corre- 
spondence and photographs. More than a week was devoted 
to this work. 

Before placing this material in the new storeroom a rough 
classification was made of it. Five main groups were made, 
corresponding roughly with the five chief papers which Mr. 
Mooney had under way for a number of years before his 
demise, namely, (a) A Study of the Peyote and Its Accom- 
panying Religious Cult; (6) A Monograph on the Popula- 
tion of the Indian Tribes When First Kno\\Ti; (c) A Paper 
on Cherokee Medical Formulas Recorded in the Sequoya 
Alphabet by Native Priests; (d) Kiowa Heraldry; and (e) 
A Study of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Shields. Owing to 
the pecuhar chirography of Mr. Mooney and his excessive 
use of abbreviations peculiar to himself, tliis task proved to 
be a most tedious and difficult one. 

Mr. Hewitt, who represents the Smithsonian Institution 
on the United States Geogi'aphic Board, attended all its 
regular meetings except one, and aU the special meetings of 
the board. 


Mr. Francis La Flesche, ethnologist, continued during the 
fiscal year on the task of assembling his notes for the second 
volume of his work on the Osage tribe. The manuscript 
for the second volume, which embraces two versions of an 
ancient Osage ritual entitled, " No°-zM°-zho° Wa-tho°, Songs 
of the Rite of Vigil," was completed and turned in to 
the bureau on February 25, 1922, where it awaits publication. 

The first version of this ritual, which is counted as next 
in importance to the Hearing of the Sayings of the Ancient 
Men, pubhshed in the Thirty-sixth Aiuiual Report of the 
bureau, was gi"\'en by Wa-xthi-zhi of the Puma gens of 
the Osage. This man had learned the ritual from his 
father, Wa-thu'-ts'aga-zhi, who is said to have been one 
of the best informed No°'-ho°-zhi°-ga in the tribal rites. 
With some difficulty Mr. La Flesche managed to persuade 
Sho°'-ge-mo"-i°, of the Peacemaker gens, a more conserva- 
tive man than Wa-xthi-zhi, to give the second version, 
which belongs to his gens. As this ritual pertains to war, 
old Sho^'-ge-mo^-i" desired it to be clearly understood that 
his gens performed the ceremonies of the ritual as a mere 
matter of form rather than as an actual owner of the rite. 
The office of his gens, he explained, was one that was insti- 
tuted for the conservation of life and the maintenance of 
peace within the tribe and with other tribes not related 
to the Osage. 

On the completion of the manuscripts for the second 
volume, Mr. La Flesche began the task of assembling his 
notes for the third volume, which will embrace two tribal 
rituals, the first of which is entitled " Wa-x6-be A-wa-tho°, 
Songs Relating to the Wa-x6-be." The Wa-x6-be is the 
sacred hawk, the symbol of the valor of the Osage war- 
rior. The second ritual is entitled "^a Tha-dse Ga-xe," 
Hterally, The Making of the Rush, but meaning the Making 
of the Woven Rush Shrine for the Wa-x6-be. 

On July 1, 1921, Dr. Truman Michelson, ethnologist, was 
at Tama, Iowa, contuiuing his work among the Fox Indians 
of that State. He completed gathering data on Fox mortu- 
ary customs and beliefs and restored texts appertaining to 
these and worked out a vocabulary as far as possible in 


the field. On the completion of this he restored phonetically 
a text previously collected on the Fox society known as 
" Those who worship the little spotted buffalo." He also 
worked out, as far as practical, the vocabulary to this text. 
At the close of August he returned to Washington and 
elaborated the material collected in the field. During the 
fiscal year Dr. Michelson submitted two manuscripts for 
publication, namely, " Notes on Fox Mortuary Customs 
and Beliefs" and "Notes on the Fox Society KJnown as 
' Those Who Worship the Little Spotted Buffalo.' " 

On May 25 Doctor Michelson left for the West to conduct 
researches among the Algonquian Indians of Iowa, Kansas, 
and Oklahoma. He stopped at Columbus, Ohio, to consult 
with Prof. L. Bloomfield. As a result of tliis conference it 
became apparent that Menomini is very clearly more closely 
related to Cree than to any other Algonquian language. He 
found the work at Shawnee, Okla., very difficult and expen- 
sive, owing to the fact that the Algonquian Indians of that 
State are scattered and distances are very great. How- 
ever, during his short stay he secured sufficient information 
to show definitely that not only the Sauk but also the Kicka- 
poo share many mortuary customs and beliefs with the 
Fox of Iowa. He thinks that these correspondences are too 
detailed and too numerous to be of independent origin and 
must be due to dissemination. This point regarding the 
Sauk and Fox is not novel, but it is regarding the Kickapoo. 
There are, however, some differences in the mortuary cus- 
toms of all neighboring tribes. This last fact is not so well 
known. A detailed study of all three neighboring tribes, 
Siouan as well as Algonquian, on these matters alone can 
clear up the history of the borrowings. He expects to obtain 
data on these points regarding the Shawnee and Potawatomi 

The beginning of the fiscal year found Mr. J. P. Harrington, 
■ethnologist, engaged in completing his bulletin on the Kiowa 
language, in several respects one of the most remarkable of 
the American Indian tongues. Aside from the phonetic 
system, ^\'ith its unusual frequency of long vowels and diph- 
thongs, we may point to the noun, several declensions of 


which form the singular l^y adding the same suffixes which 
other declensions use for forming the plural. These singulars 
of plural form are doubtless conceived as collective, for a 
personal pronoim in apposition also has the plm'al form. 
Thus pronominal agreement arises many times more com- 
phcated than that in the three-gendered languages of Europe, 
and is further involved by subjective, objective, and indi- 
rective pronouns largely combining to form a single syllable — 
a very terse yet involved system of speech. A number of 
Kiowa and Tanoan songs were found to have the melody 
following in exaggerated form the intonation of the spoken 
language. Thus the song "agoyopo'vi navi ha, wimbo 
winda" has the high tones of its words also high pitched in 
the song. This has led to the important discovery that 
certain melodies in intoned languages may take their clue 
from the intonation of the words. The Kiowa vocabulary 
secured is quite complete and forms an interesting contri- 
bution to the study of the place names, animal names, and 
plant names adopted by a tribe when it leaves its old home 
and moves to a new region. Mr. Harrington proceeded at 
the close of July to CaUfornia to continue his studies of the 
Indians of the Chumashan area of that State. This expedi- 
tion proved fruitful in results beyond all expectation. Spe- 
cial emphasis was laid on the place names, material culture, 
and language. More than 300 photographs of Indian places 
and historic landmarks were secured, together with a wealth 
of highly interesting and important data. The collecting 
of Indian place names in the Eastern States was neglected 
tintil too late, so that we have only a few names in distorted 
spelhng and of uncertain etymology. It is still possible to 
obtain full data in many parts of the West, and there is 
scarcely any work which the bureau can undertake which 
is more important or m'gent, either in popular interest or as 
a help to the future ethnologist, historian, or archeologist. 

Linguistic study is peculiarly important in this area, 
since it resurrects past culture and records perishing mate- 
rial for comparison -with remote languages. Thirty new 
Ventureno songs were obtained from one singer, all with 
native words. The technique of the spht-stick accompani- 


ment and the dance steps were faithfully studied and the 
words were exhaustively compared with the corresponding 
prose forms. 

Mr. Harrmgton 's opinion was confirmed that the southern 
California culture has many curious points of resemblance 
with that of the Southwest. Even the Pueblo plumed 
prayer stick, with sand paintmgs and the ceremonial use of 
meal and seeds, have been found also among the Calif ornians. 

Twice during the fiscal year Mr. Harrington was tem- 
porarily transferred to the Department of the Interior for 
special archive work. At the close of the fiscal year he 
returned to Washmgton. 


During the past year Miss Frances Densmore has extended 
her study of Indian music by recorduag songs among the 
Yuma, Cocopa, and Yaqui tribes, makmg a total of nine 
tribes among whom this work has been done. Mohave songs 
were obtained from two members of that tribe living on the 
Yuma Reservation, and one Maya song was recorded la the 
Yaqui village. Four manuscripts on Indian music were sub- 
mitted, the titles being "Songs Concerning Elder Brother 
and His People, and Other Papago Songs," " The Ram Cere- 
mony of the Papago," "A Cocopa Legend and its Songs," 
and " Deer Dance Songs of the Yuma, Yaqui, and Maya 
Indians." In addition to her work on Indian music Miss 
Densmore has completed for publication two books on 
Chippewa culture with the titles "Uses of Plants by the 
Chippewa," and " Chippewa Customs." The former book 
contains descriptions of the uses of 168 plants in medi- 
cine, food, dye, charms, and general utility, the section on 
medicine being in tabulated form and showing the uses of 
the plant by other tribes, where such use is recorded, and its 
use by the white race, if such occurs. This tabulation shows 
the ailments for which a plant was used, the part of the plant 
utilized, the manner of its preparation, the dosage, and, m 
some instances, the time before an improvement m the con- 
dition of the patient was expected. The latter book con- 
tains sections on Chippewa nouns and their structure, on 


the various industries by which the tribe maintained itself, 
and on the care and training of little children. New material 
was submitted in the form of two manuscripts, Certain Cus- 
toms of the Chippewa in Ontario, Canada, and Chippewa 
Nouns and Their Structure, these titles corresponding to the 
principal subjects under consideration. Three brief trips in 
Minnesota and Wisconsin were made for this work. Miss 
Densmore also read the page proof of her book on Northern 
Ute Music. 

In February, 1922, Miss Densmore went to Yuma, Ariz., 
where she remained six weeks. During that time she made a 
brief trip to a Cocopa settlement located near the Colorado 
River and about 6 miles from the Mexican boundary. The 
older Cocopa h^dng at this point came from Alexico about 18 
years ago and neither they nor their cliildren had a status in 
the United States. At this time, however, fchey were en- 
rolled under the Yuma Agency, Miss Densmore assisting in 
the em-ollment by wiitmg their Cocopa names in simple 
phonetic speUing. Forty Cocopa songs were recorded, com- 
prising songs of two representative dances and of a crema- 
tion legend. For this work it was necessary to employ two 

It is the custom of both Cocopa and Yuma to cremate their 
dead, and Miss Densmore witnessed a Yuma cremation soon 
after her arrival. The dead man had been a leading singer 
at cremations and the ceremony was given with the elabo- 
rateness which would be accorded a chief. The songs were 
very old and are seldom used at the present time. Miss 
Densmore obtained phonographic records of these songs, as 
well as of the Kurok or memorial ceremony which is held 
each summer for the more important persons who have died 
during the year. Images of the deceased persons are carried 
in the dances of the Kurok and publicly burned. The history 
of these ceremonies, with the songs, was obtained from the 
oldest man who is an authority on the subject. It is the 
belief of these people that the spirit departs from the body 
in the flame of the cremation. 

A new musical form was found among the Yuma and 
Cocopa, consistuag of a "song cycle" which required an 


entire night for its rendition and is commonly called a story. 
Each of these stories has its designated accompaniment. 
Among the Yuma the accompanying instruments are a gourd 
rattle and an inverted basket struck with a bundle of arrow- 
wood, a willow stick, or the palm of the hand. Sometimes 
two bundles of arrowwood or two sticks are used, being held 
in the same hand. Specimens of these instruments were 
obtained, also a bamboo flute and two bamboo flageolets. 
The music of the latter was phonographically recorded. 
The Yuma songs included those of the treatment of the 
sick, those of games, and three interesting lullabies. 

The work among the Yaqui was conducted at Guadalupe 
village, near Tempe, Ariz. The older Yaqui in this village 
were born in Mexico. These Indians have received no favors 
from the United States Government and support themselves 
by manual labor. They seem happy and contented in their 
little desert viUage. Miss Densmore witnessed their deer 
dance and later recorded the songs from one of the leading 
singers, a native of Mexico. The occasion of the dance was 
the celebration of Easter eve. The songs were accompanied 
by playing upon four half gourds. The Yaqui have two 
distinct forms of music, one which appears to be entirely 
native and the other showing a Mexican or Spanish influence. 

A large proportion of the songs transcribed and heard 
during the past year were accompanied by a gourd rattle, 
and are of unusual musical value, both in pleasing melody 
and rhythmic interest. This suggests an inquiry as to 
whether the songs accompanied by the rattle are generally 
more musical than those accompanied by the drum. It is 
interesting to note that the songs of the Yuma and Cocopa 
resemble each other but differ entirely from the songs of 
the Papago who live adjoining them. The songs of the 
Yaqui, so far as observed, differ from both these tribes except 
in the frequent use of rests. The rhythm of the rattle in 
Yuma and Cocopa performances is more elaborate and con- 
tains more frequent changes than that of the accompanying 
instrument in any tribe thus far studied. A correspondence 
between the words of the song and the progi'essions of the 
melody is particularly evident in these songs. 


Early in March, 1922, Dr. T. T. Waterman, ethnologist, 
proceeded to Alaska, under temporary appointment in the 
bureau, with instructions from the chief to scrutinize certain 
native towns in southeastern Alaska. His purpose was to 
ascertain how many totemic monuments exist there, and to 
get information concerning the carvings. The place of 
special interest was a former settlement of Alaskan Haida, 
known as Kasaan. It was possible during the three months 
that Doctor Waterman spent in Alaska to make a rapid 
sm'vey not only of Kasaan but of the towns known as Village 
Island, Tongass, Cape Fox, Khnkwan, Howkan, Sukwan, 
Hawak, and Tuxekan. Some extremely interesting monu- 
ments, including many tall and imposing totem poles, were 
examined and photographed. Charts or sketch maps were 
brought back from the field, which show the number of 
monuments still standing in each town and their state of 
preservation. The observer was fairly successful in obtain- 
ing from the Indians an account of the meaning of the 
carvings on the poles, which have never been adequately 
described. In many cases the car\'ings refer to mythical 
tales, which are often of a very interesting type. 

In addition to the work on the totemic monuments, the 
observer recorded a relatively complete Ust of the native 
place names in the southeastern part of Alaska. Many 
hundreds of these names were entered on the map of the 
region, and translations and explanations were obtained 
from the Indians. The work was fairly complete for the 
area covered. 

Under further instructions from the chief, Doctor Water- 
man examined the coast line of the part of Alaska which he 
visited, with a view to discovering sites where archeological 
excavations might possibly be conducted. The results of 
this work were largely negative. As a matter of fact only 
one site was found where there seemed to be archeological 
remains. This hasty survey seemed to indicate that archeo- 
logical remains in this part of Alaska are extremely scanty. 

Returning to the bureau on June 15, Doctor Waterman 
began the preparation of a report on the Alaskan monuments. 



In the fall of 1921 Mr. W. E. Myer investigated sites in 
South Dakota and western Missouri, known to have been 
occupied by the Omahas and Osages in early historic times, 
after they had come in contact with the whites but before 
they had been changed thereby to any considerable extent. 

Especial attention was paid to any resemblance to the 
ancient cultures found in the valleys of the Ohio, Cumber- 
land, and Tennessee Rivers. This line of research was sug- 
gested ■ by certain traditions of both the Omahas and the 
Osages, and other branches of the great Siouan linguistic 
family, that they had at one time lived east of the Mississippi 
River, and after many wanderings, stopping here and there 
for years, finally reached their present homes in South 
Dakota and western Missouri. 

Mr. Francis La Flesche reported that the traditions of his 
people, the Omahas, were that they had occupied two im- 
portant villages on what the Omahas call " the Big Bend of 
the Xe," at some time in the seventeenth or eighteenth 

Mr. Myer was enabled to locate these two ancient villages; 
one, Split Rock site on the Big Sioux River, at its junction 
with Split Rock River; the other where the Rock Island Rail- 
road now crosses the Big Sioux River, about 10 miles south- 
east of Sioux Falls. It is here designated the Rock Island 

Sometime in the seventeenth century the Omahas and 
Poncas removed from the Pipestone region in Minnesota and 
finally, after some further wanderings, built a fortified town 
on the Rock Island site. While livmg m this fortified place 
they were attacked and defeated by an enemy, most probably 
the Daketas, and finally forced to leave the region. There 
is a tradition that they buried their dead from this fight in a 
mound. This tradition was confii'med by excavations made 
by Mr. A. G. Risty and Mr. F. W. Pettigrew, who report 
finding a considerable amount of human bones. Some glass 
beads and small copper bells of white man's make were also 
found in one of these mounds. There is evidence that this 
site was occupied somewhere between 1700 and 1725. 


After lea\ang the Rock Island site, the Omahas and Poncas 
roved without long permanent settlements for several years, 
but finally returned to the Xe and built a permanent village 
at Split Rock at the junction of the Big Sioux and Split Rock 

Mr. Myer spent the month of October, 1921, in exploring 
this SpUt Rock site. Many interesting relics of the Omahas 
were here unearthed, which throw new light on the life of 
these people before they had been very much changed by 
contact with the whites. 

The 30 mounds on the ridge between the two rivers mark 
the site of that portion of the old town occupied by the 
Omahas. On a hUl one-half mQe to the east was a group of 
10 more mounds, occupied by the Poncas before they split 
away from the Omahas. 

By following the clues furnished by the traditions, three 
low mounds were discovered on the tall ridge 1 Y> miles to the 
west. These were said to have marked the lookouts for the 
main village; they command a view, ranging from 6 to 15 
miles, on all sides. The mounds on the Split Rock site 
appear to have nearly all been used for burial. 

The exploration of mound No. 1, on the Omaha section of 
the town, showed a beautiful little knoll on the edge of the 
steep, bluff-like bank of Split Rock River. In its soil the 
Indians dug a shallow pit, about 12 by 6 feet and 2 feet deep. 
Here were placed bones belonging to five bodies, several of 
which appeared to have been bm-ied after decay of the flesh. 
One body appeared to have been closely flexed before it was 
placed in the pit. The position of the skeleton of a horse 
with a crushed frontal bone showed that when this body 
bundle had been placed in the pit, a large horse, about 
se\'en years of age, had been led to the knoll and there killed. 
Then, over all these, a low, round-topped mound, 60 feet 
across at the base and 5K feet in height, had been raised. 

Mound No. 2, the largest of the group, was round topped, 
110 feet across at the base, and 10 feet high. A rectangular 
charnel pit, 12 by 14 feet and 2 feet deep, had been dug in 
the surface of the soil near the center of the town. This 
pit was thoroughly lined or coated with a white layer about 


one-eighth inch in thickness, made from calcined bones. 
The bottom and sides of the pit were then probably covered 
with fiu"S, now indicated by a thin layer of animal matter on 
the white coating. Bones representing about 50 human 
beings had been laid on the floor of this fur-lined pit. 

Traces of the thin fur layer were also found on top of this 
solid mass of human bones. Over this fur covering a layer 
of bark was placed, and upon this bark earth had been 
spread to a depth of from 3 to 6 inches. The earth was then 
smoothed and pressed down, and on this surface a white 
coating, similar to that on the bottom and sides, had been 
spread. Only one small, cylindrical copper bead was found 
with all this mass of bones, and no object of white man's 
manufacture was found. There is evidence that this portion 
of the site was occupied by the Omahas somewhere between 
1725 and 1775. 

While the Omahas and their kindred, the Poncas, lived to- 
gether at the Split Rock site some of the most important 
events in their history took place. The united Omahas and 
Poncas and then- old enemies, the Cheyermes and Arikaras, 
here made a peace which was concluded with great ceremony. 
At the urgent request of the Arikara the sacred chant and 
dance of the calumet was used to cement this union. 

In Vernon and Bates Counties, western Missouri, near the 
junction of the Osage and Marmiton Rivers, Mr. Myer 
found several sites known to have been occupied by the 
Osage Indians in early historic times, shortly after they had 
come in contact with the whites. 

The largest Osage village hi Vernon County was situated 
at Old Town, on Old Town Creek, about 3H miles south of 
Pikes village of the Grand Osage. This site covers about 40 
acres and is the best known of any of the Osage sites. It 
has yielded a large amount of iron axes, gun barrels, gun- 
locks, fragments of brass kettles, glass beads, and other 
articles of early white manufacture, as well as objects of 
purely aboriginal origin. 

The most pictm-esque Indian site in this Osage region is 
Halleys Bluff, on the Osage River, about IK- miles down- 
stream from where the Marmiton and Marais des Cygnes 


unite to form the Osage River. There is evidence showing 
occupancy of this l^luff by Indians long before the coming 
of the white man and probably before the coming of the 

During the month of October, 1921, Mr. David I. Bush- 
nell, jr., visited Scott Field, east of Belleville, 111., for the 
purpose of getting airplane pictures of the Cahokia mounds. 
The commanding officer of the field, Maj. Frank M. Ken- 
nedy, appreciating the interest and importance of the work, 
detailed Lieuts. Harold R. Wells and Ashley C. McKinley, 
of the Air Service, to make the pictures. They succeeded 
in making some very interesting photographs of mounds in 
the vicinity of Cahokia, as well as of the great mound itself, 
but unfortunately the photographic apparatus at that time 
available at Scott Field was not suitable, and although the 
pictures obtained were not very clear, no better results 
could have been secured with the cameras which they 
were obliged to use. Four of the pictures made by Lieuten- 
ants Wells and McKinley were reproduced as Figures 101, 
102, 103, and 104 in Explorations and Field Work of the 
Smithsonian Institution in 1921 and should prove of special 
mterest as the first photographs of American earthworks 
made from the air. 

The article in which the four airplane pictures were used 
was prepared for the purpose of showing the great impor- 
tance of the Cahokia group and of the other related groups 
to the north, west, and south of Cahokia. The southern 
group, although many of the units have been destroyed, is 
of special interest. It is situated near the left bank of the 
Mississippi, opposite Jefferson Barracks. Bits of pottery, 
chips of flint, and other traces of a settlement, together with 
stone-lined graves in the vicinity of the mounds, may indi- 
cate the position of a village of one of the Illinois tribes two 
centuries or more ago. 

Mr. B. S. Guha's visit among the Utes and the Navaho at 
Towoac and Shiprock, respectively, during the summer of 
1921 was undertaken primarily with the object of finding 
any legends or myths about the ancient Cliff Dwellers of 


Mesa Verde that might still survive among these people, 
and incidentally to collect as much material about their 
social institutions as possible. 

Mr. Guha arrived at Towoac on July 14, 1921, and spent a 
couple of weeks visiting the different camps of the Utes. 
Among the Wiminuche Utes, unfortunately, there does not 
appear to survive any legends or myths about the Mesa 
Verde. All that could be gathered from the oldest living 
members of the tribe was that when their ancestors first 
came to the Ute Momitam from the north, the whole region 
from the La Plata to the Blue Mountains and from Dolores 
to the San Juan was full of ruins such as now may be seen. 
They were already abandoned, but there were signs of the 
cultivation of corn about them. 

After leaving Towoac Mr. Guha went to Shiprock, N. 
Mex., and stayed there until September 5, 1921. Unlike 
the Utes, the Navaho seem to possess survivals of myths 
about the ancient Cliff Dwellers of Mesa Verde. How far 
these legends have any historical background it is difficult 
to say, but they at any rate suggest some earlier and closer 
relationship between them and the people who lived in the 
ruins so li))erally strewn over the entire region. 

In September, 1921, Mr. John L. Baer, acting curator of 
American Archeology in the United States National Museum, 
made an investigation for the bureau of pictographic rocks 
in the Susquehanna River. In the middle of the river be- 
tween Bald Friar and Conowingo, Md., are a number of 
huge bowlders of serpentine or gabbro, bearing inscriptions, 
a few of which have been heretofore described m the Tenth 
Aimual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology and in 
Volume CCC (Lancaster County) Second Geological Sur- 
vey of Pennsylvania. The largest and most impoz't.ant of 
these pictographic rocks were fomid to be on Miles' Island 
at the head of Gray Rock Falls. Large surfaces of these 
rocks seem to have been polished before the figures were 
pecked upon them. Pits, grooved lines indicating tally 
marks, circles with radiating spokes, concentric circles, faces, 
and fishlike outlines were the pi'evailing figures observed. 


Other groups of rocks between this island and Conowingo 
showed equally interesting carvings, but not so profusely. 
A pyramid -shaped rock standing well out in the rough and 
dangerous rapids had several fish outlines near its apex. A 
slab which had been broken from its original position and 
which might have been used for a shad-dipping stand, was 
marked with outUnes of two slender fish and two tally marks. 
A number of interesting photographs and drawings of these 
pictographs were secured. 

In comiection with a reconnoitering trip among the pre- 
historic quarries and workshops along the Susquehanna in 
the spring of 1922, Mr. Baer again \dsited these pictographic 
rocks and secured additional drawings and a number of 
plaster casts of the more important figures. Prehistoric 
steatite quarries were traced from the west side of the river 
at tliis point to Deer Creek in Harford Coimty, Md. Those 
showing most work and offering best opportimities for 
investigation are near Broad Creek in woodland owned by 
James McLaughlin, near Robinson's mill, and by W. C. 
Heaps, Mill Green, Harford County, Md. 

At a workshop below Peach Bottom, Lancaster, Pa., a 
number of unfinished and broken bamier stones of pro- 
chlorite were found. The source of the material was located 
a short distance east of Bald Friar, Md. A large number of 
unfinished lianner stones of slate were fomid at the work- 
shop on Mount Johnson Island above Peach Bottom where 
so many specimens had already been found. At Fishing 
Creek, Bare Island and Henry Island evidences were found 
of considerai:)le camp sites. At New Park and Fawn Grove 
in York County, Pa., have been found large caches of rhyohte 
blades. At both of these places and also at Peach Bottom 
in the same county were many artifacts and indications of 
burial groimds. Interesting specimens were secured from 
most of these localities. 


The editing of the pubhcations of the bureau was con- 
tinued through the year by Mr. Stanley Searles, assisted 
by Mrs. Frances S. Nichols. The status of the publications 
is presented in the following summary: 



Thirty-fifth Annual Keport. Accompanying paper: Ethnology of the 

KwakiutI (Boas). Pts. 1 and 2. 1,481 pp. 
Thirty-sixth Annual Report. Accompanying paper : The Osage Tribe : 

Rite of the Chiefs; Sayings of the Ancient Men (La Flesche). 604 

pp., 23 pis. 
Bulletin 73. Early History of the Creek Indians and their Neighbors 

(Swanton). 492 pp., 10 pis. 
Bulletin 74. Excavation of a Site at Santiago Ahuitzotla, D. F. Mexico 

(Tozzer). 56 pp., 19 pis. 
Bulletin 75. Northern Ute Music (Densmore). 213 pp., 16 pis. 


Thirty-fourth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: A Prehistoric 
Island Culture Area of America (Fewkes) . 

Thirty-seventh Annual Report. Accompanying paper: The Winne- 
bago Tribe (Radin). 

Thirty-eighth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: i\ji intro- 
ductory Study of the Arts, Crafts, and Customs of the Guiana 
Indians (Roth). 

Thirty-ninth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: The Osage 
Tribe: The Rite of Vigil (La Flesche). 

Bulletin 76. Archeological Investigations (Fowke). 

Bulletin 77. VUlages of the Algonquian, Siouan, and Caddoan Tribes 
west of the Mississippi (Buslmell). 

Biillctin 78. Handbook of the Indians of California (Kroeber). 

Bulletin 79. Blood Revenge, War, and Victory Feasts among the 
Jibaro Indians of Eastern Ecuador (Karsten). 

Bulletin 80. Mandan and Hidatsa Music (Densmore). 

Bidletin 81. Excavations in the Chama Valley, New Mexico 


The distribution of publications has been continued under 
the immediate charge of Miss Helen Munroe, assisted by 
Miss Emma B. Powers. Publications were distributed as 
follows : 

i\nnual reports and separates 7, 197 

Bulletins and separates 6, 403 

Contributions to North American Ethnology . _ .■ 39 

Introductions 13 

Miscellaneous publications 563 



As compared with the previous year, there was an increase 
of 1,420 publications distributed. There was a decrease of 
57 names in the mailing list. 


Mr. De Lancey Gill, illustrator, with the assistance of Mr. 
Albert E. Sweeney, continued the preparation of the illus- 
trations of the bureau. A summary of this work follows: 

Line and color drawings, including maps, diagrams, etc., in- 
tended for use as illustrations for publication 159 

Illustrations, including photographs retouched, mounted, 

and made ready for engraYing 1, 282 

Illustration proof edited 1, 034 

Lithographic proof examined at Government Printing Office. 36, 000 
Photographic work, negatives of ethnologic and archeologic 

subjects 242 

Fihns developed from field exposures 138 

Prints for distribution and office use 538 

Photostat copies 1, 987 

Mr. Sweeney was detailed for the month of June to prepare 
100 or more negatives for the National Zoological Park. 


The reference library continued in the immediate care of 
Miss Ella Leary, librarian, assisted by Miss Julia S. Atkins 
and Mr. Samuel H. Miller. 

During the year 406 books were accessioned, of which 64 
were acquired by purchase, 120 by binding of periodicals, and 
142 by gift and exchange. The periodicals currently re- 
ceived number about 900, of which 33 are received by sub- 
scription, the remainder being received through exchange. 
The bureau has also received 159 pamphlets, giving at the 
close of the year a working library of 24,561 volumes, 14,936 
pamphlets, and several thousand unbound periodicals. 

In addition to the regular routine of library work, Miss 
Leary has been able, with the assistance of Miss Atkins, to 
make rapid progress toward the completion of the new sub- 
ject catalogue, with the result that about 18,000 catalogue 
cards have been filed during the fiscal year. 

53666°— 28 6 


The greatest need of the liljrary is for more shelf room for 
its pubhcations, due to its growth during the past few years. 
The Ubrary is greatly hampered by this need. 

The postmg of the monthly bulletin of new publications 
was contmued throughout the year. 

Durmg the year many students not connected with the 
Smithsonian Institution found the library of service in seek- 
ing volumes not obtahaable in other libraries of the city. 
The library was used also by the Library of Congress and 
officers of the executive departments, and out-of-towai 
students have called upon the library for loans during the 
year. In addition to the use of its own library it was found 
necessary to draw on the Lil:)rary of Congress from time to 
time for the loan of about 400 volumes. 

There were bound during the year 200 books, pamphlets, 
and serial publications. 


The foUowmg collections, acquired by members of the 
bureau or by those detailed in connection with its researches, 
have been transferred to the United States National Museum : 

66880. Collection of Alaskan ethnologia made by the late Rev. 

Sheldon Jackson and purchased by the bureau from his 

daughter, Miss Leslie Jackson. 
67105. Shell and pottery specimens from Ten Thousand Islands, 

Florida, collected during the spring of 1921 by Mr. William 

Dinwiddie, Metuchen, N. J. 
67112. Four stone objects and two pottery fragments from "Bear" 

and "Lewis" mounds, near Portsmouth, Ky., collected by 

Mr. Gerard Fowke during the spring of 1921. 
67225. Four pieces of pottery and eight pieces of flint, collected by 

Prof. J. E. Pearce, of Austin, Tex., in eastern Texas during 

the summer of 1919. 
67258. Collection of shell objects presented to the bureau by Charles 

T. Earle, of Palma Sola, Fla., found near Shaws Point, Fla. 
67274. Collection of archeological objects secured by Dr. J. Walter 

Fewkes from the Mesa Verde National Park, Colo., in the 

spring of 1920. 
67398. Chunkey stone from Rowena, Ky. 
67451. Archeological objects collected near Austin and at "Burnt 

Rock" moimds, Texas, by Prof. J. E. Pearce and Dr. J. 

Walter Fewkes. 


67572. Collection of skeletal material secured by Mr. William E. 

Myer in the vicinity of the junction of Split E-ock River 

and Big Sioux River, S. Dak. 
67730. Archeological material collected in 1920 by Mr. W. E. Myer 

for the Bureau of American Ethnology in Williamson and 

Davidson Counties, Tenn. 

68254. Collection of archeological objects from Rio Grande Valley, 

N. Mex., turned over to the bureau by Secretary Charles 
D. Walcott. 

68255. Fragments of pottery from Indian burial on the Catawba 

River, N. C, sent to the bureau by J. Albert Holmes, 
Construction, N. C. 

68256. Collection of Indian implements found on the terraces of 

Upatoi Creek and Chattahoochee River, Muscogee County, 
Ga., sent to the bureau of Mr. A. T. Sweet, Columbus, Ga. 


Furniture and office equipment were purchased to the 
amount of $134.97. 


Clerical. — The correspondence and other clerical work of 
the office has been conducted by Miss May S. Clark, clerk 
to the chief. Mrs. Frances S. Nichols assisted the editor. 
Mr. Anthony W. Wilding served as messenger and typist 
to the chief. 

Personnel. — Miss Julia S. Atkins received a permanent 
appomtment as stenographer March 1, 1922. 

Dr. T. T. Waterman, who was appomted as temporary 
ethnologist March 1, 1922, was detached from the bureau 
roll July 1 for six weeks m order to lecture m the summer 
school of Columbia University, New York City. 

Mr. Samuel H. Miller, messenger boy in the library, 
resigned Jime 23, 1922. 

Mr. James Mooney, ethnologist, died December 22, 1921. 

Respectfully submitted. 

J. Walter Fewkes, 
Chief, Bureau of American Ethnology. 

Dr. Charles D. Walcott, 

Secretary, Smithsonian Institution. 



Systematic researches 79 

Special researches 87 

Editorial work and publications 92 

Illustrations 94 

Library 94 

Collections 95 

Miscellaneous 95 






J. Walter Fewkes, Chief 

Sir: In response to your request I have the honor to sub- 
mit the following report on the field researches, office work, 
and other operations of the Biu'eau of American Ethnology 
during the fiscal year ended Jime 30, 1923, conducted in ac- 
cordance with the act of Congress approved June 12, 1922. 
The act referred to contains the following item: 

American ethnology : For continuing ethnological researches among 
the American Indians and the natives of Hawaii, including the ex- 
cavation and preservation of archeologic remains, under the direction 
of the Smithsonian Institution, including the necessary employees and 
the purchase of necessary books and periodicals, $44,000. 

The chief has endeavored to expend the sum of money 
allotted in as conservative and economical a maimer as pos- 
sible, although confronted with many difficulties, among 
which is the increased cost of field work. Since the bureau 
was first organized expenses for its maintenance have 
greatly increased, and have doubled witliin the last 10 years. 
Several other tendencies of the times have limited the pro- 
duction of results. There has been a gi'eat awakening of 
interest in the treatment of certain Indian tribes by Govern- 
ment officials which has led to a corresponding increase in 
requests for our pubUcations. Never before was there a 
gi-eater demand for the pubhshed reports and bulletins of 
the bureau. The epoch-maldng discoveries in. the Valley of 
the Tombs in Egypt have very greatly increased interest in 
the science of man and the desire for more accurate knowl- 
edge of prehistoric man m America is very keen. News- 



papers, magazines, and other periodicals have done much to 
increase this interest and as may be said with regi'et many 
fake discoveries have been foisted on the pubUc. Never be- 
fore have accurate accounts of Indian life like those published 
by the Bureau of American Ethnology been more in demand 
than at the present time. 

Several wealthy institutions have been led to give more 
money to American anthropology. Plans for archeological 
work in Yucatan and Central America costing many thou- 
sands of dollars a year are mentioned in some quarters, and 
many thousands are annually expended by another insti- 
tution on pueblo archeology. For lack of adequate funds, 
the bureau is unable to carry on extensive work of this mag- 
nitude and it remains for the bureau to continue its work 
along the lines already successfully followed: by researches 
and pubhcation of the results of less ambitious plans. It 
can not be expected that the quantity of field work with this 
handicap can be as gi'eat as it was when the field was almost 
untilled, but the chief is striving to keep the quahty up to the 
past. For years to come as the cultm'e of our aborigines 
fades into the past there will be plenty of work to do in 
gathering sur\'ivals and publishing reports to meet increased 
demand for authoritative literature on our aborigines. 
As the work of the biu-eau calls for increased popularization 
in the judgment of the chief, the bureau should enlarge the 
number of popular articles which it publishes from time to 
time without decreasing strictly technical discoveries. The 
pages of our reports are full of the records of discoveries 
which are httle known and at present interest only a few 
persons because of that fact. This should be obviated by 
putting into pubUshed form, suitable for the layman or for 
students in schools and colleges, the vast stores of knowledge 
which have been made by the staff of the bureau and its 
collaborators. The great success of the Handbook of 
American Indians clearly indicates the desire of the people 
for popular information on our aborigines and the bureau with 
an enlarged appropriation would be able to continue work of 
this natm'e. 



In compliance with the act of Congress above mentioned 
the Bureau of American Ethnology has continued its field 
and office researches on the American Indians, including the 
ethnology of the Hawaiian Islands and the inhabitants of 
Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Later in this report is 
a Ust of the annual publications. The high cost of printing 
has somewhat reduced the quantity but the quality has 
been maintained. 

The rapid modification in aboriginal culture perceptible 
year by year in Indian manners, customs, and languages 
has led the chief of the bureau to encourage archeological 
and historical study of the Indians. Extensive researches 
have been carried on in Colorado, in the Harpeth Valley, 
Tenn., in the Ozarks, Mo., and on the Atlantic seaboard. 
In addition to archeological research considerable work has 
been done on documentary history, especially of the Creeks, 
Choctaws, and other Muskhogean tribes. 

Although the bureau has hitherto published many mem- 
oirs on the Indians of the northwest coast, there still remains 
much ethnological work awaiting investigation in this 
territory. A very promising beginning was made in the 
study of the totem poles of this region by Dr. T. T. Water- 
man, a temporary assistant on the staff of the bureau who 
made a special trip to Alaska for that purpose. He not 
only collected considerable new material on totem poles but 
also on legends connected with them. 

The intention of the chief is to continue the work thus 
inaugurated in Alaska, and to repair one of the old Indian 
villages for educational purposes. The former houses of 
the Alaska natives are now rapidly going to destruction; 
Kasaan, one of the largest, was deserted and has been made 
a national monument but is suffering for want of care. It 
is proposed to begin cleaning up this village, repair it, in 
order to minimize the dangers from tire and vandals, and 
put it in a condition to afford the greatest educational 
value to future students and tourists. 

The first duty of the chief being administrative in nature 
much of his time is taken up by details of oflftce work, in 


which, unless assisted by the members of the bureau, he 
would be greatly handicapped. The work of answering 
letters has greatly increased m the last five years, and the 
demands on the time of those engaged in it have been 
greatly multiplied. This has affected all members of the 
staff but it is very satisfactory to record that the letters in 
reply to inquiries are treated with the greatest respect and 
are looked upon as authoritative by the recipients. 

When in Washington the chief has attended all meetings 
of the advisory committee on publications and one or two 
other committees to which he has been appointed. He has 
likewise accepted the welcome duty of keeping in touch 
with all the archeological expeditions from different insti- 
tutions working on ruins in the area of the United States 
in order that he might intelligently advise action to the 
secretary on the requests for permits to carry on archeological 
excavations which each year are increasing in numl^ers. 

The chief has made strenuous efforts to continue his 
studies of previous summers on the Mesa Verde National 
Park in cooperation with the National Park Service of the 
Department of the Interior. In July, August, and a part 
of September he was absent from Washington and com- 
pleted the excavation of Pipe Shrine House, a building in 
the Mummy Lake group of mounds. An account of the 
initiation of this work appeared in the report for last year. 
This exceptional ruin was completely repaired and is now 
open for inspection of visitors. 

The excavation and repair of a circular tower situated 300 
feet from Far View House also engaged his attention from 
the middle of July until the close of the season. The mound 
of stones covering this ruin was known as far back as 1915, 
but its hidden building was not revealed until the close of 
June of the summer of 1922, when it was found to be a tower 
with three subterranean rooms, caUed kivas, which were 
evidently used for ceremonial piu-poses. Around these 
rooms was formerly a crowded cemetery, of ancient date, 
which led him to regard the whole area as a necropolis. 
The number of interments was too large for the number of 
dwellings. The three kivas belong to the highest type of 


these structures characteristic of the Mesa Verde. In one 
of them there was a well-made wall of secondary construction 
showing a secondary occupation and ruder masonry. This 
kiva showed signs of having been abandoned and later 
reoccupied, but how many years elapsed between the two 
occupations was not evident from data available. 

The excavation of this Mesa Verde tower led to new ideas 
of the structure and use of these remains, hundreds of which 
are found scattered in the canyons and on the mesas of the 
northern tributaries of the upper San Juan River. This 
tower is a fair example of the type of these buildings. It was 
probably an outlook for observations of the sun and cere- 
monies comiected with the sky god. 

The first type of tower recognized in the Mesa Verde is a 
simple lookout situated naturally on the summit of a hill or 
high elevation, but unaccompanied by any other building; 
the second type has basal rooms which apparently are used 
for storage of food or possibly for habitation. Far View 
Tower is classified in a third type in which we have a tower 
rising from basal subterranean kivas, granaries, and dwellings. 
The purpose of this type of tower is the same as Pipe Shrine 

During the greater part of August the tops of the walls of 
Far View House were covered with cement to protect them 
from the elements, and it is believed the protected walls will 
remain upright for several years without further repair. 
The permanent protection of these open ruins is always 
difficult and costly, but necessary. There stiU remain 
many unsolved problems on the Mesa Verde awaiting atten- 
tion, but with small appropriations new ruins can not be 
opened and those already opened can not be repaired. 

Some distance north of Far View Tower is the depression 
long ago christened Mummy Lake. Its true nature is un- 
known, though it may have been a reservoir; but no mum- 
mies have ever been found in its vicinity. In the thick 
cedars about it, situated on the right hand of the road, there 
are several smaU mounds indicating ruins, generally habita- 
tions, siuTOunding kivas. In one of these there are vv^alls 
made of large stones set on edge, standing above ground. 


These stones project 4 feet above the surface and their size 
has led to the ruin being called Megalithic House. Excava- 
tion work on this ruin was begun but not completed before 
the appropriation was exhausted. 

About every other night during the five months the chief 
worked on the Mesa Verde he gave camp-fire talks to visitors 
and spent considerable time daily in explaining the significa- 
tion of the excavations while they were in progress. 

In June, 1923, the chief made a trip to Deming, southern 
New Mexico, and visited different localities. Fort Bayard, 
Central, Silver City, and Finos Altos, where pictured food 
bowls have been found. He purchased a beautiful collection 
of pottery from the Mimbres Valley, which supplements 
that already installed in the Museum. 

In 1914 the chief first pointed out that the Mimbres Valley, 
in which this pottery is found, was inhabited in prehistoric 
times by a people who excelled all other pueblos in painting 
realistic figures on pottery. The scientific value of these 
pictures is very gi-eat from the fact that the prehistoric 
dwellers in the Mimbres Valley in this way left a reliable 
and permanent record of certain occupations (hunting, 
fishing, gambling), as well as wonderful representations of 
mythological animals of all varieties. If we could truthfully 
interpret these figures, our knowledge of the prehistoric 
mythology of a people of whose history, language, and rela- 
tionship we know nothing from documentary sources would 
be greatly increased. 

Not far from the close of the fiscal year, Fresident Harding 
issued a proclamation declaring three groups of towers in 
southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah to be a 
national monument. This armouncement was particularly 
gratifying to the chief, not only because it preserved for 
future generations good examples of unique types of ancient 
buildings in our Southwest but also because the idea of the 
reservation of Hovenweep National Monument originated 
in the Bureau of American Ethnology. The three groups 
composing this monument lie within a few miles of each 
other and are locally called Ruin Canyon group, Holly 
Canyon gi'oup, and the Tejon Mesa group. 


During the fiscal year Dr. John R. Swanton, ethnologist, 
has completed the following manuscripts : " Social Organiza- 
tion and Social Usages of the Indians of the Creek Confed- 
eracy"; "Religious Beliefs and Medical Practices of the 
Creek Indians"; and "A Grammatical Sketch of the Ala- 
bama Language." 

Doctor Swanton also completed a card catalogue, arranged 
under stems, of all of the linguistic material contained in 
the Arte de la Lengua Timuquana, by Francisco Pareja, 
and an English-Indian index for the same; and initiated a 
report on the stories of the southeastern Indians. By July 1 
he had completed translations of stories in the Koasati 
language and made a beginning on those in Alabama. Ma- 
terial was added to his collection of references bearing on the 
economic basis of American Indian life, and some map work 
was done in connection with this phase of Indian life. 

The 1st of July, 1923, found Dr. Truman Michelson, 
ethnologist, at work among the Fox Indians of Iowa. He 
collected sufficient material for a manuscript entitled " The 
traditional origin of the Fox Society known as ' They who 
go about singing' (singing-around rite)." This material will 
be published in the Fortieth Annual Report of the bureau. 
A good beginning was also made on the ceremonial " runners" 
and attendants. Tribal dissensions at Tama cut short 
Doctor Michelson' s stay among the Fox Indians and he 
made a reconnaissance among the Potawatomi of Wisconsin, 
the Chippewa at Reserve in the same State, the Ottawa of 
Michigan, the Delaware-Munsee of lower Canada, and the 
Montagnais of Lake St. John, returning to Washington 
near the 1st of October. He definitely determined that there 
are several different Delaware dialects spoken in Canada 
and the United States, and that some of these dialects are 
not clearly related; so that the word Delaware is merely 
a "catchall" term. 

After returning to Washington Doctor Michelson devoted 
his time to elaborating the paper above mentioned on " The 
traditional origin of the Fox Society, known as ' The Suiging- 
around rite'," completing it for publication. 


About the middle of May Doctor Michelson left for the 
field to make a reconnaissance of the Algonqiiian tribes of 
eastern United States and Canada, including the Labrador 
Peninsula. His observations lead him to conclude that the 
al)original culture of the Penobscots at Old Town, Me., is 
disintegrating. None of the young people speak the lan- 
guage, and with the constant intermarrying with whites it 
will be but a short time when ethnology and folklore, which 
are both well rememl^ered, will be a thing of the past. The 
Malecites living at the " village," about 12 miles from 
Frederickton, New Brunswick, cling tenaciously to the lan- 
guage, which is spoken universally, though practically every- 
one also has a good command of Enghsh. Their ethnology, 
on the other hand, is fast disappearing. During his short 
visit with the Penobscots and Malecites, Doctor Michelson 
determined a number of peculiar morphological traits of the 
language as compared with central Algonquian. He finds 
the phonetics of both languages extremely difficult, and on 
the whole it may be said that neither language is archaic in 
type. On June 13 Doctor Michelson arrived m Sydney, Cape 
Breton, Nova Scotia, en route to Labrador. 

The begiiming of the fiscal year fovmd Mr. John P. Har- 
rington, ethnologist, engaged in the preparation for pul^lica- 
tion of his recent field notes on the Picuris and Taos tribes of 
New Mexico and the Mission Indians of California. All the 
notes on the Taos Indians collected by the late Mrs. M. C, 
Stevenson were copied and arranged for publication. 

Mr. Harrington also prepared for publication a paper en- 
titled " Picuris Children's Stories with Texts and Songs." 
This manuscript embraces Picuris stories in native text such 
as are told to the Indian children on winter evenings in their 
isolated village in northern New Mexico. The stories have 
high literary quahty, and many of them hold the attention 
of child or adult throughout. The volume is thought to be 
practical for school use. The 12 songs accompanying the 
stories are beautifully rendered by Mr. Rosendo Vargas, and 
are transcribed into musical notation by Miss H. H. Roberts. 

Mr. Harrington also prepared an article on " How the 
World Grew," which is an accomit of origuis corresponding 


to the book of Genesis of the Bible obtained from the Mission 
Indians of Cahfornia. 

Mr. Cipriano Alvarado, a Quiche Indian of the highlands 
of Guatemala, was brought to this country for the purpose 
of linguistic study by Mr. William Gates, who kmdly allowed 
Mr. Harrington to obtain from him a large amount of text 
material in tliis language. The Quiche is the direct descend- 
ant of the tongue of the ancient temple builders of the 
Central American jimgles. In working with Mr. Alvarado 
with the kymograph, Mr. Harrington discovered that the 
Quiche and other Mayan dialects possess tones exactly like 
those of Chinese, and that these tones, as in the latter lan- 
guage, are often the sole means of distinguishing words that 
are othei'wise phonetically identical. Work was also done 
with Mr. Alvarado and Mr. Gates on the pallophotophone, 
a machuie recently invented by Professor Hoxie, of the 
General Electric Co. The pallophotophone proved of the 
greatest value for the study of tones in Indian and other 
languages, and its reproduction of the voice is true for all 
the soimds, even including s, h, and those of like timbre 
which are imperfectly rendered on the phonograph. 

On May 3 Mr. Harrington proceeded to Santa Barbara, 
Calif., for the purpose of continuing his researches on the 
Indians of that State. He succeeded in finding good inform- 
ants for Indian songs as well as stories and place names and 
obtained a large quantity of manuscript material. This 
material consists of myths, place names, liistorical notes, 
accounts of early hie and customs, genealogies, and Indian 

The Biu"eau of American Ethnology is doing cooperative 
work with the Museum of the American Indian, Heye 
Foundation, of New York City, which obtained permission 
from the Hotel Ambassador Corporation to excavate the 
famous Burton Momid on the beach at Santa Barbara. 
This moimd has always been kl^o^vn as the site of the princi- 
pal rancheria of the Santa Barbara Indians, but former 
owners of the property refused permission to excavate it, 
and when the Potter Hotel was erected in 1901 hope of 
archeological investigation seemed forever lost. The site 


was unexpectedly made again available for study on account 
of the burning of the hotel a few years ago. 

The excavations began early in May and the Indian 
cemeteiy was located on the slope of the mound toward the 
beach. The graves that were opened were crowded with 
human bodies, trinkets, and a great variety of utensils. 
Among the specimens are a fragment of a soapstone canoe, 
soapstone pipes, fishhooks of abalone and bone, sinker stones, 
aiTowheads of great variety, spear heads, about 40 mortar 
pestles, including some veiy long ones, beads of many kinds, 
pendants, daggers, bowls and kettles of soapstone, native 
paint, etc. 

Mr. Harrington has prepared for pulDlication during the 
fiscal year approximately 1,900 pages of manuscript. 

Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt, ethnologist, completed dm-ing the 
fiscal year the second part of his Iroquoian Cosmology-, the 
first part having appeared in the Twenty-first Aimual Report 
of the bureau. 

During the year Mr. Hewitt spent some time editing a 
manuscript entitled "Report on the Indian Tribes of the 
Upper Missouri," by Mr. Edwin Thompson Denig, to the 
Hon. Isaac Stevens, Governor of Washington Territory in 
1854 (f), which has been submitted for publication. 

Mr. Hewitt devoted much time and research in the prepa- 
ration of data for official replies to correspondents of the 
bm-eau. These inquiries in their scope touch almost the 
entire range of human interest, veiy often seeking information 
quite outside of the specific field of research belonging to 
this bureau. About 100 such replies were prepared, although 
some of them required more than a day's work in preparation. 

Mr. Hewitt also acted as the representative of the Smith- 
sonian Institution on the United States Board of Geographic 

On May 18, 1923, Mr. Hewitt left Washington on field 
duty. His destination was the Grand River Grant to the 
Six Nations of Iroquois dwelling near Brantford, Ontario, 
Canada. At this place Mr. Hewitt made an intensive study 
and revision and fuller interpretation of his voluminous 
texts — texts which he had recorded so fortmiately in previous 


visits to this place. These texts embody the traditions of 
the foundmg of the League or Confederation of the Five 
Tribes of the Iroquois in the closing decades of the sixteenth 
centuiy. They contain also the principles and laws upon 
which it was established, as well as the complete rituals and 
chants of the Comicil of Condolence and Installation of the 
Federal Government, and full explanations of the intricate 
political relationships of the kindreds composing the tribal 
members of the league. 

He was also fortunate in recovering enough data relating 
to the Federal and tribal chieftainesses to enable him to 
affirm the former existence of a set of official names for every 
one of these women magistrates. He also recorded much 
valuable information relating to the several institutions of 
the league. 

On June 24 Mr. Hewitt made a short visit to the Onondaga 
Reservation, lying about 8 miles south of Syracuse, N. Y. 
He devoted liis time on this reservation to a comparison of 
the hmited knowledge possessed by the only two men who 
had any definite information of the various institutions and 
laws and installation rituals of the Iroquois Confederation, 
with the records which he possesses. The object was to 
ascertain, if still possible, how much of his Canadian material, 
if any, could be said to be recent, or whether the differences 
in the content were due merely to the breakdown of the tra- 
ditions of the New York Onondaga. He convinced himself 
that the latter was the sole cause. 

Mr. Francis La Flesche, ethnologist, was engaged most of 
the time during the fiscal year in assembling his notes for the 
third volume of his work on The Osage Tribe. In this 
volume are recorded two rituals of the Osage tribal rites. 
One is entitled Wa-xo'-be A-wa-tho", Singing of the Wa- 
xo'-be Songs, and the other, ^a Tha-9e Ga-xe, Weaving of 

the Rush. 


In her studies of Indian music during the fiscal year Miss 
Frances Densmore had included the songs of three tribes 
hving in Arizona, neai- the Mexican border. These tribes are 

53666°— 28 7 


the Yuma, Mohave, and Papago. One of the manuscripts 
submitted tliis year deals with the cremation ceremony of 
the Yuma, witnessed by Miss Densmore in 1922. The cere- 
monial songs of this rite were recorded and information 
given by the oldest man, who has the hereditary right to sing 
these songs. It is the custom of the Yuma Indians to hold 
a memorial ceremony within a year after a death, at which 
an image of the deceased is burned. After this ceremony 
the name of the dead is never spoken. A full description of 
this ceremony was submitted, together with transcriptions 
of its songs. 

The treatment of the sick by these tribes was aiso studied 
and heaUng songs of each tribe were submitted. Among 
these were the songs of a Yuma medicine man, who claims 
the power to cm'e persons suffering from woimds in the chest, 
accompanied by hemorrhage. This shaman said that he did 
this by the aid of four insects and birds, one of which has 
power over the fluids of the body. His songs are cheerful 
and soothing in character, and it is interesting to note that 
he forbade the people to weep duiing his treatment, requiring 
that they "appear cheerful and act in a natural manner," 

Four manuscripts were submitted by Miss Densmore dur- 
ing the year, bearing the following titles : " Papago Medicine 
and Dancing Songs," " Dream and War Songs of the Papago 
Indians," " Cremation and Memorial Ceremonies of the 
Yuma Indians, with Related Songs," and "Lightning and 
Medicine Songs of the Yuma and Mohave Indians." This 
material comprised 93 pages of manuscript and 84 transcrip- 
tions of songs, together with the original phonographic 
records and tabulated and descriptive analyses of the songs. 
The two most interesting musicial discoveries made in this 
work are the presence in these tribes of songs which may be 
termed " pure melody without tonaUty," and the independ- 
ent and elaborate rhythm of the accompanying instrument, 
either a gourd rattle or a basket drum. In many instances 
the accompanying instrument is transcribed separately from 
the melody in order to show its peculiarities. 

During the summer of 1922 Miss Densmore visited the 
Cliippewa reservations at Lac Com't Oreilles, Wis., and 


Leech Lake and MiUe Lac, Minn., collecting additional 
specimens of plants used in treating the sick, and other data. 

In the spring of 1923 Mr. W. E. Myer, special archeologist, 
spent several months investigating archeological remains in 
central Tennessee. He visited the ancient momid group of 
the Banks Link farm on Duck River, in Humphreys County, 
Tenn., where was found the celebrated cache of fine, long 
flint blades and other flint objects now the pride of the collec- 
tion of the Missouri Historical Society. He made a map of 
this group and obtained additional information in regard to 
these masterpieces of the ancient flint chipper' s art. 

Through the active aid of several citizens of Lincoln 
County he was enabled to visit and study an important 
and hitherto midesciibed moimd gi'oup on Elk River, at 
the junction of Lincoln, Moore, and FrankUn Counties. 
He also obtained the definite location of over 75 unrecorded 
sites on which ancient man had hved in Lincoln County. 

He explored a small burial mound and other vestiges of 
an ancient Indian village on the lands of Mr. L. W. Deimy, 
Goodlettsville, Davidson County, Term., where he found 
20 skeletons. There was evidence that two different tribes 
had occupied this site at separate times in the past, and the 
mound yielded a number of fine artifacts which throw hght 
on the hfe of the people. 

Mr. Myer spent two months exploring the remains of a 
gi'eat prehistoric fortified Indian town in Cheatham County, 
Tenn., known as the Great Mound Group on account of 
its great central mound. With the assistance of Mr. Wilbur 
Nelson, State geologist of Tennessee, an excellent topo- 
graphical map was made, and through the repeated efforts 
of Lieut. Norman McEwen, of the 136th Air Squadron, 
Temiessee National Guard, some good airplane photographs 
of the mound on the Harpeth River, near Kingston Springs, 
were secured. 

These remains cover approximately 500 acres in two bends 
of the river. In one bend he found a bold projecting hill 
which had been artificially shaped from bottom to top. 
Three wide terraces had been formed along the side of this 
hill. The original rounded summit had been leveled until 


a great plaza or public square, about 1,000 feet in length 
and 500 feet in breadth, had been formed. Upon the sides 
of this level plaza one very large mound and two smaller 
ones had been erected. This section of the ancient town 
was protected on the water side by the perpendicular cliffs 
of the Harpeth River. On the land side it was defended 
by an earthen embankment or breastworks surmounted 
by a wooden wall, from which at intervals semicircular 
wooden towers projected. These earthen breastworks, which 
had formerly supported this wooden wall, were still to be 
found in the undisturbed woodlands, where they yet extend 
about lU miles, and there is e\ddence that they originally 
ran much farther. Wooden palisades, consisting of small 
tree trunks, had been driven into the gi-oimd side by side 
and wedged together and the soil thrown against them 
until they were by this means firmly embedded in these 
earthen embankments or breastworks. These paUsades, 
bound closely together and strongly braced, formed a wooden 
wall wliich had been plastered on the outside in order to 
make scaling by an enemy difficult. Earthen bastions 
projecting beyond this hne of wall at intervals of about 150 
yards were still to be found. These had formerly supported 
the seinicircular wooden towers. The enemy advancing 
to attack was therefore subjected to fire from the defenders 
through portholes along the main wall and also to a flanking 
fire from the warriors in the towers on these bastions. Faint 
traces of some of the timbers of these palisades and wooden 
towers were found in the soil of these embankments. 

While the gi'eat central mound and terraced hill formed 
the most striking featm-e of this ancient town, there were 
in the inclosure four other eminences whose summits had 
likewise been leveled into plazas. All these plazas yielded 
traces of earth lodges and other evidences of former build- 
ings. The earth lodges of the common people were situated 
on the edges of the terraces. The larger moimds had prob- 
ably supported important public buildings and the lodges 
of leading personages. This grouping of important buildings 
around five separate plazas and in different parts of the 
town very probably indicates that the population was made 


up of what had once been four or five separate autonomous 
groups of kindred peoples. Here in their later home each 
gi'oup had gathered around their own pubUc square in 
their own section of the town and thus preserved at least 
some of their old ceremonials and held together in some 
fashion their old organization. 

It is impossible to determine even approximately the num- 
ber of inhabitants, but the large number of the buildings and 
the long extent of the walls indicate a population of several 
thousand. All the buildings whose traces were uncovered 
appear to have been burned. Below the fallen-in wall of an 
important building the charred remains of the woven reed 
tapestrj^ which had formerly hung upon the wall were secured 
for the National Museum. 

It is not as yet possible to determine the age of these 
remains. Beyond all question this town had been destroyed 
long before the coming of the whites. No object of white 
man's manufacture was found on this site. 

Mr. Gerard Fowke carried on archeological investigations 
in the Stratman Cave in Maries County, Mo. This cave, 
which is situated a little more than 2 miles south of Gas- 
condy, the point at which the Rock Island Railroad crosses 
Gasconade River, has an opening on the side of a hill about 
150 feet high. The approach to the cave on the river side is 
very steep, but from the top of the hill it is less difficult. 
Mr. Fowke opened a trench on the outside slope of the 
talus at a point 30 feet from the entrance of the cave and 16 
feet below the floor level. He found most of the evidences of 
human occupation in superficial black earth, scattered through- 
out which from bottom to top were fragments of potteiy, 
parts of vessels of varying capacity and thickness; chert 
knives or spearheads, none highly finished; hundreds of 
thousands of mussel shells more or less decayed; and other 
objects so abundantly found on the numerous camp sites 
and village sites along the Gasconade River. The artifacts 
were few in number and scattered throughout the mass, 
nowhere more than a few pieces in a cubic foot of earth. 
This denotes temporary occupation, at irregular intervals, 
over a long period of time. Yet the cave was not altogether 


merely a resort for temporary hunters or war parties. In 
addition to the potteiy, which shows at least occasional 
sojourning in the cave, there were fragmentary bones, too 
fragile to preserve, of a child 2 or 3 years old, of another 
somewhat older, and a small adult, possibly a woman. 
These bones were found in different places but near the sur- 
face; there were no other indications of burials. The only 
specimens found worthy of note were a small hammer made 
of a chert twin concretion and bearing evidence of long 
service ; a pebble, used for sharpening small bone implements 
and for smoothing leather or rawhide strings; and a double 
concave discoidal with V-shaped margin. 

While the results of the work at Stratman Cave contrib- 
uted little to the antiquity of man in Missouri, Mr. Fowke's 
studies, which are accompanied by a small collection, are 
valuable in a comparative way. The Ozark region in 
Missouri is yielding many surprises to the archeologist and it 
is believed that there still remains much field work to be done 
here and in the neighborhood before the character and antiq- 
uity of the Indians of that region are definitely determined. 

With a small appropriation Mr. John L. Baer carried on 
instructive field studies on the banner stones in the Sus- 
quehanna River region, and was able to make a good series 
reaching from the imperfect form into the more symmetrical 
objects. He also investigated the pictographs found near 
Delta, Pa. 


The editing of the publications of the bureau was con- 
tinued through the year by Mr. Stanley Searles, editor, 
assisted by Mrs. Frances S. Nichols, editorial assistant. 
The status of the publications is presented in the following 
summary : 


Thirty-fourth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: A Prehistoric 
IsLand Culture Ai-ea of America (Fewkes). 281 pp., 120 pis., 
69 figs. 

Thirty-seventh Annual Report. Accompanying paper: The Winne- 
bago Tribe (Radin). 560 pp., 58 pis., 38 figs. 


Bulletin 76. Arclieological Investigations (Fowke). 204 pp., 45 pis., 

37 figs. 
Bulletin 77. Villages of the Algonquian, Siouan, and Caddoan 

Tribes west of the Mississippi (Bushnell). 211 pp., 55 pis., 12 figs. 


Thirty-eighth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: An Introduc- 
tory' Study of the Arts, Crafts, and Customs of the Guiana Indians 

Thirty-ninth Annual Report. Accompan;ying paper: The Osage 
Tribe: The Rite of Vigil (La Flesche). 

Fortieth Annual Report. Accompanying papers: The Mythical 
Origin of the Wliite Buffalo Dance of the Fox Indians; The Auto- 
biography of a P^ox Indian Woman; Notes on Fox Mortuary Cus- 
toms and Behefs; Notes on the Fox Society known as " Those Who 
Worship the Little Spotted Buffalo"; The Traditional Origin of the 
Fox Societj" known as "The Singing- Around Rite" (Michelson). 

Bulletin 78. Handbook of the Indians of CaUfornia (Kroeber). 

Bulletin 79. Blood Revenge, War, and Victory Feasts among the 
Jibaro Indians of Eastern Ecuador (Karsten). 

Bulletin 80. Mandan and Hidatsa Music (Densmore). 

Bulletin 81. Excavations in the Chama Valley, New Mexico 
(Jeancon) . 


The distribution of publications has been continued under 
the immediate charge of Miss Helen Munroe, assisted by 
Miss Emma B. Powers. Publications were distributed as 
follows : 

Annual reports and separates 5, 363 

Bulletins and separates 11, 787 

Contributions to North American Ethnology 10 

Introductions 3 

Miscellaneous pubhcations 531 

17, 694 

As compared with the fiscal year ending June 30, 1922, 
there was an increase of 3,479 publications distributed. 



Mr. DeLancey Gill, illustrator, with the assistance of Mr. 
Albert E. Sweeney, continued the preparation of the illus- 
trations of the bureau. A summary of this work follows: 

Drawings for publications 32 

Photograplis retouched for engraving 78 

Illustration copy made ready for engraving 319 

Illustrative proof edited 302 

Editions of colored plates examined at Government Printing 

Office.. 160,000 

Negatives prepared 232 

Films developed from field exposures 240 

Prints for distribution and office use 1, 117 

In November of last year Mr. Gill began to reclassify the 
large collection of ethnologic and archeologic negatives with a 
view of preparing a comprehensive catalogue of the lin- 
guistic families and tribes with such historic data as is avail- 
able. He has made good progress in this work. About 
5,000 negatives have already been catalogued. 


The reference library continued under the immediate care 
of Miss Ella Leary, librarian, assisted by Mr. Roderick 
McPherson and later by Mr. Thomas Blackwell. 

During the year 500 books were accessioned. Of these 70 
were acquired by purchase, 130 by gift and exchange, and 
300 by binding of periodicals. The current periodicals 
annually received number about 925, of which 35 are by 
subscription, the remainder being obtained through exchange. 
The bureau has also received 200 pamphlets. The aggre- 
gate numl^er of volumes in the library at the close of the year 
was 25,061; of pamphlets about 15,100. Satisfactory prog- 
ress was made toward the completion of the new subject 
catalogue from the old imperfect author's catalogue. 

The most pressing need which confronts the library is 
shelving for the ever increasing accumulations of books. 
Extensive shif tings and readjustments have been necessary 
during the year in order to make space available where it is 
most needed, but the Ubrary is totally lacking in facilities to 
allow for its expansion. 



The following collections, acquired by members of the 
bureau or by those detailed in connection with its researches, 
have been transferred to the United States National Museum: 

69367. Archeological objects from Alaska collected by Dr. T. T. 

Waterman in the spring of 1922. (5 specimens.) 
69530. Stone collar from Mayaguez, Porto Rico. 
69660. Two incense burners found in a cave in southern Yucatan 

and presented to the bureau by Maj. E. H. Ropes, United 

States Army. 
6988L Archeological specimens collected along the Susquehanna 

River (Maryland and Pennsjdvania) in October, 1922, bj' 

John L. Baer. (174 specimens.) 
69885. Two stone pestles from the Isles of Pines. 


Clerical. — The correspondence and other clerical work of 
the office has been conducted by Miss May S. Clark, clerk 
to the chief. Mr. Anthony W. Wilding served as messenger 
and typist to the chief. 

Mr. Roderick McPherson, messenger ia the Ubrary, 
resigned INIarch 31, 1923, and Mr. Thomas Blackwell, minor 
clerk, was appointed May 1 to fill the vacancy. 
Respectfully submitted. 

J. Walter Fewkes, 
Chief, Bureau of American Ethnology. 
Dr. Charles D. Walcott, 

Secretary, Smithsonian Institution. 



Systematic researches 101 

Special researches 112 

Editorial work and publications 113 

Illustrations ll-l 

Library 115 

Collections 115 

Property 116 

Miscellaneous 116 






J. Walter Fewkes, Chief 

Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report on 
the researches, office work, and other operations of the 
Bureau of American Ethnology during the fiscal year endmg 
June 30, 1924. These were conducted in accordance with 
the act of Congress approved June 12, 1923, which con tarns 
the following item : 

Ajnerican ethnology: For continuing ethnological researches 
among the American Indians and the natives of Hawaii, including 
the excavation and preservation of archeologic remains, under the 
direction of the Smithsonian Institution, including the necessary 
employees and the purchase of necessary books and periodicals, 

The Bureau of American Ethnology was founded by Maj. 
J. W. Powell and placed under the direction of the Secretary 
of the Smithsonian Institution by act of Congress. This 
bureau is devoted to the increase of knowledge of the Ameri- 
can Indian, as well as of the natives of Hawaii and the 
aborigines of Porto Rico. It follows the ideal of the Smith- 
sonian Institution as applied to researches on the American 
Indians, including all branches of their archeology and eth- 
nology. The Ijureau publishes annual reports and bulletins, 
the whole number of these thus far published being 40 
reports and 81 buUetms. The former assume the form of 
memoirs, often large and highly technical; the latter are 
generally smaller m size, often preliminary in character. 

The fundamental idea which led to this appropriation was 
the recognized necessity for reliable information for a proper 
appreciation of the Indian, as an aid to legislation. Very 



extravagant and diametrically opposite opinions were rife 
regarding the character of our al)origines. In the early days 
of contact of the European and Indian races erroneous 
romantic ideas were largely prevalent, but with the appli- 
cation of the science of anthropology new values of Indian 
character developed. The Indian in some quarters was 
regarded solely as an object of research; the humanitarian 
side was lost sight of, and the fact that he is a man belonging 
to one of the most important races in the ultimate amalga- 
mation of the different peoples was overlooked. The aim of 
the Bureau of American Ethnology is to discover and to 
dissemmate correct ideas of the Indian as a race, that our 
people may better understand and appreciate his history, 
language, sociology, music, religion, and various arts and 
mdustries. It is obligatory for the bureau to preserve 
accurate records of customs indigenous to America that are 
rapidly bemg lost in the settlement of the former homes of 
the Indians by members of the white race. The value of 
this material will increase in coming years, for the records 
that are now being made are final and in many cases will be 
the sole objective mformation that posterity wUl have of the 
Indian and his customs. This work is imperative, for within 
the past few decades a great deal of information of this kind 
has disappeared unrecorded, and the probal:)ility is that this 
generation will witness the death of most aborigmal survivals 
in culture. 

While the ideal of the bureau is the acquisition of knowl- 
edge and the publication of the same through reports, there 
has gi'own up a gi-eat deal of work on related subjects that 
absorbs more or less of the time of the chief and his staff. 
Infoimation is sought from all quarters regarding the Indians, 
and urgent calls from State institutions and universities 
asking for advice and help m local problems have been more 
nmnerous than at any other time m the history of the institu- 
tion. Routine office work has assumed in the past ten years 
a larger relative proportion than in former decades. Va- 
rious agencies have quickened interest in the problems con- 
sidered by the Bureau of American Ethnology. The great 
increase in travel resutling from the development of the 


automobile and the foundation of national parks has in- 
tensified the desu-e to "see America fii-st." Our parks and 
Indian reservations have been visited in. the past few years 
by an ever increasing number of travelers. This has stimu- 
lated a demand on the part of the general public for accu- 
rate information on the history and customs of the Indians, 
which the bureau endeavors to supply. 

It can not be expected, when the office work has grown to 
such magnitude and the appropriations have remained practi- 
cally the same as they were before the war, that the quantity 
of research in the field can equal that of former years, but 
the chief has endeavored to have as many of the staff in 
the field as he can and to pujjlish the reports of their work 
as rapidly as feasible. It is self-evident that the acquisition 
of knowledge regarding the Indians, even if not published, is 
a most valuable asset, notwithstanding the fact that it must 
be stored in the archives to await a more favorable time for 


The first duty of the chief being administrative and his 
time for a large part of the year being occupied with routine 
matters, he does not have much opportunity for field work, 
but notwithstanding this fact scientific work of a limited 
nature has been done by him in the field. He has kept en 
rapport with the work of all archeological expeditions in the 
Southwest in order to be able to advise you in regard to your 
recommendations for archeological work on the public domain. 
The number of expeditions in the Southwest has tripled or 
quadrupled in the last decade. 

The field work engaged in by the chief during the past 
year was archeological in nature, in cooperation with Mr. 
E. M. Elliott and his associates, of St. Petersburg, Fla. 
There are few areas in the United States which promise more 
to the archeologist than southwestern Florida along the shore 
from Tampa Bay to Cape Sable. Perhaps no one has added 
more to our knowledge of this area than Mr. F. H. Gushing, a 
foi-mer ethnologist of the bureau. The problems of southern 
Florida demand more objective material than we have from 


the Everglades and the Ten Thousand Islands, where 
numerous proofs of a vanished population are in evidence in 
the form of enormous shell heaps and earth mounds. 

The chief began his researches on Weeden Island, near St. 
Petersburg, which is situated at the end of Gandy Bridge, an 
artificial causeway crossing Tampa Bay. The evidences of 
prehistoric aboriginal life on Weeden Island are numerous 
large shell heaps and sand heaps which may be divided into 
groups or types, as kitchen middens, observatories, founda- 
tions of houses, and burial places. Evidently there was 
formerly a large village near the highest point of the island. 
One of the mounds which was chosen for excavation turned 
out to be a cemetery, and in the course of the winter about 
one-half of it was excavated. The work extended from 
November until March, inclusive. 

The chief was not able to be in St. Petersburg the whole 
winter, but after having started the work in November, 
1923, he returned to Washington, assigning the direction 
of the excavations to Mr. Stanley Hedberg and later to 
Mr. M. W. Stirling, of the National Museum, who continued 
the work until the chief's return in February. As a result 
of the excavation a large collection of aboriginal objects 
was brought to the United States National Museum. This 
collection contains many imique specimens and will later 
be permanently installed in the Museum upon completion 
of a report on it. No specimens had formerly been ex- 
cavated at Weeden Island and the unique results of this 
work are regarded as most important. A preliminary 
report has been published in the Smithsonian Miscellaneous 
Collections, vol. 76, No. 13. 

At the present time it is too early to draw final conclusions 
from the above work, but it is intended to continue excava- 
tions in Florida in the winter of 1924. Many of the speci- 
mens fomid were not very different from those characteristic 
of the west coast of Florida, but the number of objects is 
greater and their variations so extensive that they are 
thought to indicate a high development of the aboriginal 
culture in southern Florida. Evidences of two distinct 
cultures, one above the other, were determmed from the 


excavations in the Weeden mound. The lower contained 
crude pottery, very few implements, mostly of shell, all 
having a considerable likeness to the so-called archaic 
Antillean culture of Cuba. The upper layer contained 
very fine specimens of decorated pottery in great numbers, 
showing close relationship to the ceramics of Georgia. 
This indicates an extension southward or a drift of popula- 
tion, possibly allied to the Muskhogean, into the peninsula. 
The relationship of the people of the lower layer was Antillean 
rather than Muskhogean. The inhabitants of southern 
Florida, when the earliest burials were made in the Weeden 
mound, probably belonged to an unknown tribe. The 
artifacts in the upper layer may be remains of the Caloosa 
tribe, which was found there when Tampa Bay was visited 
by Ponce de Leon. The Indians that now inhabit the 
Everglades — the Seminoles — are a late introduction into 
Florida and of Creek descent. The numerous Florida 
shell heaps antedated their advent by several centuries. 

The chief has actively worked during the past year for 
the formation of a new national monument on the Little 
Colorado, near Flagstaff, Ariz. This monument has been 
temporarily named the Wupatki National Monument and 
mcludes ruins at the Black Falls of the Little Colorado, 
first described by him in 1900. It is to be hoped that 
before another report this most interesting group of stone 
buildings will be added to the other archeological monu- 
ments. The ruins that comprise it have some of the best 
preserved walls hi the Southwest. 

The impression exists in some quarters that the work of 
the Bureau of American Ethnology must be completed in a 
certain definite time. This impression has no real founda- 
tion, for ethnology is hke any other scientific study and has 
no limitations. Every new year of work in the bureau 
enlarges the horizon of research and presents new problems 
regarding the American Indians for solution. Since the 
foundation of the bureau by the late Maj. J. W. PoweU 
the aims and tendencies of the science of ethnology have 
greatly enlarged, and the published studies of the staff 
have put the science of anthropology upon such a firm 

63666°— 28 8 


foundation that not only the past appropriations but also 
the prospective expenditures by Congress are more than 
justified. The earlier work covered a limited scope; it 
pointed out the field for future work. It now remains for 
the comparative ethnologist to connect the various problems 
of man and his culture and to shed new light on what still 
remains unsolved. By law the ethnological research of 
the staff of the bureau is Mmited to the American Indians 
and the aborigines of Hawaii. The logical outcome is the 
enlargement of the Bureau of American Ethnology into a 
bureau devoted to the study of all races. 

Even in studymg the Indians there are great regions of 
South America which are practically unknown to the 
ethnologist. South America, next to Central America, con- 
tams examples of probably the highest culture that has ever 
been attained by the American race. I refer, of course, to 
the civilization of the great empire of the Incas, extending 
from the Isthmus of Panama to southern Chile. In this 
prolific field the Ijureau has done comparatively little, and 
the time is now ripe for an extensive exploration in that field. 
No less important ui South America is the area mhabited 
by wild tribes, such as the Matto Grosso and other regions 
east of the mountains. The remarkable similarity of the 
culture of the Indians in Argentina and that of the Pueblos 
especially pleads for more thorough investigation of the 
former area. The great valley of the Amazon, that has 
attracted the ethnologist since the wonderful voyage of 
Alex. Von Humboldt at the beguming of the last century, 
still holds out new problems. 

The bureau will soon issue a remarkably complete work by 
Dr. Walter E. Roth on British Guiana, which probably will 
be one of the finest it has ever published. It adds much to 
our knowledge, but no more important fact than the magni- 
tude of the numerous fields remaining to be investigated in 
northern South America. The languages, sociology, religion, 
arts, history, and archeology of almost every country in 
South America demand research. Here we have a great 
continent awaiting the student of the antiquity and cultural 
relationship of the American race. 


In the same way the field of Central America and Mexico 
now awaits the investigator, although in that particular 
area the bureau has made some very important contributions. 

There remain special problems of secondary natm'e through- 
out the contuient that are as yet unanswered which would 
be withm the scope of the bureau's work. All ethnological 
work on the South American Indians should have very great 
influence in uniting more firmly the republics of Spanish 
origin and the United States. 

Of the many problems awaiting investigation, one of the 
more important is the plottmg of the trails by which commu- 
nication was carried on between Indian tribes. These trails 
historically followed by roads and railroads now serve the 
growing habit of the automobile and the desire of Americans 
to see their own country. A study of the foods used by the 
Indians has a practical value which can not be overestimated. 
The number of plants used by the Indians far outnumbers 
those on our own table, and the bureau might well give 
attention to the discovery of new food resources. 

It is desirable to mcrease the archeological work of the 
bureau which thus far has attracted a great deal of attention 
and which is one of the foremost departments of anthro- 
pological study. This study should be extended to Florida 
and the coast States with a view to determining the relation- 
ship of the antiquities of North and Central America. The 
investigation of the southwestern portion of Texas and the 
adjoining State of New Mexico should be exploited, es- 
pecially the contents of the new national monument near 
Carlsbad which contains important archeological material. 
One important problem is to follow the extension northward 
of the Huaxtec culture along the shores of Tamaulipas and 
Texas to our southern mound builders. 

During the fiscal year Dr. John R. Swanton, ethnologist, 
completed the translations of stories from his Koasati, 
Alabama, Hitchiti, Natchez, and Creek texts, and added to 
them the stories obtained only in English and those in the 
Tuggle collection; he provided these stories with footnotes 
referi'uig to similar tales among other tribes, and prepared 


an introduction for the w hole. In addition to this work he has 
edited and largely recast a manuscript on Indian trails by the 
late Mr. W, E. Myer. Also, with the assistance of Miss 
Atkins, he has begun incorporating into an alphabetical card 
index all words in the Timucua language contained Ln the 
religious works of the Franciscan missionaries Pareja and 
Movilla — nearly all that is left to us of this old Florida 
tongue. Nearly one-third of the work has been completed. 
On the 1st of July, 1923, Dr. Truman Michelson, ethnolo- 
gist, was on board the Sagona en route to Labrador. He 
reached the Northwest River on July 4, where he found a few 
Nascapi Indians, one from Davis Inlet, besides the ordinary 
Montagnais Indians of the vicinity. From his work among 
these Indians it follows that the language of the Nascapi and 
Davis Inlet Indians is the same, and that instead of being a 
wholly distinct language it is nothing but a Montagnais 
dialect. Furthermore, it is abundantly clear that the 
dialects of the above-named Indians form a distinct unit as 
compared to the Montagnais dialects of Lake St. John and 
Lake Mistassini, as well as the so-called Cree of Rupert's 
House and the East Main River, which really are not Cree 
at all but Montagnais dialects. The report of some Indians 
to the west of the Nascapi speaking a language unintelligible 
to them is worth investigating at a later date. It may be 
noted that the folklore of the Indians of Labrador contains 
more elements occurring among Central Algonquians than 
has been suspected. The very simple social organization of 
the Labrador Indians makes it very probable that the rather 
complex organizations of the Central Algonquians are 
unoriginal and are due both directly and indirectly to the 
influence of non-Algonquian tribes. He Was able to measure 
only a few of the Indians at the Northwest River, so it is 
not possible to state precisely which physical type they 

At the conclusion of his work he returned to Rigolet and 
left on July 22 for St. Johns, Newfoundland. En route he 
was able to take the measurements of a few Eskimos. On 
his arrival at St. Johns he proceeded by steamer and train 
for Tama, Iowa, to renew his researches among the Fox 


Indians. He devoted especial attention to the ceremonial 
runners of these Indians, and in the course of the winter 
submitted a manuscript on them for publication by the 
bureau. Further, a number of Fox texts were translated 
and other ethnological data obtained. Doctor Michelson 
returned to Washington near the close of September. He 
made another trip among the Foxes in May and returned to 
Washington toward the end of June. Durmg this trip he 
obtamed new data on Fox ceremonials. 

By joint arrangement with the Museum of the American 
Indian, Heye Foundation, the bureau undertook in the sum- 
mer of 1923 the excavation of the Burton Mound at Santa 
Barbara, Calif., which was the chief village of the Santa 
BarlDara Indians and without question the most important 
archeological site on the southern California coast. Mr. J. 
P. Harrington, ethnologist of the bureau, was detailed to 
take charge of the exploration of the mound and the work 
was commenced early in May, 1923, and continued through- 
out the summer and fall. The first day's work revealed the 
location of the cemetery, just where old Indians had stated 
that it was situated. During several months of careful 
stratigraphical excavation many facts of interest for the 
prehistory of the Santa Barbara Indians and the early 
culture of the Pacific coast in general were recorded. 

The principal rancheria or village of the ancient Santa 
Barbara Valley was not at the mission, where the Indians 
were later gathered, but at the beach. It was situated just 
west of the mouth of Mission Creek, where a landing cove 
for canoes and two low mounds, one by the beach and a 
larger one 650 feet mland and now known as the Burton 
Mound, afforded unusual attraction as a dwelling place for 
Indians. At a number of places in the locality were sulphur 
springs; also springs of good drmking water. The name of 
the village was Syujtun, meaning "where the trail splits." 
There a thriving population of some 500 Indians lived on the 
wild food products of the neighboring shore and sea and of the 
Santa Barbara Valley, rich in acorn-bearing oaks and game 


The inhabitants of Syujtim remained unmolested until 
the estabUshment of the Santa Barbara Mission in 1786. 
After this the native villagers were gradually removed to 
the adobe cuarteles of the mission, 2 miles distant, and the 
desolated beach was known as "el puerto de Santa Barbara" 
or as " el rancho de la play a." After the confiscation of the 
mission lands the ownership of the beach ranch passed into 
private hands. During the forties the owner was none 
other than Capt. George C. Nidever, known in California 
history as the rescuer of the last surviving Indian woman 
from San Nicolas Island. Captain Nidever sold the property 
in 1851 to Augustus F. Hinchman, whose daughter, Miss 
Stella F. Hinchman, has furnished valuable data about the 
history and traditions of the mound. In 1860 Mr. Hinch- 
man sold the tract in turn to Lewis T. Burton, who made it 
his home for 19 years and after whom the mound has been 
called in more recent times. None of the early owners had 
allowed excavation on the property and with erection of 
the Potter Hotel on top of the mound in 1901 all hope of 
archeological investigation was lost. This hotel burned to 
the gromid on April 19, 1921, and the old village site was 
thereby again released for archeological investigation. 

The results of this excavation of the Indian town of 
Santa Barbara proved rich and interesting beyond expec- 
tation. The graves that were opened were crowded with 
human bodies, trinkets, and a great variety of utensils. 
Among the rarest specimens are the largest soapstone canoe 
ever discovered in Cahfornia, a wooden awl such as is 
described by the early historians, and a number of objects 
of problematical use. There are soapstone pipes, fishhooks 
of abalone and bone, sinker stones, arrowheads of great 
variety, spearheads, about 140 fine mortars, pestles, in- 
cluding some very long ones, beads of many kinds, pendants, 
daggers, bowls and kettles of soapstone, including some of 
the largest ever foimd, native paints, etc. About 300 
skeletons were taken out, among them some very ancient 
skeletons from the coquina or reef-rock layer. These are 


now in the hands of Dr. Bruno Oetteking, of the Museum of 
the American Indian, who is preparing an elaborate report 
on them 

At the close of January, Mr. Harrington returned to 
Washington and has since then been engaged in the prepa- 
ration of his report on the Burton Mound 

Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt, ethnologist, was engaged for the 
greater part of the year in office work. This consisted 
chiefly in the historical analysis of the large mass of material 
in native text relating to the formation and structure and 
import of the League or Confederation of the Five Iroquois 
Tribes or Nations. He was also occupied in the translation 
of the farewell address of Deganawida, a founder of the 
confederation, into Uterary Enghsh. In this address De- 
ganawida briefly summarizes the scope and import of the 
institutions and the laws of the league; herein, with the 
masterful hand of a prophet-statesman, he also graphically 
recapitulated the work accomplished by the several co- 
workmg founders. 

Mr. Hewitt also translated from the Onondaga text the 
laws first recognizing the extant institution of chieftainess in 
uterine kindreds and then adopting it for the purpose of 
making it fundamental among the institutions of the League 
of the Iroquois, the laws defining the duties, rights, and 
obhgations of the mcumbent of such office and carefully 
prescribmg the method by which a woman should be nomi- 
nated by the mothers of her own uterine kindred, the method 
by which the choice should be confirmed, first by her own, 
and then by sister, and then by cousin clans, and then 
finally how this candidate should be installed at a federal 
council of condolence and installation. These laws also 
prescribe the method by which such chieftainess can, for 
cause, be deposed and a successor nominated and installed 
as prescribed by these laws; and they also prescribe the 
method of nominating and installing the male aid to the 
chieftainess, who must be a warrior and an orator to fulfill 
his adjuvant duties 

As a member of the United States Geogi-aphic Board, 
representing thereon the Bui'eau of American Ethnology, 


Smithsonian Institution, Mr. Hewitt has attended all regular 
and special meetings of the board, with a single exception. 
As custodian of manuscripts of the Bureau of American Eth- 
nology, Mr. He^vitt reports that more than 250 items were 
withdrawn and consulted by the various collaborators of the 
bureau and by other students. 

In past years, in studying the social and poUtical institu- 
tions of the Iroquoian peoples, especially of the Five (latterly 
Six) Nations or Tribes, Mr. Hewitt has spent a number of 
field seasons in carefully collecting and recording in native 
texts from the best available leaders, chieftains, chieftain- 
esses, ritualists, and ceremoniaUsts, cliiefly in the Mohawk, 
Onondaga, and Cayuga dialects, extensive material and data 
concerning the principles, the laws, decrees, and ordinances 
of the instituting councils, the set rituals, the prescribed 
chants, and the ceremonial addresses, which together defined 
the functioning apparatus of the gi'eat commonwealth, com- 
monly called the League or Confederation of the Iroquois. 
Mr. Hewitt has vmdertaken to subject, so far as possible, this 
text material to a careful literary and historical analysis and 
also to a thorough grammatic and lexical criticism, in order to 
restore, as far as the evidence thus secured will warrant, these 
rituals and chants and set addresses to the earlier forms 
which were probably used when the League of the Iroquois 
was instituted in the closing decades of the sixteenth century. 
This work is necessarily tedious and slow but is of supreme 
necessity. The results thus far are highly gi-atifying 

In Jime, 1924, Mr. Hewitt visited the Six Nations of 
Iroquois dwelling near Brantford, Ontario, Canada; the 
Onondaga dwelling near Sjrracuse, N. Y. ; the Tonawanda 
dwelhng near Akron, N. Y.; the Tuscarora dwelhng near 
Sanborn, N. Y. His object on this trip was to obtain a 
better knowledge of the music of the ritual chants of the 
Condolence and Installation Council. He also secured a 
quantity of purple wampum which is used in these league 
rituals and which has now become so scarce that its cost is 
well-nigh prohibitive. 

Mr. Hewitt was also able to secure from the very few 
persons who still retain some definite knowledge of the prin- 


ciples and institutions of the league additional interpretative 
and confirmatory information concerning certain critical 
passages in the native texts which he recorded in former 
field trips. 

Mr. Francis La Flesche, ethnologist, gave most of his time 
to the assembhng of Ms notes on the child-naming rites and 
ceremonies of the Osage Indians. These ancient rites, with 
their ceremonies, are now practically obsolete, and it was 
fortunate that Mr. La Flesche succeeded in securing two of 
the remaining versions. The first was obtained from Wa- 
xthi'-zlii, a member of the I"-gtho"'-ga or Puma gens. This 
version will form the first part of the volume on tliis subject. 

The other version is that used by the Tsi'-zhu Wa-shta-ge, 
Peacemaker, gens. It was with considerable difficulty ob- 
tained from old Sho"'-ge-mo''-i'', a member of the gens, who was 
very conservative and opposed to having any of the tribal rites 
go to strangers. Since the recording of these ancient rites 
that had been transmitted through many generations, both 
these No°'-ho°-zhi°-ga, Wa-xtlii'-zlii and Sho"'-ge-mo°-i°, 
have died, and it is now doubtful if any member of the tiibe 
could be fovmd who is able to recite the rituals and go through 
the ceremonial forms in their entirety. 

Tsi'-zhu Wa-shta-ge version will form the second part of 
the volume, now nearing completion, which is to be called 
" Osage Child Naming Rites." 

Mr. W. E. Myer, special archeologist, on his return from 
field work in Tennessee, took up the preparation of his report 
on the remains of the great prehistoric Indian settlement 
known as the Great Mound Group in Cheatham County, 
Temi., a preUminary account of which was given in last 
year's report. This town is situated on the Harpeth River 
near Kingston Springs and is fomid in two clusters about 
a mile apart in the bend of the Harpeth River, covering 
about 500 acres. The fortification of the Great Mound 
Group was one of the finest prehistoric structures for defense 
made by the Indians of Temaessee. 

Nearly all the lower river bend, called the " Mound Bot- 
tom" by the local people, contains evidences of walls, many 
of which have disappeared by long cultivation of the soil. 


Mr. Myer was not able to determine the age of these moimds, 
but buildings which they represent were undoubtedly 
destroyed before the coming of the white people. 

One of the most hiteresting results of the summer's work 
was the excavation of a smaU mound on the Denny farm at 
Goodlettsville, Sumner County, Temi., the reUcs from this 
mound showing that the inhabitants of this site belonged to 
a culture quite unlike that of much of the surrounding region 
in the valley of the Cumberland. 

Mr. IMyer also made studies in the southern part of 
Tennessee in Lincoln and Moore Counties and made a map 
of a hitherto undescribed mound group on Elk River. 


Diu-ing the summer of 1923 Miss Frances Densmore 
visited the Makah Indians at Neah Bay, Wash., and re- 
corded their songs. Neah Bay is near the end of Cape 
Flattery, but the coast is so mountainous that it is reached 
only by boat. At the time of Miss Densmore 's visit there 
was only one passenger boat a week to this village. The 
principal industry of the Indians is salmon fishing. The 
purpose of this trip was to oliserve the music of Indians 
who live l^eside the ocean and to compare the music with 
that of tribes living on the mountains, plains, and desert. 
As a result of the comparison it was found that the music 
of the Makah resembles that of the Ute, Papago, and Yuma 
more than it resembles that of the Chippewa, Sioux, and 
Pawnee. This is general observation, the detailed com- 
parison being unfinished. Three instances are as follows: 
(1) The Makah Indians use a "high drone," or sustained 
tone held by two or three women's voices, while the others 
sing the melody. This was heard among the Papago in 
southern Arizona and is found in certain parts of Asia. 
This suggests a cultural evidence that the Indians migrated 
from Asia and down the Pacific coast, the use of the drone 
being more pronounced among the Makah than among the 
Papago ; (2) the Makah Indians have a considerable number 
of " nonharmonic " songs to which the term "key" can not 
properly be apphed. These were found in southern Arizona 


but not in the plains region; (3) the Makah songs concern- 
ing the whale are marked by a very small compass and small 
intervals. The Ute songs concerning the bear are also 
characterized by small intervals, but the compass is not 
particularly small. The Makah songs recorded were of 
several classes, including songs of the whale legends and 
whahng expeditions, songs of the potlatch and various social 
dances, songs connected with contests of physical strength, 
"gratitude songs," which were sung by individuals at 
feasts, lullabies for children, courting songs, and the songs 
of wedding festivities. 

Dances and gatherings of the tribe were attended ; numer- 
ous specimens illustrating the culture of the people were 
collected ; the smgers and environment were photographed ; 
and about 30 specimens of plants were collected, with a de- 
scription of their economic uses. 

While in Washington, D. C, Miss Densmore arranged in 
a catalogue list 368 songs awaiting publication, and arranged 
in the proper order for publication all her material on Pawnee, 
Papago, Yuma, Cocopa, and Mohave music. Four manu- 
scripts were submitted during the year, with the titles 
"Cocopa and Mohave Dance Songs," "Dance Songs and 
Flute Music of the Yuma," "Whaling Songs, Dream Songs, 
and Legend Songs of the Makah," and "Potlatch Songs of 
the Makah." These comprised, in addition to the text, 
87 songs, with phonograph records, musical transcriptions, 
and analyses. 


The editing of the publications of the bureau was con- 
tinued through the year by Mr. Stanley Searles, editor, 
assisted by Mrs. Frances S. Nichols, editorial assistant. The 
status of the publications is presented in the following 
summary : 


Bulletin 79. Blood Revenge, War, and Victory Feasts Among the 
Jibaro Indians of Eastern Ecuador (Karsten). viii, 94 pp., 10 pis. 

Bulletin 80. Mandan and Hidatsa Music (Densmore). xx, 192 pp., 
19 pis., 6 figs. 


Bulletin 81 . Excavations in the Chama Valley, New Mexico (Jeancon) . 

ix, 80 pp., 65 pis., 38 figs. 
List of publications of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 45 pp. 


Thirty-eighth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: An Introduc- 
tory Study of the Arts, Crafts, and Customs of the Guiana Indians 

Thirty-ninth Annual Report. Accompanying paper: The Osage Tribe : 
The Rite of Vigil (La Flcsche). 

Fortieth Annual Report. Accompanying papers : The Mythical Origin 
of the White Buffalo Dance of the Fox Indians; The Autobiography 
of a Fox Indian Woman; Notes on Fox Mortuary Customs and 
Beliefs; Notes on the Fox Society Known as " Those Who Worship 
the Little Spotted Buffalo"; the Traditional Origin of the Fox 
Society Known as " The Singing Around Rite " (Michclson) 

Forty-first Annual Report. Accompanying paper: Salish Basketry 

Forty-second Annual Report. Accompanying paper: Social Organi- 
zation and Social LTsages of the Indians of the Creek Confederacy 
(Swanton) . 

Bulletin 78. Handbook of the Indians of California (Kroeber). 


The distri]:)ution of publications has been continued under 
the immediate charge of Miss Helen Munroe, assisted by 
Miss Emma B. Powers. Publications were distributed as 
follows : 

Report volumes and separates 2, 058 

Bulletins and separates 11, 384 

Contributions to North American ethnology 10 

Miscellaneous publications 511 

13, 963 

As compared with the fiscal year ending June 30, 1923, 

there was a decrease of 3,731 publications distributed, due 

to the fact that no report volumes were issued during the 

year, whereas two reports were published in the precedmg 

fiscal year. 


Mr. DeLancey Gill, illustrator, with the assistance of Mr. 
Albert E. Sweeney, continued the preparation of the illus- 
trations of the bureau. A summary of the work follows: 


Drawings for publications . _ 138 

Photographic prints retouched for engraving 85 

Negatives prepared _ 372 

Films developed and printed from field' exposures (roUs) 2-1 

Photographic prints for distribution and office use 733 

The work of reclassification of negatives has progressed 
satisfactorily. As a prelude to a new catalogue of the large 
collection of negatives, this work will be of lasting value. 
About 4,000 negatives were identified and rejacketed, but 
much yet remains to be done. 


The reference library continued under the immediate care 
of Miss Ella Leaiy, librarian, assisted b}- Mr. Thomas 

Dm'ing the year 560 books were accessioned. Of these 
82 were acquired by pui'chase, 253 by gift and exchange, 
and 225 by binding of periodicals. The current periodicals 
annually received mmaber about 975, of which 37 are by 
subscription, the remainder being received through exchange. 
The library has also received 225 pamphlets. The aggregate 
nimiber of books in the library at the close of the year was 
25,621; of pamphlets, about 15,325. 

During the year many students not connected with the 
Smithsonian Institution have applied to the library for books. 
The library was used also by the Library of Congress and 
officers of the executive departments, and out-of-town stu- 
dents have made use of the library through frequent loans. 

Conditions of crowding on the bookshelves are now acute 
in many places m the stacks. Many volumes received l)y 
the library not pertaining to anthropology were transferred 
to the library of the Smithsonian Institution. 


The following collections, purchased or acquired by mem- 
bers of the bureau or by those detailed in connection with its 
researches, have been transferred to the United States Na- 
tional Museum : 

70367. Collection of about 90 specunens of picture pottery from the 
Mimbres Valley, N. Mex. 


70553. Blanket on which is woven an elaborate representation of the 
Yeibichi dance of the Navaho Indians, presented to the 
bureau by Mr. Chee Dodge, St. Michael's, Ai'iz. 

71026. Collection of archeological specimens made by the late John 
L. Baer during the summer of 1923 in the Susquehanna 
Valley region. 

71278. California Mission Indian water basket collected by J. P. 
Harrington during the summer of 1922. 

71347. Collection of archeological specimens secured in Tennessee 
and South Dakota by the late William E. Myer. 

71430. Collection of archeological specimens from Pipe Shrine House 
in tlie Mesa Verde National Park, Colo. 

71614. Collection of Indian implements and fossil animals found in 
Garrard County, Ky., along the Old Wilderness Trail, and 
presented to the bm^eau by Mrs. S. H. Burnside. 

71691. Four prehistoric objects presented to the bureau, through the 

late W. E. Myer, by J. G. Braecklein. 

71692. Three separate lots of stone implements from prehistoric 

village sites near Goodlettsville, Tenn., presented to the 
bureau through the late W. E. Myer, by a Mr. Meadow, 
John Bell Cartwright, and Capt. James Roscoe. 

71694. Three lots of archeological specimens presented to the bureau, 
through the late W. E. Myer, by C. O. Chapman, A. B. 
Moore, Mrs. Lee Colin, and A. T. Sweet. 

71697. Collection of archeological specimens from the Painted Kiva 
House, Mesa Verde National Park, Colo. 


Furniture and office equipment were purchased to the 

amount of $76.29. 


The correspondence and other clerical work of the office 
has been conducted by Miss May S. Clark, clerk to the chief. 
Miss Julia S. Atkins, stenographer and typewriter, assisted 
the various members of the staff. Mr. Anthony W. Wilding, 
typist, has been engaged in copying manuscripts and in 
various duties connected with the office of the chief. 

Mr. W. E. Myer, special archeologist, died December 2, 

Respectfully submitted. 

J. Walter Fewkes, C/we/. 

Dr. Charles D. Walcott, 

Secretary, Smithsonian Institution. 






Under the direction of 


53666°— 28 9 119 



Preface 131 

Introduction 133 

Imbrication 139 

Coiled basket making among the Thompson bands 143 

Materials 145 

Gathering of materials , 149 

Preparation of materials 150 

Coil and sewing splints 150 

Grass . 152 

Bark 153 

Tools 154 

Trade 156 

The technique of coiling 159 

Structure of baskets 167 

Coiled bottoms 167 

Slat bottozns 174 

Side walls 179 

Rims 181 

Lids 185 

The foot - 191 

Handles ' 194 

Care and preservation 196 

Repairing 196 

Forms and purposes of baskets 197 

Group I. Burden baskets 198 

Group II. Kettles and bowls 201 

Group III. Nut-shaped baskets 202 

Group IV. Storage baskets 205 

Group V. Odd shapes 206 

Baby carriers 210 

Proportions of burden baskets 212 

Methods of ornamentation 223 

Beading 223 

Imbrication 226 

Design fields 228 

General remarks 228 

Burden baskets 229 

Use of colors 234 

Beaded designs 234 

Imbricated designs 236 

Arrangement of designs 237 

The vertical stripe 242 

Design elements 245 

Geometric designs 246 

The square 248 

The rectangle 250 

The triangle 251 

The chevron 253 

The false triangle 253 

The diamond 253 

Hexagon and octagon, crosses and stars 254 

TlEe'ka designs 254 




Application of the design to the field 258 

The horizontal band 263 

All-over large figures 271 

Vertical stripes and series 275 

Fillers 276 

Small designs on vertical stripes 287 

Lid problems 298 

The selection of the design 300 

Geometric forms and their interpretations 304 

Crosses 316 

Triangles 317 

The square and rectangle 321 

The diamond 324 

The rhomboid 326 

The trapezoid 326 

The hexagon and octagon 327 

Remarks on interpretations of geometric designs 328 

Designs which are either geometric or realistic 330 

Realistic designs 330 

Objects represented by diff'erent figures 331 

Lytton designs 331 

Basketry of the tribes neighbors of the Thompson 335 

Lillooet basketry 335 

Chilcotin basketry 344 

Shus wap basketry 351 

Relation of imbricated basketry to other forms 352 

Yakima and Klickitat basketry 353 

Summary and conclusion 360 


Indian terms for prepared materials 389 

Indian terms for processes of preparation 389 

Technical descriptive terms 390 

Tools-, _i 392 

Processes 392 

Measurement terms 393 

Parts of baskets 394 

Kinds of baskets. : 395 

Wearing and mending 397 

Proportions and shapes 397 

Principal prefixes and suffixes occurring in basketry terms 398 

Ornamentation Kii 399 

Beading 400 

Imbrication 400 

Terms descriptive of designs or their arrangements 400 

Names for geometric figures • J-i 402 

Notes to list of geometric terms 'Ar. 410 

Some additional terms ^--: 411 

Rapidity of work 412 

Imbricated stitches 413 

Beading - 413 



Basket shapes of tribes of the interior 413 

Lake tribes 413 

Columbias 414 

Sanpoil and Nespelim 414 

Comparison of shapes — Thompson, Klickitat, and LiUooet 414 

Thompson burden baskets 416 

Thompson burden baskets not grouped as to shajie 418 

Lillooet burden baskets 421 

Description of design elements 422 

Comparison of design arrangements and ornamentation 424 

Objects represented in different forms of art 426 

The informants 43 1 

Results obtained from data concerning the informants 454 

Index to design names of sketches 462 

Indian names for designs not identified with sketches 469 

Design names on plates 470 

Index to sketches of designs 473 

Biography 484 

Index 615 


Frontispiece. Upper photograph Lillooet. Showing a head design. Lower 
photograph Thompson. A.M.N.H. 16-4611. Design: "Butterfly cut off," 
"Butterfly wings" (Spuzzum, Uta'mqt); "Butterflj-" (Lytton); "Arrow- 
head" (Coldwater, Thompson). Facing page 133. 

Map. Distribution of Salish dialects, and of languages spoken in the adjoining 
territory, before 1800. In pocket. 

1. Details of imbrication. 

2. Woman making a basket. 

3. Bottoms of baskets. 

4. Bottoms of baskets. 

5. Warped and strengthened bottom of baskets. 

6. Bottoms of baskets. 

7. Thompson, Chilcotin, and Lillooet baskets. 

8. Thompson, Chilcotin, and Lillooet baskets. 

9. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

10. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

11. Thompson baskets. 

12. Thompson baskets. 

13. Bottom of Thompson basket. Lillooet rattle. 

14. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

15. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

16. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

17. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

18. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

19. Lillooet baskets. 

20. Lillooet baskets. 

21. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

22. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

23. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

24. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

25. Thompson baskets. 

26. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

27. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

28. Thompson baskets. 

29. Lillooet baskets. 

30. Lillooet baskets. 

31. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

32. Thompson baskets. 

33. Thompson baskets. 

34. Thompson baskets. 

35. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

36. Thompson baskets. 

37. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

38. Thompson baskets. 



39. Thompson baskets. 

40. Thompson baskets. 

41. Thompson baskets. 

42. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

43. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

44. Thompson and Wenatchi baskets. 

45. Thompson baskets. 

46. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

47. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 
4S. Thompson baskets. 

49. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

50. Thompson baskets. 

51. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

52. Thompson tra3's. 

53. Thompson trays. 

54. Thompson trays. 

55. Lillooet baskets. 

56. Lillooet baskets. 

57. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 
68. Lillooet and Chileotin baskets. 

59. Chileotin baskets. 

60. Chileotin baskets. 

61. Chileotin baskets. 

62. Chileotin baskets. 

63. Klickitat woven bags. 

64. Klickitat woven bags. 

65. Klickitat woven bags. 

66. Klickitat baskets. 

67. Klickitat baskets. 

68. Klickitat baskets. 

69. Klickitat baskets. 

70. Klickitat coiled baskets. 

71. Klickitat baskets. 

72. Klickitat baskets. 

73. Klickitat baskets. 

74. Klickitat coiled baskets. 

75. Klickitat and coast baskets. 

76. Thompson and Lillooet baskets. 

77. Thompson baskets. 
78-94. Sketches of designs. 




1 . Sketch illustrating the wrapping of sewing splints 151 

2. Sketch of awl 160 

3. Beginning of coiling 168 

4. Beginning of coils for elongated watch-spring bottoms 169 

5. Beginning of coils for elongated watch-spring bottoms 170 

6. Round bottom developed from elongated watch-spring coiling 170 

7. Parallel ooiUng for bottom 171 

8. Watch-spring coihng adapted to triangular and square bottoms 172 

9. Devices for straightening bottoms of baskets 174 

10. Methods of making slat bottoms 175 

11. Methods of making slat bottoms 178 

12. Rim consisting of two ring coils 181 

13. Braiding of rim; Khokitat 182 

14. Braided rims; Klickitat 183 

15. Types of loop work 185 

16. Types of lids 186 

17. Types of Uds 188 

18. Sketches of lids with loopwork 191 

19. Method of making foot of basket 192 

20. Method of making foot of basket 192 

21. Methods of making a looped foot 193 

22. Loops used as handles 194 

23. Loops made of thongs 194 

24. Types of handles 194 

25. a, b, Method of attaching thong line; c, Load supported by sticks; 

d, e, Tying of top of basket 195 

26. Types of burden baskets 198 

27. Types of kettles and bowls 201 

28. Types of baskets 203 

29. Types of storage baskets 206 

30. Types of trays - 207 

31. Types of baskets: a, Tub-shaped; b, c, box-shaped 207 

32. Types of baskets: a, b, For pouring li(|uids; c, storage basket for 

tobacco and pipe; d, for general storage; e, rattle 208 

33. Sketch illustrating the making of a basketry spoon 209 

34. Beaded designs for baby carriers 211 

35. Form of bottom and mouth of burden basket 214 

36. Forms for Thompson baskets ' 217 

37. Forms for Lillooet baskets 222 

38. Methods of beading 224 

39. Joining of strips used in beading 225 

40. Method of imbrication 226 

41 . Bifurcation of coil stitches 228 

42. Beaded designs 235 

43. Beaded designs 236 

44. Beaded designs 236 

45. Designs on vertical stripes 245 



46. Bifurcation of coil stitches 247 

47. Basliet with star design. U.S.N. M. 217438 249 

48. Corner of basket. A.M. N.H. 16-4645 264 

49. Corner of basliet. U.S.N.M. 2174.53 265 

50. Banded decoration on basket. Peabody Museum 62239 265 

51. Adju.stme,nt of meander to sides of basket. U.S.N.M. 217434 266 

52. Adjustment of meander to sides of basket. U.S.N.M. 217447 267 

53. Corner of basket 268 

54. Corner of basket 268 

55. Corner of basket. U.S.N.M. 217467 269 

56. Adjustment of zigzag pattern to sides of basket. U.S.N.M. 216416._ 269 

57. Adjustment of zigzag pattern to sides of basket. A.M. N.H. 16-4862 270 

58. Decoration of sides of basket. Peabody Museum 61930 .__ 271 

59. Adjustment of zigzag pattern to corner of basket. A.M. N.H. 16- 

4581 272 

60. Diagonal arrangement. A.M.N.H. 16-1044 273 

61. Arrangement of zigzag design. U.S.N.M. 219879 274 

62. Arrangement of zigzag design. U.S.N.M. 216408 275 

63. Fillers on side of basket. U.S.N.M. 222032 276 

64. Filler on corner of basket 277 

65. Filler on corner of basket. U.S.N.M. 216426 277 

66. Filler on corner of basket 278 

67. Filler on corner of basket. U.S.N.M. 277607 279 

68. Vertical arrangement of ornamentation. U.S.N.M. 222595 280 

69. Filler. Peabody Museum 57203 281 

70. Filler. U.S.N.M. 222586 282 

71. Filler 283 

72. Symmetrical arrangement on sides of basket. U.S.N.M. 216412 284 

73. Symmetrical arrangement on sides of basket. U.S.N.M. 217442 285 

74. Basket with symmetrical ornamentation. U.S.N.M. 217459 285 

75. Basket with symmetrical ornamentation. A.M.N.H. 16-9543 286 

76. Basket showing change in the plan of decoration. U.S.N.M. 216413. 288 

77. Basket illustrating lack of symmetry in detail 289 

78. Diagonal design illustrating difficulties encountered in the arrange- 

ment of diagonaUines. A.M.N.H. 16.1-473 291 

79. Diagonal design illustrating difficulties encountered in the arrange- 

ment of diagonal lines. A.M.N.H. 16-8835 292 

80. Design illustrating difficulties encountered in the arrangement of 

diagonaUines. U.S.N.M. 217465 293 

81. Design illustrating difficulties encountered in the arrangement of 

diagonal lines 293 

82. Diagonal design illustrating difficulties encountered in the arrange- 

ment of diagonal lines 294 

83. Change of pattern of decoration. A.M.N.H. 16.1-547 294 

84. Errors in arrangements of diagonal patterns. A.M.N.H. 16.1-516-- 294 

85. Errors in arrangements of diagonal patterns. A.M.N.H. 16. 1-524. _ 295 

86. Errors in arrangements of diagonal patterns 295 

87. Basket illustrating uniformity of design. A.M.N.H. 16-8838 296 

88. Measurements of basket. U.S.N.M. 216420 298 

89. Decorated lid 299 

90. Combinations of designs 304 

91. Combinations of designs 304 

92. Basket designs from Lytton 332 



93. Basket designs from Lytton 332 

94. Basket designs from Lytton 333 

95. Basket designs from Lytton 333 

9(5. Basket designs from Lytton 334 

97. Basket designs from Lytton 334 

98. Basket designs from Lytton 335 

99. Lillooet basket. Sargent collection 336 

100. Lillooet basket 337 

lOL Lillooet basket. U.S.N.M. 219881 338 

102. Lillooet basket. Peabody Museum 57202 339 

103. Lillooet designs 340 

104. Lillooet designs. Fly patterns 340 

105. Lillooet designs 341 

106. Chilcotin designs 348 

107. Chilcotin designs 349 

108. Quill work, Alaska. A.M.N.H i 363 

109. Quill work and basket embroidery from Tlingit, Alaska. Field 

Museum 364 

110. Embroidery designs from Thompson baskets 365 

111. Embroidery designs from Thompson baskets 366 

112. Slit embroidery, Koryak, Siberia 367 

113. Porcupine quill embroidery, Alaska 367 

114. Fringes 369 

115. Obsolete basket designs, Thompson 371 

116. Ancient basket designs, Thompson 372 

117. Designs from coast Salish baskets 374 

118. New basket designs, Thompson 379 

119. New basket designs, Thompson 380 

120. Names for geometric figures 403 

121. Names for geometric figures 408 

122. Designs made by individual artists 432 

122a. Patterns made by Informant No. 32 453 


The work contained in the following pages is the result of an 
inquiry planned by me many years ago. The problem that I set 
myself was an investigation into the attitude of the individual 
artist toward his work. Much has been written on the origin and 
history of design without any attempt to study the artist himself. 
It seemed to me necessary to approach the problem from this angle. 

For many years I collaborated with Mr. James A. Teit, who seemed 
eminently fitted to carry through such an investigation, because he 
was not only on terms of intimate friendship vrith the Thompson 
Indians of British Columbia but because, furthermore, he had full 
command of the language of that tribe, one of the groups most 
prolific in the making of decorated basketry. The peculiar technique 
of imbrication, which has a limited distribution and a sharp local- 
ization of pattern type, seemed to make the research particularly 

The keen interest of Mr. Homer F. Sargent, of Pasadena, Calif., 
in the work of Mr. Teit, and his thorough appreciation of the im- 
portance of ethnological work, made it possible to conduct an 
extensive undertaking in this area, which was financed entirely 
tlirough Mr. Sargent's liberahty. 

A singular misfortune has hung over this investigation. I was 
unable to visit the field myself and I sent Dr. Herman K. Haeberlin 
to Mr. Teit to start the research and to discuss \\ith Mr. Teit the 
essential points that seemed to deserve consideration. After his 
return. Doctor Haeberlin continued his inquiry by a critical studj^ of 
the decorations of baskets found in museimas and private collections. 
Wliile these investigations were in progress Doctor Haeberlin suc- 
cmnbed to an insidious disease, leaving his work incomplete. 

At the same time Mr. Teit was engrossed, for a time, in work 
imdertaken for the welfare of the Indians of British ColimiHia, work 
which took up much of his time. Before he could resume his ethno- 
logical work consecutively he became iU and died without completing 
his notes. 

Under these conditions and on account of other work, not being 
able myself to complete the inquiry, I handed all the notes and 
illustrations to Miss Helen H. Roberts, who wrote the text of the 
present memoir, using such parts of Mr. Teit's and Doctor Haeberlin's 
manuscripts as were completed. She is largely responsible for the 
arrangement of the material and the method of presentation. 



To add to all the other misfortunes, and due to an oversight, the 
plates accompanying the volume were rearranged without knowledge 
of the author and museum nvmibers of specimens were removed, so 
that identification of the illustrations was in many cases impossible. 
In consequence it has been necessary to omit certain discussions, 
because the specimens to which they refer could not be identified. 
I have attempted to rearrange the illustrations but in part of them 
disorder still remains and I must ask the indulgence of the reader for 
tlie apparent lack of system in the presentation of the illustrative 
material. It seems more important to present all rather than to 
limit to figures that are in proper order. 

A summary of the residts of the inquiry, as I see them, ■mil be 
found at the end of the paper. 

Franz Boas. 


Vowels have their continental values. 
§ open e, as in "fell." 
6 open o, nearly as in Gcnnan "voll." 
E obscure vowel, as e in ''flower." 
tl affricative. 
1 voiceless 1. 
q velar k. 
c Enghsh sh. 

Mr. Teit uses the period (.) to indicate in some cases a glottal stop, 
in others strong voicing. 

His distinctions between velars and midpalatals and between 1 and 
tl are uncertain. The variability of vowels reflects an actual indi- 
vidual variability. 

The sound zr, z'' seems to represent a cerebral z. 

A.M.N.H., American Museum of Natural History, New York, N. Y. 
U.S.N.M., United States National Museum, Washington, D. C. 
H.M.A.I., Museum of American Indian, Heye Foundation. 
U.P.M., Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. 



I.illcioet. Showin;; a head di'sicn 


ThompsoD. A. M. N. H. 16-4611. Design: "ButlerBy out off," "Butterfly wings" (Spuzzum, Uta'mi|t), 
"Butterfly" (Lytton), "Arrowhead" (Coldwater, Thompson) 


By H. K. Haeberlin, James A. Teit, and Helen H. Roberts, 
under the direction of Franz Boas 


All of the interior Salish tribes of British Columbia' once made coiled 
basketry of cedar or spruce root — the Upper and Lower Lillooet, the 
Upper and Lower Thompson, the Shuswap, the Lake (of the Okana- 
gon group), and the Okanagon proper. The last were the least pro- 
ductive. The Lake and Okanagon as well as the Shuswap make 
almost no coiled baskets at the present time, but the Lillooet and 
Thompson probably manufacture as many now as they ever did. 
Of the Athapascan group of southern British Columbia, the Chilcotin 
are the only people who make coiled ware. The Tahltan and Nahani 
declare that they never made any, and the same is said of the Stuwi'- 
xamu.x", who once inhabited the valleys of the Nicola and Similka- 
meen. Less is known about the Sekani and Carriers. Father Morice 
does not mention the industry. Harmon refers to some kind of 
water-tight basketry having been made in his day at Stuarts Lake, 
in the Carrier country. The northern Shuswap say that the Carriers 
never made coiled ware so far as they know, so probably the variety 
mentioned was manufactured in another technicjue. On the coast 
only the Sechclt, Squamish, vStalo or Lower Fraser, the Nootsak, the 
tribes east of Puget Soimd, and tlie Cowlitz, all of whom live not far 
from the Lillooet and Thompson and their southern neighbors, 
make coiled baskets, of which they produce no small amount at the 
present day. The interior people say that although these tribes had 
access to the very best basket material in their o'mi coimtiy none of 
them made coiled ware in old times but learned from the Thompson 
and Lillooet. The Stalo, and later the Nootsak, learned from the 
Lower Thompson Indians. The latter believe that they were taught 
by hunting bands who sometimes wintered -with them and by some 
Thompson women who married into their tribe. Probably their 
adoption of the art took place about the beginning of the nineteenth 
century. The theory that the Stalo acquired tlieir knowledge from 
the Lower Thompson seems to be confirmed by a study of their 
designs, which are not only the same but are arranged in a smiilar 
manner. Wliere interpretations of designs are available, they prove 

< For distribution of tribes see map at end of volume. 



to be practically identical with those of the Uta'mqt (Lower Thomp- 
son).'" Form, material, and technique are the same, except that the 
Stalo show coast influence by creating a greater proportion of box 
shapes, and also prefer fancy shapes. The Stalo say that the Yale 
band and their neighbors adopted the craft many generations ago and 
that until recently it was largely confined to them. Gradually the 
fashion spread toward the sea, but so slowly that even at the present 
day the people living near the water do not make baskets. 

Thompson influence in basketry prevails as far down Fraser River 
as Agassiz and Chilliwack. At Harrison and below, Lillooet in- 
fluence predominates. Formerly little basket work was attempted 
near Chilliwack, but intermarriage and increased acquaintance 
with the Lower Thompson tribes have given an impetus to the art. 
Among the people of this region, however, as elsewhere, Uta'mqt 
women and their daughters who have settled there are considered as 
experts. The same is true of the Nootsak. Among the Squamish 
and Sechelt there are strong traces of Lillooet styles, which may be 
accounted for by the fact that these tribes intermarried and traded 
with one another. It is claimed that a small band of Lillooet settled 
among the coast people, and that their descendants continued to 
speak the mother tongue until a few years ago. In technique, shapes, 
and designs, as well as method of ornamentation, the baskets of this 
region are essentially of Lillooet style. Some of the old members of 
the latter tribe state that the coast people adopted their art. 

From the foregoing it seems that the direction of diffusion of the 
art in British Columbia was from the interior toward the sea. The 
fact that a similar transmission does not seem to have occurred from 
the Chilcotin to the Bella Coola is in part, at least, accounted for 
by the statement of the former, substantiated by information from 
the Shuswap and Lillooet, that the Chilcotin bands living nearest 
to the Bella Coola did not manufacture baskets. The Lillooet of 
the Lakes state that some Chilcotin learned the art from them, 
but if this ever occurred the latter have thoroughly transformed 
the style. This is not the case among other tribes that are known 
to have derived the art from the Lillooet, for in these cases the 
similarity in styles is very marked. It is impossible to say at this 
late date whether or not Cliilcotin basketry resembled that of the 
ancient Shuswap. 

Present uiformation mdicates that the mterior Salish were the 
leading manufacturers of coiled and imbricated basketry in the 
northwest and that the Athapascan people were only slightly engaged 
m its production, and where so occupied were always in close contact 
with the Salish. 

The Willapa say that formerly they did not make coiled work, 
which agrees with the statements of their unmediate neighbors. 
They adopted the fashion from the Cowlitz at a rather late period. 

i» A recently received vocabulary suggests that the name is Uta'mkt, "down river." 


The Casca also did not make it, nor tlie people of Nicola valley, 
the Tahltan, Camer, or Sekani who were mentioned before. The 
Chilcotin may have acquired the art from the Shiiswap. 

The interior Salish were not the only people, however, who pro- 
duced coiled work in the early days. They state that the Snake, 
Nez Perce, and some Kootenai knew the technique, but not the 
Blackfeet, who formerly bought their baskets from the Flathead 
and Tuna'xe. Most of the more eastern Salish tribes ceased to 
make coiled baskets about the time when buffalo hunting expeditions 
enjoyed so much popularity. 

Very little investigation has been conducted among the Lower 
Kootenai, although it is known that they made baskets. 

The neighboring Lake tribes and the Kalispel believe that the 
Kootenai learned the art from them, but they are not sure of this. 
Since the Upper Kootenai did not make baskets as far as is known, 
the claim seems quite probable. It is said that Lower Kootenai 
baskets were inferior and few in number. 

Sapwood or flat coils are mostly used by the Lillooet and adjoin- 
ing coast tribes, among whom the round coil seems to have been 
little employed, if at all. Mr. Teit has not noticed any specimens 
so constructed. Where Thompson influence counts for anything, as 
on the Lower Fraser, the flat coil is very unpopular except for con- 
structing the bottoms of baby carriers. Elsewhere, except in the 
tribes mentioned, it is not used at all. 

Square shapes seem to prevail in regions where the sapwood or 
flat coils are popular. Water-tight receptacles can not be manu- 
factured in these materials and presumably for this reason Lillooet 
kettles and water baskets were always made of round coils. Since 
this consideration would be of little importance to the coast tribes 
who employed wooden boxes for those purposes, and the basket 
with them was of use only for transporting loads, this would account 
not only for their nonacquaintance with the round coil but also for 
the comparatively few basket forms which they manufactured, 
which were all of angular shape. 

It is worthy of note that the Chilcotin use only one shape of 
basket, namely, the typical burden form. This is much more 
rounded in outline, constructed of round coils, and water-tight, 
and so quite well adapted for almost any purpose, including the 
boiling of food. This use of a single shape may indicate that it was 
originally borrowed from tribes who were more practiced artisans, 
particularly as the Chilcotin have never become masters of some 
technical difficulties, among which the most conspicuous are those 
of producing even coils and straight, smooth walls. 

Information on coiling among the Sahaptin and Upper Chinook is 
somewhat meager, but some data regarding them were procured from 
53666°— 28 10 


their northern and western neighbors as well as from, the Khckitat 
tliemselves. There are no data concerning the Tai'xnapam (Tyigh), 
who Uve south of tlie Columbia River. 

It is not clear whether coiled work was produced by the Sahaptin 
in former times. The Klickitat say that according to earliest tradi- 
tion they themselves and the Tai'xnapam made coiled baskets, but 
tradition deals only with comparatively recent times. According to 
them the Wishram and Wasco were not basket makers, the Yakima 
did not make many, while the development of the industry among the 
Wallawalla, Umatilla, Palouse, Cayuse, and Nez Perce is in doubt. 
They secured coiled ware through trade. A somewhat conflicting 
statement is made by the Flatheads, who are of the opinion that the 
Nez Perce formerly manufactured coiled baskets. 

All ^ the tribes of western Washington, with the possible exception of 
theMakah, now make coiled and imbricated basketry. Long ago it was 
not produced by the Makah, Quileute, Chemakum, Queets, Quinault, 
Humptulips, Satsop, Songish, Upper and Lower Chehalis, Semiahmoo, 
Lower Fraser, Chinook, Upper and Lower Willapa, Clallam and 
Lummi. The last two tribes have been engaged in the industry for 
a long tune, but the others took it up only in recent years, the Quin- 
ault, Queets, and Quileute as late as 1890. According to information 
received in this section of the country, the Nisqualli and allied 
tribes, including the Snohomish and Skagit, the Twana, Upper 
Chehalis, Cowlitz, and the Sahaptin tribes of Wanukt, Taitnapam, 
and Klickitat, have practiced the art as far back as can be remembered. 
A few informants assert that the Cowlitz were the most expert crafts- 
men, but they were certainly equaled by some of the Twana and 

From this information, as well as from that derived from other 
localities, it would appear that the original home of this type of coiled 
work lay in the Cascade region. The Salish antedated the other 
tribes m the manufacture, having produced the ware before the 
arrival of the Klickitat west of the Cascades, a statement which is 
confirmed by the distribution of the industry. 

Had it first been introduced by the Sahaptin a distribution west 
as well as north might have been expected, with the Cowlitz as a 
center. The Chinook, Willapa, Satsop, and Lower Chehalis would 
then in all likelihood have accjuired the art as soon as the Snohomish, 
for instance; but the reverse appears to have been the case, for even 
the Liunmi and Clallam have been long established as craftsmen. 
Possibly a study of the basket names would reveal the location of the 
fu-st center of the art in western Washington. Wherever coiled 
basketry was produced in this part of the country it seems to have 

' The information given in this paragraph may be incomplete, but it was all that could be obtained 
by Mr. Teit. 


been invariably imbricated. None of the tribes in western Washing- 
ton are known to have made the plain baskets, as did the Salish in the 
eastern part of the State. Apparently, as each tribe learned to coil, 
it learned to imbricate also. 

A Spuzzum man confirmed this last statement. In speaking of 
former times he said that he had seen baskets made by several tribes 
east and west of the Cascades in Washington. Some were approxi- 
mately of the same shape as the burden baskets of the Thompson 
and of medium size. Baskets of this shape were common among 
all people living near the mountains as far south as the Nisqualli, 
and were owned by the Nootsak, Skagit, and Snohomish. The 
informant did not know where these were made, except that the 
Nootsak produced some. He had heard that they learned the art 
from the Thompson, but he could not be sure of this. He described 
some Wenatchi specimens as being more like Klickitat, high in 
proportion to their width and without much flare. On all the coiled 
baskets he noted there was beading and imbrication quite like that 
employed by the Thompson. 

According to the Cowlitz and the Nisqualli, the Klickitat, when 
they came into their country, found the other tribes of the region 
well versed in basket making. They say that the Klickitat formerly 
resembled the Yakima in that they did not make baskets but were 
oljliged to pay high prices for those which they purchased. Only 
when they learned the art from the Cowlitz and Nisqualli were 
they able to manufacture plenty for their own use. 

The work of the Ivhckitat is reported to have always been coarser 
and poorer than that of the surrounding tribes. The Nootsak 
say that long ago a few women of their tribe made baskets. They 
think the Thompson or Skagit taught them about the beginning of 
the nineteenth century. Among the Nisqualli and other tribes of 
that group coihng was the only technique known, but the Twana 
produced soft twined baskets in ahnost as great numbers as the 
"hard" coiled ware. 

AH the coiled ware of the region was constructed of cedar roots. 
Those made of spruce roots were known and used by some tribes 
but they were everjnvhere considered to be inferior, and, since cedar 
was abundant, it was generally chosen. 

Information regarding the shapes of the baskets, the material 
employed in imbrication, the designs and design names, is very in- 
complete for this area. 

The ordinary burden basket seems to have resembled that of the 
Thompson except that it was slightly rounder and less flaring. 
Oblong receptacles with rounded corners were used for storage, while 
perfectly cyhndrical shapes served as kettles. The present high, 
narrow, conical form constructed by the lOickitat is reported to be 


The tribes of the Flathead group, the Fhithead, Coeur d'AlSne and 
Lake, describe all of their old baskets as round, some of them having 
convex bases, others being flat. The Coeur d'Alene made a number 
of shapes. Among these were the bottomless mortar such as was used 
by the Sahaptin and southern groups and the small elongated form 
similar to the old Thompson "trunk," which was used for storage 
purposes. The Late tribe also manufactured a number of shapes. 
These were (1) a burden basket similar to the Thompson but less 
angular; (2) the cyhndrical "pail" with flat base; (3) a small cup; 
(4) a form with flaring walls hke the Thompson kettle; (5) a "nut" 
shape with small mouth; (G) a large size with more extended orifice; 
and (7) a long, low form hke the small Thompson trunk. 

The Columbia tribe report having had baskets shaped like the 
Thompson burden basket — less rectangular although not round. 
After the introduction of the horse, the higher, more circular Klickitat 
shape with a small bottom came into common use because it was 
considered as being better adapted for packing on the backs of horses. 
The Columbia tribe had the kettle and nut shapes, while trays were 
probably made by many tribes, especially the Sanpoil and ColviUe. 

Other types of technique. — Most of the tribes were acquainted 
with types of technique other than coding; twined baskets, plain 
or twilled, plaited and wickerwork were used. Usually spht cedar 
twigs, strips of cedar bark, slats of vine maple or cedar sap, spruce 
root, basket grass, and the young shoots and leaves of the bulrush 
furnished the materials for these types. No birch-bark vessels were 
made in any part of western Wasliington and of the coast region, but 
temporary receptacles of rough construction fashioned from a single 
piece of bark were used by all the tribes, and were quite simUar to 
those employed by the Salish and Sahaptin tribes. 

The Thompson wove mats similar to those of the coast Indians. 
For making nets, threads were twisted from the bark of Apocynum 
cannabinum. They had a wooden netting stick for sizing the meshes 
which were secured with a double knot. 

Bags, woven of bark, grass, or rushes, were in general use, as well 
as occasional specimens woven of wool or hair. 

In the woven bags the warp threads were composed of a two- 
strand twine made of bark fiber. The bags were woven in simple 
twilled two-ply twine. In other words, the technique consisted of 
twaning two woof elements about each other as they passed before 
and Vjehind pairs of warp strings. Each successive row of twining 
divided the warp pairs of the previous round so that new pairs were 
formed composed of one warp string from each of two adjacent 

In weaving the bags were held upside down and woven from 
bottom to rim. The bags were widened where necessary by the 



insertion of additional warp strands, not, however, in regular order. 
At the rim their loose ends were sewed into a strip of buckskin for 
a finish. 

Wallets were also manufactured in this kind of weaving and were 
decorated with designs in false embroidery or by weaving colored 
grasses or bark twine into the fabric. The bags are somewhat 
coarser than those made by the Klickitat, from whom it is probable 
that the Thompson learned to make them. 

The well-known grass caps of the Nez Perce type which were 
worn by the women were once in vogue among the Nisqualli and 
allied tribes as far north as the Snoqualmi, the Upper Chehalis, 
Cowlitz, Wishram, Wasco, Upper Chinook, Wanukt, Taitnapam, 
Klickitat, Yakima, Umatilla, Wallawalla, Cayuse, Palouse, Nez 
Perce, Columbia, Thompson (according to information obtained 
from the Okanagon), Okanagon, Sanpoil, Spokane, Colville, Coeur 
d'Alene, Kalispel, Lake, Pend d'Oreille, Flathead, and probably 
among some bands of the Shoshoni and tribes farther south in wliat 
is now Oregon — the Klamath, for instance. Not all of these tribes 
manufactured them, however. The chief producers were all the 
Sahaptin tribes, the Wasco, Wishram, Cayuse, Colimibia, Sanpoil, 
Spokane, and the Coeur d'Alene. It is doubtful if the Colville made 
any, and the Cowlitz made them only rarely. Information is lacking 
for tribes who lived to the south of the Sahaptin, and from the dis- 
tribution as indicated it would appear that the Sahaptin were the 
introducers. • 

Caps of other species of grass than that used in the regions just 
discussed, and woven in a different way, were manufactured by 
tribes who were situated farthest from the Sahaptin center, but no 
further information about these has been gathered. 


British Columbia. — Beading and imbrication were both employed 
as a means of decorating the basket surface by all the British Colum- 
bia tribes which made coiled baskets, but, on the whole, less by the 
people living to the east. The home of imbrication seems to have 
been somewhere in the Cascade region, from where it was carried 
long distances north, south, and east, but not far to the west. 

Sahaptin tribes. — Wlien the Yakima and Klickitat learned to 
manufacture coiled ware they also learned to imbricate it. The 
principal materials employed in imbrication appear to have been 
cedar bark dyed red with alder, yellow with Oregon grape root, and 
black by burying in mudj grass, in its natural wliite color or dyed in 
the same way as cedar bark, and the black bark of a sedge growing 
along the streams were also used. 


Tlie designs were almost entirely geometric and resemble those 
seen among the Klickitat. 

Western Washington. — In this region imbrication came in at a 
comparatively late date when the technique of coiling was learned. 

Eastern Washington and Idaho. — Among the extreme eastern Salish 
groups imbrication was not practiced, but it did extend into the 
Coem' d'Alene country. Among these people, and over the whole 
intervening area between them and the Columbia, which includes 
the Lake and the Lower Kootenai, some imbrication occurre.d, but 
the majority of baskets were undecorated. 

The Sanpoil and Nespelim say that they learned to imbricate 
about the time that the first white men entered their country, and 
because of this, some of their people think that it was taught to them 
by Europeans. 

The Flathead say that their baskets were unimbricated. The 
Okanagon adopted imbrication about the time of the arrival of the 
whites. The Lake tribes manufactured mostly plain baskets, but 
ornamented some with imbrication in grass or bark which was 
colored black or left white. Most of the products of the Kootenai 
were plain, as were about half of those of the Coeur d'Alene. The 
Columbia used imbrication to a much larger extent than the other 
groups just mentioned. 

The materials used were basket grass, natural or dyed (the latter 
was usually the case with the Coeur d'Alene) , cedar bark, natural or 
dyed, wiUow bark, and rarely that of the cherry. Tlie colors were 
black, white, red, brown, and yellow. The designs were geometric, 

For the purpose of summarizing the above discussion the following 
list is given of the distribution of imbrication among the Flathead 
and allied groups. It also indicates which of the tribes produced 
numerous shapes. 


Coeur d'Alene Imbricated about one-half of their output 

(introduced about the middle of the eight- 
eenth century). 

Lake ' Imbricated about one-half of their output. 

Columbia Imbricated the majority of their output. 

Wenatchi Imbricated the majority of their output. 

Flathead Had no imbrication. 

Sanpoil and Colville Formerly none; have imbricated during the last 


Okanagon Formerly none ; have imbricated during the last 


3 The Lake tribe mostly used grass for imbricating. 



Coeur d'Al^ne Had six or seven shapes. 

Lake i Had six or seven shapes. 

Columbia Had several shapes. 

Wenatchi Had several shapes. 

Sanpoil * Had several shapes. 

Flathead Shapes all circular with small rounded or wide 

flat bottoms. 

From what has so far been said it seems that tlie same general 
conditions existed south of the Canadian bomidary Hne as were found 
north of it; that is, the basketry art flourished in the Cascades where 
material was plentiful and the people lived more or less sedentary 
lives. It spread only slowly toward the coast, and never attained the 
same degree of prominence to the east where the climate was drier and 
materials were scarce. In the latter direction the people were in 
contact with Plains culture, and the buffalo hunt as well as the in- 
troduction of the horse altered the early habits of the people, who 
abandoned the basket-making industry and bought their baskets 
with hides. They were in contact with the Europeans earlier than 
the tribes to the west; and when metal utensils were introduced 
these were soon substituted for baskets, except for those used in 
berrying. Bags, however, were still useful in traveling and continued 
to be made even after the people settled on the reservations. This 
was true of the Coeur d'AlSne, who only a century previous had made 
many baskets. 

All of this information strengthens previous indications that the 
SaUsh tribes as a whole made coiled baskets from the earliest kno^vIl 
times, although since 1850 most of them have practically discontinued 
the industry. It also shows that imbrication was confined originally 
to the western part of the country near the Cascades, along the 
Columbia River and north, but that about the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century it spread eastward. It seems never to have extended 
as far as the Kalispel, Pend d 'Oreille, and Flathead, a fact which would 
indicate its comparatively recent adoption by the tribes immediately 
west of them. Mr. Teit believed, however, that the Coeur d'Alene 
had it. It also appears that the old rounded, elongated burden bas- 
ket was widely spread among practically all of the tribes. The only 
tribes not using this shape now or formerly in the area under discus- 
sion are the Yakima and Klickitat, a fact which may add weight to 
the tradition of an invasion by these and other Saliaptin tribes into 
the territory formerly occupied by the Salish, thus dividing the Thomp- 
son-Columbia area from the Nisqualli- Cowlitz. The theory that the 
southernmost tribes may have adopted the distinctive shape used by 

' Sanpoil and Colville made trays. 


them from the coast, not from tribes to the northeast (from whom they 
are at present separated by the Yakima-Khcldtat) , is harcUy tenable, 
since the coast people who make coiled basketry are very irregularly 
distributed, and seem to have derived then- ideas from the tribes liv- 
ing immediately east of them. Moreover, the chief trade routes and 
consequently the natural paths for the dissemination of culture in the 
interior lay mostly east and west, not north and south. 

Angular shapes belong to the northwestern part of the area. The 
square-mouthed type of the Wenatchi is different from the others, 
and resembles birch-bark baskets. 

There is a difference in the construction of basket rims made by the 
northern and southern Cascade tribes. Among the Klickitat, Cow- 
litz, and Nisqualli, as well as among the Wenatchi, the false braid rim 
is the usual finish. Such rims are seldom made by the Thompson, 
LHlooet, Chilcotin, and neighboring tribes, who prefer plain over-and- 
over stitching. Information on this point for the eastern Sahsh is 
lacking. The Columbia and Spokane used both varieties. 

Loopwork rims were made by all the Cascade people except the 
Chilcotin and coast tribes of British Columbia. They were foimd 
among the Lillooet, Thompson, Wenatchi, Columbia, and Klickitat 
east of the moimtains, and the Cowlitz, Nisqualh, and Stalo to the 
west. They were also applied to twined baskets by the Snohomish 
and other coast tribes of Washington. 



The Thompson are at the present time, and probably -were in the 
past, the most prohfic producers of coiled imbricated basketry of all 
the tribes comprising the Salish group, where it is supposed that the 
art had its origin. 

Since specimens of their work have been so abundant, thereby 
affording excellent material for study, the bulk of this work has 
been based upon Thompson data, most of which were collected by 
Mr. James A. Teit, who made his home among that tribe for many 

To a large extent the manufacture seems to have depended on the 
location in which the people made their homes, as well as upon their 
other occupations, which were more or less controlled by the condi- 
tions under which they lived. Certain parts of the country, as, for 
instance, the Cascade region, enjoy a comparatively moist climate, 
which produces dense forest growth. Owing to the proximity of 
good salmon streams and their custom of living largely on fish, the 
people were somewhat sedentary in their habits, and because food 
was plentiful they had leisure not only in which to manufacture 
baskets for the immediate needs of the household but to develop 
for these an artistic decoration which satisfied their love of the 
beautiful. Materials of the best quality for these purposes grew in 
abundance right at hand. 

Somewhat similar conditions prevailed in the country of the Coeur 
d'Alene, who manufactured many baskets in early times. However, 
as will be seen in the course of our discussions, unfavorable environ- 
ment does not prevent the manufacture of baskets. On the other 
hand, data from other parts of the world prove that an abundance of 
material and ample leisure in which to develop an art do not always 
succeed in producing it. 

In the more arid and sparsely wooded sections basketry materials 
were scarce and of inferior quality and had to be sought far off in the 
mountains or obtained by barter. The people depended less on fish 
for a livelihood and were more nomadic in their habits. In such 
regions bags, which were perhaps better adapted for travel, together 
with bark vessels of a more or less temporary nature, were often 
used in place of baskets. 

' For information already published on the basketry of the region, see Teit, "The Thompson Indians 
of British Columbia," pp. 187-188; Teit, "The LUlooet Indians," pp. 205-209; Teit, "The Shuswap," 
pp. 487-488; and appendi.\ to this, "Notes on the Chilcotin Indians," pp. 765-774, all in Jesup N. Pac. 
Exp., vol. 11; Farrand, "Ba.sketry Designs of the Salish Indians," Jesup N. Pac. Exp., vol. I; Otis T. 
Mason, .Aboriginal American Basketry, Rept. U. S. Nat. Mus. for 1902, Washington, 1904. 



It seems that the manufacture of coiled work was related to the 
more or less plentiful occurrence of cedar and spruce, which furnish 
much of the necessary material. 

Among the Thompson the greatest number of baskets were made 
by the Uta'mqt or Lower Thompson people who live in the Fraser 
Eiver Canyon. At this point, in the heart of the Cascade Moun- 
tains, the salmon fishing is best, and cedar of a good quality abounds. 
The Uta'mqt still continue to be the best basket makers of the entire 

Although the Uta'mqt dwell in a more favored region, the Ntlakya'- 
pamux'o'e ("Eeal Thompson") of Lytton and the Stlaxai'ux" of the 
Fraser Kiver Valley above Lytton who live in a more arid, barren 
country also produced baskets in considerable numbers. They were 
obliged to use spruce root occasionally in place of cedar, although 
the latter was preferred. Some was imported from the lower reaches 
of the river but probably the greater part of what they used was 
gathered along certain streams in the neighboring mountains to the 
west. The upper bands, especially those living near Lytton, still 
make a great number of baskets and have created many odd forms. 
The people cleverly reproduce in basketry many foreign or native 
objects. The Upper Thompson appear to have more designs and 
design names than the lower bands, although the latter are con- 
sidered to be the best basket makers and spend more time in this 

To the east of Lytton the country is still more arid and almost 
no cedar is obtainable. Even spruce is scarce excepting in parts of 
the high mountains. To the east of Thompson Siding, along 
Thompson and Nicola Rivers, the people make almost no baskets, 
although there are individual women here and there who make them, 
having obtained their materials from the Fraser River region. 
According to the uniform testimony of the old Indians the 
Stuwi'xemux" tribe (Athapascan) which formerly lived in the Nicola 
and Similkameen Valleys did not make any coiled basketry. To-day 
the people of the lower Nicola River and the Coldwater, among 
whom a number of Upper Uta'mqt and people from Lytton and 
Thompson Siding have settled, produce a fair quantity. They also 
procure their materials from the mountains to the west as well as 
from the Uta'mqt. The Similkameen people practice the art less 
than the Nicola. The Thompson River people procure what little 
material they use (practically all their cedar root and about half of 
their grass and bark) by purchase from the Uta'mqt and Lytton. 
The Cornwallis or Ashcroft bands, which are situated farther east, 
next to the Shuswap, make hardly any baskets. The P'kaist or 
Spaptsan just to the west of them also do not produce baskets except 
in rare instances. In this group the Spuzzum are probably most 


interested in basketry. They live farthest west, nearest the Uta'mqt, 
among whom all the women are basket makers. Considering the 
tribe as a whole, probably more than two-thirds of all the women 
weave baskets. 


The cedar tree fm-nishes the greater part of the material used in 
the manufacture of baskets. Its roots are especially sought for 
this purpose, while the trunk and twigs are seldom employed. Only 
when cedar can not be obtained is recoiu-se had to other materials 
as substitutes. Hill-Tout ° says that the people realize that cedar 
resists wet and rot longer than any other fiber in that region and is 
consequently preferred. Many baskets show surprisingly little wear, 
even after nearly half a century of constant use. 

For ornamentation finer and more flexible vegetable products, 
such as grasses and thin barks, are required. The following is a list 
of the substances used by these tribes in basketry work: 

Cedar (Thuja gigantea Nutt.) kwa'tkwElp 

Juniper {Juniperus sp.) pu'netp 

Spruce (probably Picea engelmanni Eng.) tsxaze'Ip 

Reed (Phragmites phragmites) tloxke'e tluxka, or nhoitlextn 

Wheat or rye or alkali grass (Elymus triticoides Nutt.) pEsEmiltEn 

Bird cherry {Primus emarginata mollis Walpers) ' spazuse'lp 

Chokecherry (Prunus demissa Walpers) zolkue'lp 

Birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh) kvvo.ll'nElp 

Cat-tail flag {Typha latifolia L.) or rushes: 

' Full grown .tlkai'-.tx ("wide leaf") 

Young plant .nkoEtei.tx kou't 

Tule (probably Scirpus lacustris L.) : 

Full grown tlEne' .It 

Young plant tsElu't 

Balsam {Picea pungens Eng.) tlesa'lp 

Alder, red (Alnus rubra) kwie'lp 

Oregon grape {Berberis, two species) tsalzae'lp 

Wolf moss {Euernia vulpina L.) kolome'.ka ("light yellow branch") 

Western flowering dogwood {Cornus canadensis L.) kwei'txelp or kwoi'txelp 

Indian hemp {Apocynum cannabium L.) spa'tsEn 

For the body of the baskets, when the long pliable roots of the 
cedar tree are not procurable, those of the spruce or juniper furnish 
the foundation and sewing material for the coils. For the bottoms, 
where frequently slats of wood take the place of coils, the sapwood, 
the heart of the cedar, or any wood which splits easily and smoothly, 
is utilized. Among the Upper Thompson, pine and poplar, and even 
parts of packing boxes, or cedar shingles sometimes serve instead of 

'Charles Hill-Tout. The Native Races of the British Kmpire, North America, pp. 110-118. 
7 Used only if Prunus emarginata can not be had. 


these. The wood is nearly always used in a dry state; but sapwood 
is often taken when quite green. Rather recently the rattan binding 
wliich comes fastened around Chinese packages of rice has also been 

For the surface decoration, since a much more pliable material is 
needed than can be secured from the tough roots, even when they 
are split into fine thin strips, the Indians gather grasses and the bark 
of the cherry and birch. Reed {Phragmites phragmifes) grows 
more abundantly in the lower Fraser country, from which the Thomp- 
son import it in large quantities. It is commonly used, as it stands 
in liigh repute for its white color and because it takes dye well; but 
when not obtainable, grasses of a more yellow tinge are accepted, and 
even some of a slightly purplish hue. Bark is usually second choice, 
although that of the cherry is applied for purposes of imbrication in 
red nearly as often as grasses.* According to Mason * Typha lati- 
folia, PTiragmites pTiragmites, and Scirpus lacustris are the principal 
basketry materials of the Klamath and Modoc. Cherry and birch 
bark are not given in his list of materials as being used by any of the 
tribes. It seems that squaw grass {XeropJiyllum douglasii Walpers) 
is not used by the Thompson Indians and it probably does not 
grow in their coxmtry nor in that of their near neighbors, but it 
was employed occasionally for imbricating by the Coeur d'Alene.'" 

For children's toys the mothers make miniature baskets im- 
bricated with colored straw and decorated with beads, shells, dyed 
gi'ass, hair, quills, or feathers which are attached to the outer surface 
by tying. None of the flexible ornaments are caught in with the 
stitches as in the Pomo baskets from California. 

The Salish tribes confine themselves to a very few colors. Red 
and black are seldom replaced by yellow or purple, the patterns or 
designs being practically always worked in one of the first two colors. 
They are never used for the background, however, which is always 
white, light yellow, or purple, as the case may be, when the surface is 
imbricated. The purple grass called tluxka is used extensively only 
by the Upper Thompson tribe, most of the people objecting to it 
because it is very difficult to obtain enough of one shade to cover 
more than a small surface, and uniformity in this respect is the aim 
of the expert basketmaker.'"* In the course of time the purple 
changes greatly in hue, and not always evenly, hence it is confined to 
small fine baskets or to designs which are made up of lesser elements. 

« Prunm emarginata is selected because of its light color, smootlmess and gloss. Together with Prunus 
demissa, it grows quite abundantly all over the Thompson country, so that very little is imported. 

6 O. T. Mason. Aboriginal American Basketry, pp. 208 et seq. 

10 The Coeur d'Al^ne used willow bark in addition to the others and also for imbrication availed them 
selves of grasses dyed brown and yellow as well as black and red. The rush, or bulrush, and likewise tulo 
were sometimes employed for coil foundation and sewing material, but seldom when any cedar roots could 
be found. 

'^ See, however, remarks above on this page. 


Wliite, in addition to providing a background for setting off the de- 
sign, is likewise employed for outlining or for separating red and 
black parts in a single pattern. 

As may be expected from the limited range of color, there are 
naturally few dyes in use. Cherry bark in its raw state, or light- 
colored grass soaked in a decoction of alder, supply the red. Black 
is most commonly obtained either by burying the material to be 
dyed in muddy deposits of decomposed vegetal matter or by steeping 
it in a decoction of roots and decayed plants which have been brought 
in from the swamps. Sometimes a mLxture contaming charcoal is 
used. In the region of Lytton a modern method for dyeing cherry 
bark black is to steep it in tea, while in the neighborhood of Spuzzum 
an extract of balsam bark {Picea pungens Eng.) gives the same result, 
but this process of dyeing requires many days. The branches and 
bark of the western flowering dogwood {Cornus canadensis L.) are 
also boiled to make a black dye. About half of the material gathered 
is colored, while the remainder is used without coloring. Old 
baskets, bark vessels, or kettles of white manufacture serve as dye 

Calking was especially practiced by ttie upper bands. As most 
well-made baskets were water-tight or nearly so, by being soaked or 
used as receptacles for water they soon became moisture proof. In 
cases where these methods would not work, and a water-tight con- 
dition was essential, several substances were used for calking. 

Sometimes fresh soapberries were mashed and boiled in the baskets, 
the fine seeds and sticky matter working into every little crevice and 
hardening there. Repeated washings seldom removed this filler as 
long as hot water was not employed. 

Heated cactus and probably the buds of the balsam poplar were 
sometimes smeared into the cracks, forming a glue which later 

Old baskets with holes too large to be treated in these ways were 
mended with the hardest and darkest colored yellow pine pitch 
obtainable. A large lump was placed upon a rock of suitable size 
and flatness which was heated in the fire. A smaller, hotter rock of 
the same shape was laid upon the pitch, which, as it melted, oozed 
out between the stones, where it was picked up on a flat pointed stick 
and applied to the spot which recjuired attention, and cooled to a 
durable varnish. New baskets were seldom pitched, but when 
necessary a temporary calkmg was secured by rubbing them on the 
inside with hard deer tallow. 

Nearly all the Upper Thompson informants agree that long ago 
there were no substitutes for grass and cherry bark, which were 
either dyed or left in their natural state. Grasses were substituted 
for reeds and a few informants said that they had heard that the 


Upper Thompson Indians occasionally ornamented with quills in 
place of these. They did not know whether or not porcupine or 
birds' quills were selected, but felt sure that red and white were 
the colors preferred. Elaeagnus bark, white and dyed red, and the 
inside bark of cedar or willow may have been used rarely. The 
Lytton people had substitutes for cherry bark, but what they were 
has not been learned. Since the coming of the white man they 
have also used strips of black dress goods for imbricating. (PI. 1, a.) 
Some old women of the Thompson tribe and neighboring bands 
tell of the following substitutes for bird-cherry bark: 

1. Chokecherry (Prunus demissa). Only the brightest colored and 
glossiest parts of the bark were chosen. 

2. Birch (Behila papyrijera). Only the best was collected and 
separated into layers by splitting and pulling, those of proper thick- 
ness and flexibility being then divided into ribbons of the required 

3. White stems of young rushes and tule {Scirpus lacustris) were 
sometimes taken green and then dyed black in the same way as the 
cherry, or yellow by means of a decoction of wolf moss, or red with a 
dye usually extracted from the bark of alder roots. 

4. The stems of an Elymus, and rarely those of other grasses, were 
substituted for reeds. Grass, tule, and rushes were used for imbrica- 
tion only when bark was not obtainable. Besides red and black, 
yellow was derived from the root bark of the Oregon grape, or from 
wolf moss. These women do not remember having heard of the use 
of the inside bark of cedar, nor of that of willow and elseagnus bark, 
nor of goose and porcupine ciuills. In recent times good oat straw, 
black dress goods, and the inner corn husks have been introduced by 
some in the place of grass. 

From these rather conflicting reports it may be surmised that there 
were many local variations in the employment of substitutes." In 
several areas it has been ascertained that there was no yellow, while 
in others a few plants from which this color could be obtained seem 
to have been known and used. So far, in all the collections, no 
Thompson basket bearing designs wrought in yellow material have 
been found, except one which is unmistakably modern, with grass 
ribbons colored with aniline dyes.'^ 

For baby carriers, according to many people, yellow coloring 
matter was obtained from the Oregon graperoot, or from wolf moss. 
Red was derived from the bark of the alder or from red paint, purple 
and pink from berry juices and Chenopodium, blue from the roots of 

" Most women prefer to leave a basket unfinished for a time rather than substitute material which they 
regard as inferior. 

" Correspondence with Mr. Teit (1918) discloses the fact that several informants claim that yellow dye 
was formerly used among the Upper Thompson. Mr. Teit has seen only two or three baskets on which 
the grass was dyed yellow. The use of this color is said to have been more common among the Wenatchi 
and to the south.— F. B. 


Commandra pallida and decayed wood, and a green from cedar 
leaves and other plants and grasses. None of the colors produced 
b}' these means was very bright, and the brilliant commercial dyes 
which have now found their way into the region are very much in 


The women of the Upper Eraser and Nicola bands gather much of 
their own cedar root, sometimes traveling long distances into the 
mountains to the west, while the rest of their supply is procvu-ed 
from the Uta'mqt, in whose country large cedars grow close at 
hand. The people of some localities, for instance those living along 
the Thompson River, where cedar, if it grows at all, is stunted and 
of inferior quality, purchase almost all of their material from the 
Uta'rnqt, either paying cash or, what is more often the case, by an 
exchange of commodities. 

Sometimes a woman will buy a sufficient supply to last a year, 
during which period she may complete from 2 to 10 baskets of var- 
ious sizes in her spare hours. A few Uta'mqt women are professionals, 
devoting almost their entire time to producing objects for sale. 
This is especially true of the older women whose children are grown, 
or who live with friends and are reheved of the responsibility of 
food gathering. Among the upper bands basket making is always a 
secondary occupation. 

The best time for collecting roots for splints is in June, although 
they may be gathered at any time if the ground is not frozen. They 
are more easily pulled and split, however, in the early summer 
when the sap is running, while if taken too late the splitting becomes 
difficult and in order to remove the cortex from the roots it is neces- 
sary to scrape them, a far more tedious process than peehng. 

Cedar trees are selected which have long trailing roots of good 
grain. The most desirable ones belong to old large trees because 
of the superior toughness of their fiber and because they are usually 
found in rich soil. Trees growing in poor or rocky ground are liable 
to have gnarled roots which are often too brittle. When a tree has 
been selected, the soil is dug away by picking and scraping with 
digging sticks, or nowadays with modern tools, until the roots are 
exposed. Frequently the men assist in the heaviest part of the 
work. The uncovered roots are then examined as to texture, length, 
and tliickness. They are seldom chosen if more than 5 or 7 cm. 
in diameter at the thickest end and from 2 to 5 m. in length. If 
found to be suitable, they are dug out and cut off in pieces as long 
as possible, and taken home on the back in bundles containing twenty 
or more. To prevent them from drjnng out and becoming brittle 
before further treatment can be administered, they are buried in 
damp earth or placed in water. 


Reeds and grass for imbrication grow in swamps. Certain Indians 
say that they are cut at about the same season, that is, in strawberry 
time, for then they are not too coarse. They are dried in the sun 
and subsequently smoked. Other informants say that the grass is 
cut in the fall, after becoming thorouglily ripe, or even occasionally 
from standing stems in the early winter. Only the best stalks are 
selected and these are cut off close to the joints so that the pieces 
which are free of imperfections may be as long as possible. 

Around Spuzzum, bark which is used for imbrication is peeled from 
the bushes in narrow strips as long as can be obtained, a knife or 
some other sharp object aiding in the work. According to Thompson 
and Lytton people, cherry bark was formerly peeled from the tree in 
the same manner in which birch bark was removed. The tree was 
encircled with two incisions, the distance between them depending 
on the extent of good bark available. These were then connected 
by a vertical slit which made it possible to pry off the band and to 
divide it into ribbons of the desired width. When steel knives be- 
came common, the bark was cut from the tree spirally in long strips 
about one-half a centimeter wide. 


Coil and Sewing Splints 

After the roots have been taken home they are peeled or scraped 
and the strips of cortex are saved for tying bundles of grass or 
splints or for mixing with those of second grade in coil foundations. 
The clean roots are split and resplit with a knife or a sharp awl until 
the single splints are about 2 millimeters wide and half a milli- 
meter thick. Good roots split easily. Strips which are straight 
and even in grain are put aside for sewing purposes, but uneven, 
short, or brittle pieces are saved for padding. The finest splitting 
is not always done at the time when the ro.ot is first roughly divided 
but only just before it becomes quite dry. In this work the point of 
the knife or awl is inserted in the center of the strip near one end, 
which causes it to split, after wliich the two sections are pulled apart 
with the hands. If the piece does not split straight along the middle 
line, the direction is corrected by cutting in with the knife or the awl. 
When very long roots are divided it is necessary to take a fresh hold 
after pulling as far as the outstretched arms will allow. Sometimes 
two women work conjointly, or one woman holds her strip in her teeth 
and spreads the pieces apart gradually by inserting her fingers in the 
crack. It requires only a short time to obtain many splints from a 
good piece of root. Those intended for sewing are made as uniform 
in size as possible and are flat, because they are taken from the 
smooth outside part of the root next to the cortex, but no such care 


is exercised in regard to the coil splints, which are from the center 
and vary considerably in shape, cross section, and size. 

The split sewing splints, which range from 1 to 3 meters in length, 
are doubled up and tied in bundles about 10 centimeters in diameter. 
Generally all splints are used their full length. Foundation splints, 
being uneven in length and inferior in quality, are worth about half 
what is asked for the others. (For prices see pages 156, 157.) 

There are several methods of tying these bundles. In the most 
common one the piece of cortex with which the bundles are bound is 
wound several times around one end, then spirally to the other, 
where it is again given a few turns at one place and its end either 
tied or tucked under. (Fig. 1.) Bundles of splints are also doubled 
up and the ends folded into the body of the bundle, which is held 
at the center by a strip of bark or grass tied around it. 

Most of the basket making is done in the winter, for the people 
then have more leisure for pursuing such work. Plenty of material 
is soaked and prepared a day or two beforehand. First the sewing 
splints are permitted to lie many 
hours in cold or tepid water until 
pliable. Nowadays an ordinary 
basin holds them, but long ago 
the receptacles were medium- 
sized baskets of similar shape. ^'°- '--sketch, Ulustratmg tbe VTrapping of 
/o £ 1 r>n-7 \ rri sewing splints 

(See fig. 31, p. 207.) They are 

next examined and if their width is found to be irregular the 
point of the awl marks the amount to be taken off at the wide 
places, and the superfluous wood is split off by pushing the awl 
upward along the splint. Thus each one is evened throughout its 
length, and indeed some require considerable "planing." If the 
excess material is too little to be split off it is scraped away with a 
knife. Those pieces which are too thick throughout their entire 
length are soaked for a few minutes in hot water, which softens them 
more effectually, and a layer is then split off, but if they are merely 
too thick in spots they also are smoothed by scraping or by inserting 
a thin knife blade, the finger nail, or a very sharp awl into the wood 
at one end of the excess layer, which is then stripped off with a down- 
ward motion. When each splint has been reduced to the desired 
size one end is sharpened to a point with knife or scissors so that it 
may easUy pass into the hole made by the awl, for no needles or 
bodkins are used. If it is not to be used immediately it is doubled 
up, usually twice, and tied in the center in a simple knot and thrown 
into a basket to dry. 

Since dampness imparts to the splint the pliabUity necessary for 
tight sewing, and cold water is not readily absorbed, when it is 
53666°— 28 11 


necessary to moisten material quickly, hot or even boiling water is 
poured over it and then the soaking requires only a very brief time. 
Often the splints are merely drawn through it once or twice, for if 
they are permitted to become too wet and spongy it is almost as 
difficult to sew with them as it would be if they were dry. Further- 
more, when soaked and swollen during sewing they are apt to shrink 
afterwards, leaving spaces between the stitches; and, since all basket 
makers prefer a practically water-tight product, precautions are 
taken to avoid all unnecessary shrinkage. By holding the splints 
in the teeth and working them back and forth with the hands, or 
by pulling them over the edge of a sharpened piece of a deer antler 
several times, much of the stiffness may be eradicated. 

Those who are called careless by their neighbors do not prepare 
their material in advance, but use it without much preparation. 
They may shave off the widest sections just prior to sewing or even 
after the splint has been drawn into place. Consequently, their 
work is very coarse, although in other respects, such as in accuracy of 
sewing or in shaping the basket, it may have merits. 

In addition to attempting to create a uniform thickness and width 
throughout the extent of the splint, there is an effort on the part of 
the craftswomen to have them all conform to one standard size, 
which entails much labor as well as waste, if the bundles secured in 
trade are not well graded. However, most packages are uniform 
enough for ordinary purposes, and wise purchasers look carefully 
to this point when buying. 

Other women, having acquired several lots, grade their splints in 
regard to width, and also, to a less extent, to thickness, sorting from 
different bundles. The narrow, thin pieces are put into fine work, 
or into smaller baskets, and the heavier and coarser ones are reserved 
for burden baskets and the like. 


As has been before stated, the grass stems that are gathered green 
usually are placed in the sun to dry and then in the smoke above a 
fire. Professional basket weavers next wash them in water, dry 
them again, remove the outer skin, cut them in regular lengths, and 
put them up in bundles. Grass dried in this fashion loses its color; 
therefore some women prefer to place it in a dry shady spot; thus 
the original tint is partially preserved. In olden times, at any 
rate around Spuzzum, grass was never dyed, but that is not the case 
now. The dyes have been discussed before. '^ 

For backgrounds of designs very white grass is desired. Wlien the 
outer surface is dingy the blade is sometimes split and turned inside 
out, for although the natural polish of the surface is then hidden, the 
added whiteness is considered a compensation. Boiling, according 

» See p. 147. 



to Hill-Tout, gives the grass a silvery, glistening appearance and 
makes it easier to unroll and flatten the stems. If only yellow grass 
is available it is sometimes covered with diatomaceous earth, such as 
is used to clean and whiten goats' hair, and is then beaten with a flat 
stick on a mat or skin until satisfactorily bleached. As a rule those 
stems which are very yellow, brown, or purple are not prepared, 
because they do not sell well, and any stems which are noticeably 
lighter or darker than the shade desired and which are mixed in with 
the others are discarded. However, material of this description is 
not wasted because, since no importance is attached to the appear- 
ance of the bottoms, it finds a place there, even on the finest prod- 
ucts. The women say, " No one is apt to notice the bottom." 

The sections of stems which are cut and arranged in bundles consist 
of the smooth parts between the joints, and therefore vary in length. 
When bundles are prepared for sale the joints are not always removed, 
but the basket maker attends to this when she begins her work. The 
longest straws measure about 35 centimeters, the shortest from 12 to 
13 centimeters, while the average length is about 25 centimeters. 
The number of straws in each lot is supposed to be approximately 
100. Usually an effort is made to have all the stems in one bundle 
of the same shade, although occasionally odd ones are mixed in. They 
are nearly all of the same diameter. Before being used, the grass is 
split with the point of the awl and divided generally without diffi- 
culty. It is then pressed and smoothed on a flat surface with the side 
of the instrument. 

There are other methods of putting up bundles of straw. Some 
are assorted, the longest cut in two and the short ones left full length. 
The cortex which has been scraped from the cedar roots is used to tie 
them together. Two bundles are generally found to be enough for 
an average amount of imbrication on a medium-sized burden basket. 


After prying the bark from the trees or shrubs and splitting it into 
ribbons it is necessary to remove all roughness on the under surface, 
such as may be caused by adhering parts of the wood. This is done 
by scraping with a knife or sharp stone, a process which renders the 
bark more pliable, especially at places which cover knots. The 
outside is carefully scraped also to remove the gra3dsh, dusty epi- 
dermis which is visible, especially on cherry bark. Other kinds that 
are procured in the Lower Fraser canyon, where the climate is moist, 
also have a gray epidermis. After this has been removed the smooth, 
glossy under bark is exposed. Careless women do not take the 
trouble to do this, but merely chip off the bits of wood, while others 
in their excessive zeal or carelessness scrape too deeply, destroying 
much of the gloss and rich color and cutting down to the green sap. 
This weakens the material so that when it is used in imbrication it 
soon wears through. 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

The cleaning is done with a sharp knife on a flat board or table. 

In former times bone knives, stones, and fine-edged arrowheads or 
spear points were the implements employed, but steel has been used 
so long now that many women know little or nothing about the for- 
mer methods and tools. 

When imbricating or beading, thepiecesof bark arecutoff as required 
and the ribbons split into lesser widths according to the size of the coil 
to be ornamented. When several lines of beading in var3ring colors 
are used on a single coil, the strips ai-e necessarily very narrow. 

Grass stems and bark ribbons as well as splints are soaked just 
before being used. 


The tools needed in harvesting were not numerous. For uncover- 
ing and loosening the roots, digging sticks and prj^ bars were formerly 
essential, but are mostly supplanted by shovels and picks at the pres- 
ent day. Axes, hatchets, and knives are used for cutting; and knives, 
pieces of antler, and sharpened bones for peeling. 

In the preparation of niatcrial Vjone awls served to split the roots 
and perforate the coils in sewing, while crooked pieces of antler were 
employed to smooth the bark and grass. Awls were manufactured 
from the front leg bones of the deer and sharpened to very fine 
points. Iron ones have come into use only very recently. There 
are different sizes of awls, the small ones being adapted to finer work 
or for difficult places where there is not much room for tools or hands. 

For measuring, the only instrument that could be designated a 
tool is the piece of sewing splint sometimes held up to gauge the 
proposed height of the walls. 

Sticks were employed for holding out side walls or flattening 
warped bottoms to which they wei'C lashed. 

Distribution of Coiled Basketry and Materials Used by Salish Tribes 


Materials used 

Coiled basketry 1.. 








Spruce root. 
do . ... 

Okanagon gi-oup: 






Sapwoods. .. 










{?)- - 


Nespelim 3 * 

Sanpoil 5< 


Spruce root- 

do - 


. . 

Juniper root. 

Columbia group: 

Columbia 3* 





. do... . 

do - 




Coeur d'AlSne ' 



Salish group; 






do. . 



Kalispel 3 . 

Pcnd d'Oreille 3 

do ... 







1 Has been made from time immemorial, but not now made by most tribes. 

2 Sapwood foundation (Lillooet and Thompson only). All the tribes made their coils of a bundle of 

3 Tribes that have not made coiled baskets for some time. In some of these tribes a few old women 
remain who made baskets in their youth. Basket making has lapsed the last two or three generations. 
The most eastern tribes stopped making them earliest owing to the change in their culture and the inaugu- 
ration of hunting on the plains after the introduction of the horse. 

* Tribes that in olden times made the least basketry. 
' Not much used. 



o o 
















a -a -a 

3 B ■ 



a a 


O ir ■ ■ 


■a -a 

■E -E 

B a 

rj o o o o o o 

^o o o 



■3 1 ■ ■ 

Of 1 



o a ^ 

g p.u> sac 3i:.l5'a5 

•o 2 

3 S g* 




Materials for basket making are arranged in lots of a more or less 
standardized size and are sold or traded in this form. Bundles of 
splints, grass, and straw, and reels of bark vary somewhat in size, 
therefore the prices set upon them are not absolutely fixed. Packages 
of sewing splints which are 10 centimeters in diameter and about a 
meter long cost $1, while foundation splints, being of inferior quality, 
are to be bought for half of that sum. Average-sized bundles of 
grass, measuring from 15 to 19 centimeters long and 6 centimeters 
in diameter, cost 50 cents, but there are 25-cent, 75-cent, and $1 
sizes as well. Reels of bark about 15 meters long and 4 centimeters 
in diameter are 50 cents, with other sizes graded like grass 
bundles. The ribbons of bark are not of a standard width, but prices 
do not seem to depend on this. There is usually much trimming to 
be done on all material which is purchased and this is especially true 
of the edges of bark ribbon. 

Long ago there was considerable trade in the finished products, 
not so much between individuals in the same band or between 
neighboring bands and tribes as between people living near the 
Cascade Mountains and those inhabiting the arid country farther 
east. For reasons given elsewhere the Cascade people had developed 
a great basket industry, while the eastern tribes manxrfactured very 
few pieces. For instance, the Upper Thompson did not make enough 
to supply their own wants, therefore they could not trade with tribes 
east of them who had even fewer than themselves. 

Although bark baskets were plentiful, there was in the east a 
strong demand for woven work which the western tribes tried to 
meet. Therefore they produced more than they needed for home use. 
The Lytton and Upper Fraser divisions, although living in the arid 
country, were nevertheless near the Cascades. Although they 
did manufacture a few baskets for sale, they never had a surplus. 
The people of Spences Bridge and the Shuswap who were their 
neighbors are reported to have made very few. The latter obtained 
theirs from Lytton and Lillooet, while occasionally the southern 
part of the tribe seriously depleted the scant supply belonging to the 
northern branch. The StuwI'x (Athapascan), also near at hand, 
made none whatever, but satisfied their needs by purchasing from the 
west, principally from the Lower Thompson. Very few Lower 
Thompson baskets went up the Fraser, because at that time the 
people living along its banks made all they required. Moreover, 
the trade route for basketry from then- region was interrupted by a 
cross route from the direction of the Lower Lillooet, which reached 
the Fraser River at Lillooet and at Bridge River. For similar reasons 
very few Lillooet specimens traveled south, because in tliis direction 


TRADE 157 

and to the east the Lower Thompson controlled the situation. There- 
fore Lillooet baskets rarely found their way beyond the Shuswap and 
Chilcotin, and not many came that far. It is doubtful if any ever 
reached the Carrier and tribes bej^ond the Shuswap, while at Kam- 
loops, which seems to have been the farthest point for trade toward 
the southeast, they were only rarely seen. Thompson baskets, on 
the other hand, traveled there in greater numbers, but the majority 
were of Shuswap manufacture. The Thompson, besides trading 
with the Shuswap, almost entirely supplied the needs of the Nicola 
and Similkameen and probably largely those of the Okanagon, al- 
though some Wenatchi baskets traveled to them also. 

It has not been learned whether or not the Thompson products 
reached the Lake or Kutenai tribes. Evidently few went beyond the 
Okanagon to the Sanpoil or Colville. 

The following information as to prices paid by the Spences Bridge 
and Nicola people to those of Lytton and Lower Thompson about 
1850 comes from old Spences Bridge informants. 

The largest-sized burden basket was exchanged for any of the 
following : 

One secondhand buffalo-skin robe. 
One secondhand man's buckskin shirt with fringes. 
One secondhand woman's skin dress with fringes. 
One large dressed buckskin of the best quality. 
One medium-sized dressed buckskin and half of a doeskin. 
One and one-half fathoms of flat disk-shaped beads. 

Two and one-half fathoms of flat disk-shaped beads, alternating with large 
blue glass beads. 

Two and one-half fathoms of dentalia. 

Twelve packages of Indian hemp bark. 

Six packages of Indian hemp twine. 

Ten cakes of service berries mashed and dried. 

Ten cakes of soaplierries mashed and dried. 

Ten bundles of bitterroot peeled and dried. 

One Hudson's Bay tomahawk or ax. 

One secondhand copper kettle of medium or small size. 

One steel trap (?). 

One secondhand flintlock musket. 

These were only the principal commodities which could be traded 
for baskets. Many others were also media of exchange. 
One average-sized basket brought — 

Two good-sized woven mats of tule or rushes. These were for food, bed, or 

Two woven bags of Indian hemp or elseagnus twine. 
One pair of secondhand lone leggings with fringes. 
One good doeskin. 


One small basket (probably the smallest burden basket orspa'nSk") 
was exchanged for — 

One pair of secondhand leggings of Hudson's Bay cloth (red or blue). 

One secondhand Hudson's Bay cloth coat (white or blue). 

One pair of men's ordinary new moccasins. 

One piece of heavy buckskin, enough to make a pair of moccasins for a man. 

Two of the largest-size baskets, burden or kettle shapes, or one 
large .stluk'* imbricated all over, together with one small basket, 
purchased one 2-year-old male broken horse. 

All of the baskets traded were new, of good material and work- 
manship, and imbricated. One of noticeably inferior make would not 
be worth as much. 

Spuzzum informants state that in the old days a dugout canoe was 
worth a great deal more than the best basket. If any canoe was 
ever traded for one the latter must have been unusually large and 
fine and included among other articles offered in the transaction or 
else the canoe must have been very small and old. 

Among the Lower Thompson imbricated baskets were of much 
less value, but no satisfactory information concerning trade customs 
at this period could be obtained. It seems that prices varied much 
even among themselves and in some cases baskets were to be bought 
for very little. 

The Upper Uta'mqt and Lytton informants on the whole verified 
the statements made by people of the Spences Bridge division as to 
the prices paid by the upper division. With them dressed buckskin 
or leather was the chief article of exchange because of the abundance 
of deer in their country. 

They said that a new, ordinarily good-sized burden basket measur- 
ing about 30 or 35 centimeters in height and decorated with an 
average amount of imbrication would bring an ordinary dressed 

A big basket, one of the burden variety of the largest size, or a 
huge kettle basket, or a good-sized .stluk would be worth from one 
and one-half to two good buckskins. A smaller size, such as a spa'nek 
or spa'pEUEk'* or a large bowl, jmt-shape or round basket, imbri- 
cated all over, might be exchanged for one dressed doeskin. 

The largest .stluk size, when enth-ely covered with imbrication, 
could be exchanged for two or three buckskins and sometimes for as 
many as four, if the basket were of imusual size or ornamented with 
striking designs which attracted the buyer. Such baskets always 
brought more, whatever were the kinds or shapes. Prices really 
depended on the size and the amoimt of ornamentation, the latter 
being evidence of the great amount of labor and time expended. 
According to the informants the manufacture of large wholly imbri- 
cated baskets seems to be steadily decreasing. 

» See p. 197. 



Besides trading with the people of the interior the Lower Thompson 
also sold baskets to the Lower Eraser people on the coast who formerly 
did not make coiled ])asketry, and the Lower Lillooet did the same. 
Usually Thompson baskets were used from Chilliwack east and 
south, while Lillooet products were seen lower down, or to the M^est. 
Thompson baskets also crossed the line to Nootsak and beyond, in 
the State of Washington. A few appear to have reached the Skagit 
and neigliboring tribes, who also received occasional Wenatchi speci- 
mens from east of the Cascades. 

Nothing definite was learned regarding prices paid by the coast 
tribes for Thompson wares, but it is known that the dugout canoes 
before mentioned, woolen blankets of coarsely spun goat's hair, the 
best quality of grass stems for imbrication, and shells were some 
of the articles of exchange. 


The Indians say that formerly great care was exercised in making 
baskets, in regard to -size, evenness, and regularity of stitching, 
and that the people were especially particular in their selection of 
materials. On the whole, coils and sewing were smaller and the 
work tighter than is customary in modern times. The greatest 
attention and skill was lavished on fancy baskets, although it is 
said that the modern fancy types were not made long ago. The 
term applies to forms not serving for general household pmposes, 
such as women's workbaskets, gift, or water baskets. 

Now a much coarser technique prevails for all kinds, as it has 
been found to answer about as well and requires less time, but the 
finer work has not altogether disappeared; in fact, exquisitely 
delicate workmanship is discovered on some of the modern fancy 
shapes, which are offered for the tourist trade or used for special 
purposes by the people themselves. 

While not much information has been obtained as to the work of 
beginners, all the women declare they are much slower and more 
awkward than experts. They are apt to use too large coils and their 
stitching is coarse and irregular. There is great individual variation. 
Some beginners do very poor work, while others, even when quite 
young, almost equal experienced women. Some are much more care- 
ful and neat, having a very good eye and judgment, as well as ability 
to learn rapidly. It is easy for the experienced women to tell who 
will become good basket makers and who will never exceed 

Because some women have learned to make certain forms better 
than others they confine themselves almost entirely to their manu- 
facture. The old women seem to make chiefly burden and circular 
baskets or oblong trays. It may be because these were the foi'ms 


most generally iii use in their younger days and that, therefore, they 
are easier for them to make. 

The character of coiled basketry depends upon the foundation 
material of the coil, its arrangement, size, and flexibility, and the 
way in which the coils are stitched together. Among the tribes 
here considered, as has been previously mentioned, the foundation 
is a bunch of splints of irregular cross section, varying in size and 
length, which are packed together and tightly sewed with thin, 
fairly uniform sewing splints of the same material. The method of 
sewing has already been touched upon. The foundation is perforated 
by means of a sharp awl, the sewing splint is passed away from the 
worker through the hole with the right hand until the butt end nearly 
disappears, the splint is carried back up over the coil toward the per- 
son manipulating it, down in front and through a second hole wliich 
the awl has made just to the right of the first one. It covers and 
catches the coil material just to the right of the first stitch, and is 

finally pulled into place, the stitch being 

^.y^"^ drawn as taut as is possible, sometimes 

\^ being assisted into " se ttling " by a sharp 

tapping with the awl. The repetition of 

Fig. 2.— Sketch of awl , V'^ " . , , ■ ,. 

this process constitutes tiie technique oi 
sewing the coils to each other. If the splint is long, it may be puUed 
through a little way before the worker takes a fresh hold on it nearer 
to the basket. Any interlocking of stitches is purely incidental to 
piercing the coil; furcation of stitches depends upon the closeness of 
sewing. There is no attempt at regular furcation. 

All coiling, unless it is by left-handed persons, is from left to 
right, or clockwise. The awl (fig. 2) is held in the right hand 
between the thumb and forefinger while the rim of the basket is 
grasped with the left thumb and forefinger. The awl is usually 
held between the second and third fingers or else dropped in the 
lap while the splint is being pulled into place. Before inserting 
the sewing strip the women usually pass the whole splint through 
the fingers of the right hand in order to keep it from twisting. 
The end is kept well pointed. Wlien it frays the fringes are split 
off with the awl. While the hole is being made, some individuals 
keep the splint taut by seizing it in the teeth; others hold it with 
the left forefinger and thumb, in the meantime supporting the basket 
with the other fingers. In making bottoms the awl is inserted at 
right angles to the plane of the work which is held almost vertically 
in front of the person, but in constructing flaring sides it is driven 
very slightly upward and to the left, the coil being pushed out a 
little at each stitch. In constricting the coils it is thrust a little 
downward and to the right, the bunch of splints being pulled very 
taut in the same direction with the fingers of the left hand. With 
practice these movements become quite automatic. 


In making bottoms and lids, if the coils are not carefully per- 
forated at right angles to the plane and the awl inclines one way 
or the other (and many women do not seem to be aware that they 
hold the awl obliquely), the result is a bottom or lid which is not 
quite flat. 

The tightest sewing is preferred, and when finished a well-made 
basket is far harder and stiiler than Bristol board. The stitches 
completely liide the foundation. 

With the exception of rim or foot coils, or of a few which are placed 
at the curve between bottom and side walls, the coils in one piece 
of work are supposed to be uniform in size, and they usually are. 
Since the foundation splints are of uneven thickness and length, 
new ones must be added from time to time to replace others that 
are used up and thus maintain the original thickness. These are 
slipped in, a few at a time, from two or three up to five or sLx, as 
occasion demands. Their selection and incorporation into the coil 
requires a nice discrimination of sight and of touch, for one or two 
which are too thick or of faulty cross section might easily create a 
lump or a depression. Their length does not matter. When fresh 
material is added, that already in place is lifted up slightly with the 
left hand, and the new is laid in underneath, the ends being pushed 
in as far as they will go, up tightly against the last stitch. The 
following stitch catches the new ends, and holds them firmly together 
with the old splints. The number introduced varies greatly ac- 
cording to the nature and requirements of the coil. Often witliin 
five minutes' work none are added. One woman inserted two at 
the end of 4 minutes and two again after another 10 minutes. 
Another added three, and after 7 minutes two more, and then 
none until 12 minutes had elapsed. 

The uniformity of the coil is gauged by eye, and more especially 
by feeling, the right forefinger and thumb, but sometimes the left, 
pinching the bunch from 3 to 8 centimeters ahead of the sewing. 
No other regulating devices are employed. Baskets of the same size 
ordinarily have coils which are approximately equal , although possibly 
containing a different number of splints, depending somewhat on the 
size of these. The number of splints for the coils of the same basket 
also varies. There are often from one to five less in some places 
than in others, while the same sized coils in one basket may be com- 
posed of as few as one-fifth to two-fifths of the total amount employed 
in the coils of another. 

As an example, some observations are here given on the number 
used in making medium-sized circular baskets by certain informants 
who themselves pay little attention to how many are included, 
provided a proper sized coil is the result. In some instances the 
opinions of others concerning the work of a particular woman are 
also included. 


Informant" No. 1. — 10 splints; considered much coarser tiian the average. 

Informant No. 2. — 16 splints. 

Informant No. 3. — 13 splints; considered thick. 

Informant No. 4. — 20 splints; varied from 19 to 25; considered fine and thin 

Informant No. 5. — 15 splints; varied from 14 to 17. 

Informant No. 7. — 20 splints. 

Informant No. 9. — 19 splints. 

Informant No. 10. — 22 splints. 

The first observation relates to a basket slightly larger than those 
made by informants Nos. 3, 4, and 5. In the different specimens 
the coils appeared about alike, except in that made by No. 1. Even 
there they seemed only a little larger than the average, while that 
constructed by No. 4 had coils which, if they differed at all, did not 
seem noticeably thinner to the investigator. 

No. 25, who seems to have been a particularly fine craftswoman, 
well informed as to her materials and technique, and a very careful 
worker, had 20 to 24 splints per coil in her burden basket, most of 
which were necessarily quite fine with only a few coarse ones among 
them. No. 30 employed 23 to 28 in hers, some of which were very 
fine and only a few coarse. No. 24 had 17 to 23. No. 22 used 
nearly the same number, but hers varied more in size than those 
of No. 24. Nos. 12 and 13 said people paid practically no attention 
to the number of splints, their one idea being to produce a uniform 
coil of the proper thickness for the kind of basket under construction, 
and that thick and thin splints together were more easily handled 
than those all of a size. They declared that fine splints should be 
combined with thicker ones, even in fine baskets, because the coarse 
furnished the heavy filling, the others fitting into the chinks. Those 
who use only fine ones spend much time to no real advantage. If a 
woman's supply does not contain enough of these, she reduces some 
coarse ones before beginning work. 

About half of the informants, and especially No. 1, roll the coil 
splints between their fingers at the place where they intend to make 
a sphce. This makes the coil round and fits the splints close together. 
Five of the women before stitching very frequently drew the point 
of the awl once or twice thi-ough the loose coil splints, from where 
they were sewed at the left, to their ends at the right. Sometimes 
the tips of the fingers were used instead. Many did not attempt to 
manipulate the splints at all. The explanation of those who did so 
was that the process spread and straightened them and prevented 
their becoming entangled. 

Any parts of the coil splints that seem to make the coil too tliick are 
spht or pared down far enough to prevent their spoiling the outlines. 
Where necessary the thick part is cut off. Some women are more 
particular about these points than others, but aU pay some attention 

15 See list of informants, pp. 431 et seq. 



to them. From time to time the basket is held off for a critical in- 
spection of the evenness of the coils, and if a finished round displays 
any irregularity care is taken to correct it by properly adjusting the 
size of the next coil, so that it will fill a depression or allow for a lump 
in that just completed. (PI. 1, b, c.) To even up minor inaccuracies 
the sewing splint is tightened and tapped home harder and oftener 
while sewing. If the fault can not be remedied in one round it is 
usually accomplished in the second or third. Careless, inexperienced, 
or blind workers are not able to correct defects, and their baskets 
often have a noticeable waviness at the rim. 

The differences in size of coil as made by individual women are 
slight, and seldom noticeable on finished baskets. Experts who de- 
tect very minute variations say that certain coils are too thick or 
too thin for a given size and kind of basket, for, roughly speaking, 
little ones should have smaller coils than large ones, otherwise they 
will appear clumsy. They occasionally criticize work as being too 
rigid, though as a rule this is considered a "good fault," except in 
very small pieces, flexibility being more often the reason for disap- 
proval. Coils of average thickness, tightly sewed to render them 
rigid, are deemed best for trays, for unless these are stiff they are 
utterly worthless. 

Rigidity is obtained by a thickness of coils sufficient for the size 
and proposed use of the basket, by closeness of stitches, by much 
wetting of both coil and sewing material, and especially by the tight- 
ness of the loop drawn around the coil which is accentuated by the 
tapping. This is done with the middle of the awl, which is held near 
its point in the right hand, thus allowing all the weight possible to 
be added to the blow; the left hand meanwhile pulls whatever slack 
there may be. 

On small workbaskets and the like, the coils never can be too fine, 
but the making requires more time. Baskets of very delicate work- 
manship are naturally more valuable because of this quality end on 
account of the greater amount of time and labor expended on them, 
but they are not judged any better as objects of utility, and therefore 
are not often made. All women follow to a degree the rule of grading 
the size of coil to suit that of the basket, but some, if they have been 
in the habit of making chiefly one or another size, find it hard to alter 
their "hand." As with om-selves, however, there are those who are 
very adaptable and who can change about without difficulty. 

The frequency with which splints are moistened depends upon the 
dryness of the weather and the condition of the fiber; that is, whether 
it is pliable or brittle from long seasoning; and also upon the inch- 
vidual handling it. If the splint is new or has been soaked well 
beforehand it requires very little wetting during sewing. While 
some women dampen it about every 5 to 10 minutes others dip the 
hand in water and rub the splint they are working with every three 
or four stitches. 



[ETH. ANN 41 

No. 3 said that her fellow workers thought she made very rigid 
coils, although she believed they were no larger than the average. 
She was in the habit of pulling her stitches very tight and possibly 
she wet the material oftener than others, but she was not sure of this. 
She considered rigidity, even in very small baskets, to be not unde- 
sirable, notwithstanding the opinions of her friends, and could see no 
advantage in flexibility. No. 9 was often criticized for the same trait 
as No. 3, but she did not attempt to justify herself, merely remarking 
that she always had made baskets in this manner and did not think 
that she could do any differently. She did not seem clear as to why 
her work had this character, but thought perhaps her coils were a 
httle too thick, and was of the opinion that thin walls were a necessary 
factor in flexibility. 

Bottoms of spiral coil, when intended for rectangular baskets, are 
given the required shape by the introduction of a few short, fine, 
extra splints into the foundation at each round, where corners are 
desired. Thus the oval gradually assumes a rectangular form (see 
p. 173). Certain women also flatten the bunch of splints at these 
places by pressing it down and out with their fingers or pinching 
it out as they sew. This assists the widening process and prevents 

About 50 baskets of various kinds were examined with the aid of 
several basket makers in order to obtain the consensus of their opin- 
ions regarding the proper size of the coil in relation to the kind 
and size of the basket. The following table is the result of this 
investigation : 

Kitui of basket 

Nut shape '-__ 




Barrel shape. 



Cup. _ 

Size of bjasket 


Large. . 


Large. . 


Do Medium large 6-7 

Do do 5-6 

Do do 8-9 

Large boiler size 8 

1 For the names of the shapes see pp. 197 et seq 

of coil 












About right. 

Unnecessarily thick. 

About right. 

Unnecessarily thick. 

About right. 

Right but considered by 
some to be rather ton fine. 

Very good; 6 mm. consid- 
ered as right by some. 

Right (no small bowls had 
coils over 6 mm.). 

About right. 


Too thick. 





Kind of basket 

Size of basket 

of coil 




Oblong, box shape . 





Medium (fancy). 
Large (fancy) 






Burden baskets: 






Baby carriers '- 
Do. 2 

Do. 2 






3 7 

3 10 


Right; considered fine work 

but not too fine for fancy 

Unnecessarily fine but right 

because sufficiently rigid. 

It was claimed that this 

size of coil would be too 

small for a large tray. 

The tray would be too 

Good; one with 6 mm. 

coils also passed; one with 

9 mm. coils considered 

too thick. 



Too thick. 


Not too thick. 

The best; but some thought 
8 mm. better; one meas- 
uring 6 was not too flex- 



Unnecessarily thick; did not 
look well. 

2 Partly flat, partly round coil. ° For round coil. 

From tliis table it would seem that coils 5 to 6 mm. in diameter 
(in most of the baskets 6 mm.) are considered to be the best size for 
small baskets, irrespective of shape or purpose. The coils of fancy 
baskets range around a diameter of 5 mm., although smaller ones 
are not objected to. In medium-sized baskets 6 to 7 mm. is a good 
coil diameter, while the larger, heavier baskets requhe 7 to S mm. 
For large .stluk or storage baskets coils of 8 to 9 mm. are considered 
not too tliick. One with a coil which appeared to be about 10 mm. 
tliick (though not measured) was condemned as being imnccessarily 
clumsy. No difference is discernible in regard to size of coUs for the 
different divisions of the tribe, and it seems the people are not aware 
of any. The differences in size of coil and rigidity are all individual 
witliin the Thompson area, although Lillooet baskets are usually as a 


class of much heavier coil. One tray made by a Lytton woman has 
coils 4 mm. and stitches about 2.5 mm. wide, while the coils of a 
rattle from Spuzzum are about 3.5 mm. and the stitches about 2.3 
mm. wide. These are considered by all those consulted to be of fine 
workmanship or, as they say, good examples of a "thin hand." 
Occasionally near the rims of baskets the coil, instead of being laid 
flat and sewed to the previous coil, touches it only at intervals, being 
pulled up into loops and wrapped instead of sewed where it does not 
come into contact with the preceding round. This style of finishing 
the rim will be taken up in detail under the section entitled " Structure 
of baskets." It is sufficient to note here the occasional increased 
size of such looped coils or of the horizontal ones which sometimes 
top them and act as the rim proper. Greater durability is vouch- 
safed as the reason for the larger diameter, as it is in many similar 

Of 10 trays measured, 2 had plain rim coils thicker than those com- 
posing the main part of the structure. Their diameters are given. 
Basket No. 1. — Rim coil 8 to 9 mm.; others 6 mm. 
Basket No. 2. — Rim coil 8 to 9 mm. ; others 7 mm. 
Two had looped tops which differed in size from the rest of the 

No. 1. — Average coil 5 mm., loop coil 3 to 4 mm., rim coil 6 mm. 
No. 2. — ^Average coil 7 mm., loop coil 8 mm., rim coil 7 mm. 
This second basket had low, abruptly sloping sides, and the coil 
where sides and bottom met was rather thick (8 mm. in diameter). 
Trays more frequently had coils of uniform thickness throughout, 
while other forms often displayed rims thicker than the rest. Again, 
many loopwork rims were thinner than the body, so it is not justifi- 
able to make any generalization in regard to this point; but what- 
ever may have been true of these special parts, the coils in the walls 
are as like each other as handwork will permit. 

One spa'nek basket was pecuhar. The bottom was of round 
coils averaging 7 mm. in diameter, while the coils of the connecting 
part of the lower side walls were 8 mm. From this point on, the 
sides of the basket consisted of slats of wood combined with sphnts 
in the same WTapping, lending a pronouncedly corrugated effect and 
creating a unique "coil" the cross section of which was triangular. 
The sphnts were laid on the slats on the inside of the basket. These 
coils averaged 12 mm., while the rim, which was round, was about 
7 mm. in diameter. The maker said she used slats in order to build 
up the sides more quickly, though it is not clear how this could have 
been accomphshed, as there was almost as much sewing to do as 
when pursuing the old method, and the building up of the coil by 
means of sphnts on the inside, to say nothing of preparing the slats, 
required no httle time. It seems rather that a saving of sphnt 



material was involved. Her other reason is more intelligible, namely, 
that she "washed to ornament her coLls with a beading which ran under 
and over the "^Tapping stitches and which was composed of wide 
strips of bark, necessitating a wide, flat coil surface. She used rather 
coarse sphnts for padding so as to make the walls thicker and stronger. 
The finest specimens of workmanship show about four or five 
stitches and three coils to the centimeter. On most baskets of mod- 
ern make there are about thi'ee stitches and two coUs to the centi- 
meter, but a few of the best examples of fine work have four stitches 
and two coils to the centimeter. 


Although long ago the baskets were confined to a few simple round 
shapes, at present forms of great variety are produced. 

Ordinarily the world over coiled baskets have rounded forms. 
Within the last few generations, however, in this area, a remarkable 
development of elongated shapes with rounded corners has arisen. 
Later these became more and more angular until a type of basket 
was produced which resembles an inverted truncated pyramid of 
rectangular cross section. Many of these later types are evidently 
copies of utensils and receptacles of foreign origin. Their reproduc- 
tion in this kind of basketry technique calls for no small amount of 
ingenuity and skill, even were the basket undecorated. It leads to 
stiU more complicated processes when the ornamentation in woven 
designs is taken into consideration. 

Coiled Bottoms '^ 

When working, the majority of the women squat on the ground or 
the floor with feet underneath the body (pi. 2), resting the basket on 
the lap, although occasionally they sit with feet extended in front 
when tired. Others do this habitually, holding the basket on the lap 
or knees. The position is not fixed, but altered from one pose to the 
other as the worker chooses. Those who have adopted the white 
man's habits often sit on chairs, resting their work on a low table. 
When making a large basket, informant 25 lets it rest on the ground, 
whUe she sits on a low seat. 

In the discussion on structure it seems best to begin with the 
bottom, since a basket is always started at the bottom and the shape 
of the base determines the cross section of the basket. There are 
two general types, the coiled and the slat bottoms. No checkerwork 
bottoms have ever been woven by the Thompson. There are several 
varieties of the former type which are classified according to the 

"For other discussions see C. HUl-Tout, The Nativo Races of the British Empire, British North 
America, I, p. 114; and O. T. Mason, pp. 435 and 436, pis. 68, 163. 

53666°— 28 12 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

kind of coiling or the shape attained. These are the watch spring 
(pi. 3, a), elongated watch spring (pi. 3, h), and parallel coiled 
(pi. 3, c), as well as several others employed for fancy shapes, such 
as triangular and heart-shaped coiled bottoms. Slat bottoms are 
always composed of parallel slats of wood, but there are many 
different ways of fastening these together and to the walls of the 
basket. These methods will be treated in detail when the slat 
bottoms are described. 

Irrespective of the shape of basket to which it may be applied, 
the watch-spring coil is always started in the same way. A simple 
knot is tightly tied at one end of a bunch of coil splints, after the 
ends have been made even (fig. 3, a, b). The knot is tied by using 
the fingers and thumbs of both hands. The short ends of the splints 
which project beyond the knot are then cut off close with a knife or 
scissors (fig. 3, c.) The knot is then held by the first two fingers 
and thumb of the left hand, wliile with the right the sharp point of 
a sewing splint is passed through its center away from the person 
holding it (d). If the splint does not penetrate easily, the awl is 

Fig. 3. — Beginning of oolHng 

used for enlarging the hole. The splint is then pulled through with 
the right hand until the rear end has almost disappeared, when it is 
brought back up over the knot toward the worker, and passed 
through again to the right of the first stitch, and the loop thus made 
around the bundle of splints is pidled tight (fig. 3, e). This process 
of sewing is exactly like overcasting, except that the sewing material 
is carried over the work toward the person and passed through it 
away from her, rather than vice versa. The knot is thus completely 
wrapped by the sewing-splint. When the protmding long end of the 
bundle of splints is reached, it is bent sharply down aroimd 
the knot to the left by all right-handed pereons, as shown in /, or 
to the right by left-handed workers, and stitched to the center knot 
by the same process of overcasting, the awl now being used to make 
holes for the stitches near the outer side of the covered knot; 
and thus the sewing is continued, the coil going around and around 
until the bottom is finished (g). Since tliis is flat, the awl perforates 
the coil at right angles to the plane in which the bottom is held. 
Usually it is held vertically, and worked from what is mtended to 
be the outside, which is toward the maker. As the work advances 



it is turned to the left on its edg(>, and the sewing progresses toward 
the right. A few individuals start the ' ' watch spring " with a coil finer 
than the one they intend to employ subsequently, but this is not a 
general method and is not essential to good workmanship. Plate 3, 
a, shows a bottom of this tj'pe. (See also Mason, pi. 68.) 

The elongated watch-spring type, of which Plate 3, 6, gives an 
illustration, is commonly used on baskets which are rougldy rectan- 
gular. In starting this variety the ends of the coil splints are evened 
and that of the sewing splint is laid diagonally across the coU near 
the end on the side toward the weaver, with the long end falling 
downward to the left (fig. 4, a). The splint is then carried around 
behind the coil and up over it and down slightly to the right, crossing 
itself ih). This keeps it from unraveling later. 

The sketch showg the wrapping placed at slightly more of an angle 
than really occui-s. Then the binder continues in quite the same 
way as the sewing — doMni, and around behind, up and over to the 
right, until a sufficient length has been wound (c), when the rest of 

Fig. 4. — Beginning of coils for elongated watch-spring bottoms 

the coil is bent around to the left id), and sewed along one side, 
the wraj)ping now becoming the sewing element. When the original 
end is reached the coil is bent around it; and if there are any loose 
splints protruding where the wrapping began, they are now incor- 
porated in the encircling coil, and all is sewed down to the other side 
of the wrapped section. The process is continued around and around 
until the bottom is large enough (f). 

Another method of wrapping starts by inclosing the wrajiping 
splint in the bunch of coil splints, but having the inserted end free 
in the opposite direction to the end of the coil (fig. 4,/). All the 
ends are then held firmly with the fingers of the left hand, and the 
wrapping splint drawn up through the coil and bound around it in 
the same way as in the first method ig). Both schemes seem to be 
in common use, some women using one, others the other, while a 
few apparently employ both, indiscriminately. Sketch h of the same 
figure shows the method of incorporating the loose ends of the coil 
splints in the encircling coil when the splints have not been cut off 
and evened. 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

Fig. 5.- 

-Beginning of coils for elongated watch-spring 

A second way of starting the elongated watch-spring type is by 
folding over the end of a bunch of coil splints and fastening the folded 
section to the adjoining part of the bundle by twining (fig. 5, a). 
From the finishing of these two sections the work proceeds as in the 
first kind, the ordinary sewing beginning at the second bend. In 
still another type which is round a short part of the coil is wrapped 
before the winding begins (fig. 5, i, c). At first the cods so started 
are rather long for the proposed width of the finished bottom, but 
by thickening them on the long sides as the work progresses, a circu- 
lar form is soon obtained, so 
that what starts as an elon- 
gated watch spring is fin- 
ished perfectly round (fig. 6) . 
This kind of bottom is not 
considered as neat or durable 
as a regular watch spring, 
and is more liable to leak. 
Some Lytton informants say that probably long ago all bottoms of 
baskets were of the watch-spring tj^ie, excepting perhaps those in 
some of the large and small .stluk. As the bottoms of these were 
very long and narrow, they were probably made of elongated or 
parallel coils, each woman having a preference for one kind or an- 
other. Some tried the various forms and later adopted one for general 
use, while others simply followed in their mothers' or grandmothers' 
footsteps and used the kind they had been taught to make, many 
never changing their habits to an}^ extent. 

There are two kinds of parallel coiled bot- 
toms — those in which the parallel coiling consti- 
tutes only the central part, which is then sur- 
rounded by several rows of spiral coil (pi. 4, a) 
and those ixi which they form the whole bottom 
with the exception of one or two encircling lengths 
(pi. 3, c). Aside from this, there is practically 
no difference between the two, hence they are treated here together. 
The parallel coiling is begun by doubling the bunch of splints 
in the middle and bringing the two ends together. A splint is wrapped 
a few times around the coil at the bend, and then woven back and 
forth over and under the two sections until they have been joined 
for the distance the worker desires, or approximately the proposed 
length of the bottom (fig. 7, a). A slight variation is obtained by 
wrapping a piece of coil and bending this in the middle, uniting the 
two sides by twining. In either case the rest of the technique is as 
follows. One end of the double coil is bent back along one side, 

Fig. 6. — Round bottom devel- 
oped from elongated watch- 
spring coiling 




and sewed to the wrapped double coil until the original bend is 
reached (6) , when it is doubled back in the opposite direction (c) and 
sewed to the finished portion. This process is continued until 
one-half of the proposed width of the bottom is completed. The other 
half is made in the same manner, with the remaining part of the 
original double coil; and the last time, when one side of the base 
has been reached the coil is carried around past the bent ends to the 
other side (d). There the loose ends of the coil of the first half are 
picked up and incorporated with the coil which now becomes the 
main spiral. Good basket makers are careful to cut out enough 
splints at this point so that the foundation will not be too thick, thus 
causing a lump, which would spoil the appearance of the whole 
basket. Figure 7, c and d, show two ways of incorporating the coil. 
As the spiral is carried past the parallel coils, the ends of which consist 
in a series of loops, these are caught in the sewing and thus all is 
bound together. Along the sides the same process continues that 
was used when joining the parallel coils to one another (e). 

Fig. 7.— Parallel coiling for bottom 

A third method of fastening the end of the coil of the first half of 
the bottom with the encircling coil is to cut the splints oflf sharply 
on a line with the bends. When the coil wliich is inclosing the 
parallel portion passes this blunt end, the stitches which bind the parts 
together are run through the last few stitches which lashed this same 
"blunt-end" coil to its neighbor, and likewise through the end of the 
coil itself. Because it is at right angles to the sewing, a good hold 
can not possibly be gained in this way, but if the splint ends are 
doubled back into the coil itself, so as to form a loop instead of loose 
ends, there is something to catch into, and a firmer grasp is then 
possible. Even in the other two methods described above, where 
the splints of the coil wliich is to be incorporated are conducted in a 
direction parallel to the encircling one for a short distance, a few 
pieces are occasionally bent back into the body of the rest so that a 
firmer hold may be gained by means of the loops for the stitches 
which unite the two. 

Most of the informants, however, did not seem to know of this 
plan and either carried the two coils along together for a little way 
or sewed one to the blunt end of the other. 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

In the case of a small bottom the original bundle of long splints, 
which is bent in the middle to start the work, is enough to finish it; 
but where it is not, additional pieces are added to it, both to keep the 
coil of even tliickness throughout and to lengthen it. The number 
of parallel coils employed in making bottoms varies according to their 
tliickness and to the size of the bottom, and apparently there is no 
correlation between this latter and the number of coils. When it is 
noticed that the work is becoming narrower at one end in the process 
of manufacture, the coils are enlarged at that place, and if the diffi- 
culty can not be thus entirely remedied the surrounding ones are 
also increased. It sometimes happens that the bends of the parallel 
coils are not always on a line with each other and it becomes necessary 
to add short sections of coils at these places along the ends. Plate 

Fig. 8.— Watch-spring coiling adapted to triangular and square bottoms 

3, c, shows how this has been done. The bottom pictured is rather 
more poorly constructed than the average. Plate 4 shows by way of 
contrast two remarkably fine specimens. 

Some women were found who make only tliis type of bottom^ 
but this, it appears, is because they make only rectangular baskets. 
They know how to make the other kinds as well. Practically all 
circular baskets are made with watch-spring bottoms, but Plate 6, b, 
shows a rare variant. 

The watch-spring tj^pe is also used for baskets which are almost 
square, triangular, or heart-shaped. Figure 8 and Plate 3, a, h, show 
the method of treating the cods and also the increase in thickness 
where that is necessary. A few women regularly bifurcate the 
stitches extending outward from the center to the comers for the 
pui'pose of ornamentation. 

An interesting criticism of the kind of bottom shown in Figure 8, a, 
was elicited from some basket makers who thought that the woman 


who made it must have had great difficulties, and that the result of 
her labor was very poor. They decided that it should have been 
made like d or e, either of which is much simpler and better. The 
methods employed in manufacturing the bottoms shown in h and c 
were considered much superior to that for a, but not as suitable as 
those of d and e. An especially successful plan for heart-shaped 
forms was thought to be d, but equally serviceable for triangular 
baskets; e was considered by many women to be best adapted for 
triangular bottoms; / was said to be the proper type for a square 
basket, whUe g is used for oval shapes. Figure 8, /, shows the forma- 
tion of a square bottom of watch-spring type. It is made by increas- 
ing the thickness of the coils at the comers. 

As before stated, the elongated watch-spring coil is chiefly used on 
medium-sized burden baskets, but it is just as popular for oblong 
trays, and is occasionally found in baskets of other odd forms. 
Bottoms consisting of parallel coils may be employed for any rec- 
tangular or elongated shape. On specimens of each of these types 
there is sometimes added a medial line of sewing running lengthwise, 
after the bottom has been completed, wliich serves as ornamentation 
and also helps to hold the coils firmly together. The women consider 
the parallel coiled bottoms best for large burden baskets because 
they are stiffen The elongated type is apt to sag. There is no 
correlation between the type of base and the ornamentation applied 
to the walls. 

Flat-coiled sections are apt to warp in the process of maniifacture, 
particularly as they rest on the rim while being sewed. To avoid 
tliis the material is moistened at frequent intervals, either by being 
dipped in water or by being sprinkled or rubbed with the wet hand. 
It is then bent back into shape. When finished, especially if the 
piece is large, it is placed wet between two boards, and weighted with 
stones. Thus it remains for a day or more, until it has dried and is 
perfectly flat and rigid, when it is considered in the right condition 
for adding the sides. A warped bottom is shown in Plate 5, a. 

A common device for straightening the bottom is by the attach- 
ment of crossed sticks to the outside, either two, crossing each other 
diagonally from opposite comers (fig. 9, a), or four, the second pair 
being fastened across the ends (6). When two or three coils of the 
sides have been finished, two more crossed sticks are braced inside 
against them (c). All these are usually removed after the bottom 
has set, but Plate 5, 6, shows that two straighteners have been 
retained. Rarely, also, spreaders are placed between the sides of 
the basket. The popularity of these devices varies with the different 
women. Some do not need them, merely adjusting the shape with 
their hands, or they may use one or all of those described. 


The bottoms made by certain women are "good to see," being 
smooth, closely worked, with aU the coils completely covered; 
while others are rough and poorly constructed, because of care- 
lessness in the selection of materials as well as in workmanship. 
The Upper Thompson seldom make any but round coils. Slats or 
flat ones are more favored by the Uta'mqt. Their slats are generally 
thin and double, and no wide single slats were known formerly, 
it is said. There is an impression abroad that such slats would not 
be strong nor would they look well. Flat coils, which are now and 
then substituted for slats, entail less labor than roimd ones. 

As for the Lower Thompson, the baby carriers always had slat 
bottoms, the slats varying considerably in width, although narrow 
ones were preferred; or else flat coils were put in the bottoms and 
round ones in the sides. The latter kind is probably the older type 
in both areas. Different bottoms are not characteristic of separate 
bands, but belong to a certain extent to individuals or families, 
which may manufacture several varieties. 

Slat Bottoms 

Slat bottoms (pi. 6, a, c), according to many informants, both 
men and women, were not used by the Upper Thompson years ago, 


Fig. 9. — Devices for straightening bottoms of baskets 

but were copied from the Upper Uta'mqt, who probably adopted 
them from the Lower Lillooet. The Thompson east of Lytton have 
only used them since about 1885. There are tliree types, all of which 
require slats made of sap, heart, or other wood which splits easily 
mto thin sheets. The slat may consist of one or of several pieces, 
accordmg to the thickness wanted or to the available material, but 
where there is more than one layer they are very thin and are laid 
flat on one another. Usually not more than tlii-ee are so combmed 
and they are always the full length required. It is clauned that slats 
were spliced, but it is probable that examples of such splicmg are 
rare and found only in baby carriers. 

Among the Upper Thompson the opinion prevails that sapwood 
and dry cedar slats are not suitable for the walls, therefore in baby 
carriers and the like, the sides of which have recently been made of 
slats also, they are often of cedar roots split in wide, thin pieces, 
while the ordinary kind of slats are used only for bottoms. It is 
said that among the Lillooet root slats are preferred for all purposes. 


In carriers or in round or oval slaapes where the width across the 
middle of the base is greater than that across the ends, the slats 
l>-ing on the outside are left full width tlu-ough their centers but are 
shaved off toward their ends to assist in gaining the tapering form. 
Normal, straight slats often show considerable variation even in a 
single bottom, but careful workers try to have them uniform. There 
is no correspondence between their width and the size or kind of 
basket to which they may be applied, as may be seen from a few 
measurements which are given here : 

Basket Width of slats 

1. Tray 18 to 20 mm. wide. 

2. Small burden basket 22 to 26 mm. wide. 

3. Small burden basket About 12 mm. throughout. 

4. Large box-shaped basket 10 to 14 mm. wide. 

5. Small box-shaped basket 13 to 15 mm. wide. 

6. Baby carrier 16 to 18 mm. wide. 

7. Baby carrier About 18 mm. throughout. 

8. Baby carrier 15 to 22 mm. wide. 

Fig. 10.— Methods of makiog slat bottoms 

In the first of the three t^^pes mentioned before the bottom is 
started by surrounding the slat on two sides and one end by a bunch 
of coil splints equaling the slat in thickness. The ends of the splints 
extend beyond it to several times its length. ' Slat and sphnts are 
next bound together with a wrapping, beginning at the end over which 
the bunch of coil splints has been bent (fig. 10, a). When the whole 
slat has been wrapped, another is placed beside it, and one of the two 
parts of the bunch of coil splints is bent back around it. It is carried 
up along the bare outer side. The splint which served to wrap the 
first slat with its accompanying padding is now employed to sew the 
slats together (fig. 10, h). The awl punches the holes in the wrapped 
padding lying between the two slats. A third slat is added in the 
same way after the first two have been sewed together. The inclosing 
paddmg thus forms loops as in the parallel coiled bottoms, with this dif- 
ference, that between each coil there is a slat, only one end of which is 
inclosed, so there are along top and bottom of the rectangle alternating 
covered and bare slat ends. The first piece of wood that is wrapped 
forms the center of the base, and as manj^ more as are necessary are 
added on either side, first one whole half being completed, then the 


other. The padding or coil on one side of each slat, wliich is incor- 
porated with it in the same binding (fig. 10, b), furnishes the hold for 
the sewing material which penetrates it. Sometimes, however, the 
sewing splint merely interlocks with the stitches binding the previous 
slat. When the bottom is sufficiently large, the remaining part of 
the bunch of splints belonging to one half is carried across the ends 
of the slats to the right as in the case of parallel coiled bottoms. 
It conceals as best it can the exposed as well as the covered ends, and 
when it reaches the loose splints which served as padding on the 
other half of the bottom, these are gathered into the encircling coil, 
in the manner described before (p. 171), and the process of sewing 
around the bottom is continued. During this process the bottom 
itself is turned to the left as the sewing moves to the right, just as 
in the other types. 

This particular variety is not much in favor, and although several 
women know how to make it few of them put their knowledge into 
practice. The only advantages afforded by it are that it rec[uires 
fewer splints and much less time, and that greater flatness is obtained 
than with parallel coiled bottoms. The Upper Thompson consider 
it very inferior and less durable. They say that only a few can 
make it well and finish it neatly across the ends, which is indeed a 
difficult problem on account of the irregularity of line of the ends 
along which the encircling coil must pass and to which it must be 
fastened. One woman who manufactures this variety oftener than 
her neighbors has partially solved the difficulty by placing the 
alternate slats a little out of line, so that the exposed ends are even 
with the covered ones. She also at times divides her splints where 
they bend around the ends so that some of them may be deflected 
in order to conceal the bare places. After this purpose has been 
accomplished, the remaining pieces are turned in, caught by the 
sewing splint, and sewed between the slats. She does not do this 
every time, but apparently only when she fancies that it is needed. 
It is an invention of her 0A\'n. 

Several methods of treating the ends are in use by the other women. 
Some bore a hole with the awl through the bare end of each slat, 
and passing the sewing splint through this, fasten it firmly to the 
encircling coil as it goes by. But as the wood is liable to split, espe- 
cially if it is brittle, longer stitches are sometimes taken, the perfora- 
tion being made dowoi where the slat is covered with wrapping; 
thus, even if the wood does split, a better grasp is obtained and the 
stitch can not pull out at the end. 

The second type of slat bottom resembles the first except that the 
slats are not inclosed by a bunch of splints which so effectually 
assists in sewing them together; but one slat is bound with a splint 
as in type 1, and the rest are sewed to this and to each other. 



the stitching ai'ound a new slat interlocking with that of the previous 
one (fig. 10, d). If the slats are very thin and pliable, and green or 
well soaked, the holes for the sewing splint are sometimes made in 
the edges as well. 

The work is often begun at one side, instead of in the center, and 
the bottom built straight across; hence it consists as often of an 
even as of an uneven number of slats. However, it is said that it 
may just as well be started in the middle, and that in such a case 
there is less tendency to warp. The first type may be begun from the 
side if desired, which would bring the wrapped slat to the edge, but 
this is not usually done. In sewing slats together at one end, the 
opposite ends tend to fly apart; therefore they are lashed together 
at their far ends until nearly sewed down, when the binding is removed, 
(Fig. 10, c.) 

The distinguishing feature of the third type is the twining by 
which the slats are held to each other, a woof splint passing over one 
and under one in the manner shown in Figure 10, e. This kind of 
bottom is cjuite unpopular, although there are Thompson and Lillooet 
women who occasionally make it. As none of the informants who 
were interviewed knew the mode of procedure involved in its manu- 
facture, detailed information was not obtained, but two reasons were 
given for its infrequent appearance, namely, that it is ai)t to warp 
and that the slats are liable to drop out of line. The Thompson are 
said to have acquired the idea from the Lillooet. Farther to the 
east the use of slat bottoms is entirely unknown. 

The bottoms of the second and third types are always made 
separately from the rest of the basket. In these aU the ends of the 
slats are bare and the first encircling coil is often thicker than those 
which follow, because the ends must be completely embedded in it 
and the perforations in them through which the sewing splint goes 
are placed farther away from the end to avoid splitting the wood. 

On some bottoms, before the surrounding coil is added, the ends 
of the slats are sewed together, by starting in the space between the 
slats, about 1 to 2 cm. in from the end. (Fig. 11, a.) The splint is 
drawn through from front to back, whence it passes up over the end 
of the slat, crossing it at its center, and obhquely down to the right 
on the front side, to a similar point in the next interslat space, where 
it is again drawn through to the wrong side. Thus the process con- 
tinues. Wlien the opposite corner is reached, it is sometimes brought 
back across the bottom again in the same way, so that the stitches 
cross each other in the middle of each slat and the effect is that of a 
zigzag. (Fig. 11, i.) Wlien two splints are used each way, then the 
four intersections at the end of the slat form a series of triangles. 
(Fig. 11, c.) If the surrounding coil is not thick enough to hide the 
slats completely, these crossing stitches ai'e often split by the sewing 



(ETH. ANN. 41 

splint as it binds the coil to the bottom, and this so spreads them that 
tlie bare ends are almost concealed. The regulai'ity of the stitches 
imparts quite an ornamental effect which the women strive to obtain, 
but if the work is done inaccurately it appears as an unavoidable 

Two other methods of stitching the ends of slats are in vogue. 
In one the slat is perforated in the center by means of an awl about 2.5 
cm. from the end. (Fig. 11, d.) Otherwise the result is the same as in 
the former method, when only one line is carried across the ends. 

In the third the encircling coil is sewed to the ends of the slats by 
one or more stitches taken every time that the space between the 
coils is reached. These pass through the binding cjuite a distance 
away from the ends for the purpose of ornamentation as much as 
of securing the coil. (Fig. 11, e,f.) Plate 6, b, c, show these methods 
on beautifully constructed bottoms. 

As a rule slat bottoms of the second and third types which are 
made separately from the basket have several rows of coils built 

I'iG. 11. — ilethods of making slat bottoms 

around them before the side walls are started. Vcrj- angular shapes 
which have a " foot " to keep the bottom from resting on the floor form 
an exception to this. Either face may become the outside, so during 
its construction the worker turns it to suit her convenience, but the 
direction of the sewing is always toward the right. 

The women give two reasons for adding the encircling coils. The 
first is that they consider a sharp turn from bottom to walls to be 
bad artistically; in fact, absurd for burden baskets. In some Lillooet 
examf)les of this shape it is said that only about two-thirds of the 
entire bottom is made of slats, the rest being of coils which in curved 
aUgnment connect the plane of the base with that of the sides. 
When the Thompson use slat walls they experience great difficulty 
in securing the proper, gradual rounding between the two parts of 
the basket and ahvays employ coils at the curve. 

The second reason given is tliat starting the sides with such a 
sharp angle woidd create an edge between the bottom and the walls 
which would soon be worn, because when the basket is handled and 
knocked about the point of wear would always be along the same 


coil rather than distributed over a curved surface. It might be sup- 
posed that when such an angle is created the coil at the corner would 
usually be made thicker for the identical reason given concerning rim 
and other coils. One woman makes all the coils of the bottom tliicker 
than those of the sides, but none of the others do so. Informants 
Nos. 4 and 5 laughed at the idea of increasing the diameter of any 
coils, saying that this did not improve the wearing quality as the 
sewing splints are the first to break, and when the bunch of splints is 
exposed it soon drops to pieces. If the sewing splmts were thicker, 
they said, that would be a different matter, but no one follows the 
practice of making them so. It must be confessed that very few 
display such reasoning ability as these two women, but give voice 
to the first ideas that occur to them. 

Sometimes coils which are exposed by wear are resewed with new 
splints, the stitches passing through the edges of the coils above and 
below. The sewing on slat work is not tapped with the awl to drive 
it home as is the case with coiled work. 

Side Walls 

According to our ideas, the bottom stops where the sides turn 
upward, but in the mind of the Indian woman the line may be bcA'ond 
the curve, slightly up the side walls, although this is not always the 
case. At the place where the bottom is considered to end, a line of 
beading is run along the coil, to set it off from the side walls. The 
beading consists of a strip of bark passed along the entire coil, every 
alternate stitch of the coil passing over the strip, the others going 
under it. Occasionally double lines of beading are used. When the 
bark is of a strongly contrasting color the effect is very pleasing and 
the women liken it to a string of beads. 

When the sides are started the coil is pulled outward a very little 
with the thumb and forefinger of the left hand in order to produce a 
gradual flare. The awl holes are made pointing slightly upward 
into the last coil, instead of at right angles to the slant of the work, 
as is the case in the flat bottoms. Some women direct the passage 
of the awl slightly backward to the left as well, a procedure which 
would seem to assist in forming the flare. The proper flare or bulge 
is determined by custom, but it is also regulated to some extent by 
taste, and with the-less experienced workers certainly it is not com- 
pletely under control. If a woman begins a basket and discovers 
after several rounds that it is going to flare too much she constricts 
the coils, thus creating a quite unusual shape, especially if the change 
is abrupt. A pronounced flare lessens the utility of the basket, par- 
ticularly if it be used for carrying purposes. The degree of slant is 
entirely determined by the eye, and it is remarkable how closely the 
women adhere to the tribal standards. Sometimes a basket may, 


when finished, flare more than the maker intended, but usually it is 
not enough to spoil it; and with an experienced woman who does 
good work such accidents rarely happen. 

When the sides are being built the bottom inclines toward the 
maker, the upper edge being the nearest. As the work progresses 
special care is taken to place each succeeding coU in the same rela- 
tion to the preceding one, so that none are too far out or in, for 
each must be perfectly aligned. Naturally practice aids materially, 
for beginners frequently have dents and bulges in the side walls of 
their baskets, not only because the coils are not placed evenly but 
also as a result of nonuniformity in their diameters, which creates 
waviness in a vertical direction (pi. 7, a, and the Chilcotm basket, 
pi. 7, &). 

Sometimes, as the basket nears completion, it will be seen that it is 
lower on one side than on the other, and it is then too late to correct 
the shape by increasing the diameter of each coil, thus gradually 
remed;\4ng the fault. The maker then has recourse to the expedient 
of splitting the coil near the rim, as the sewing approaches the low 
spot. From one coil she creates two of the same size, by working in 
additional splints, and the blemish is thereby rendered less notice- 
able than if one very large coil were used instead. The defect may 
also be remedied by tapering down a coil and then beginning again 
with a wide coil which is adjusted so that the upper line becomes 
straight (see pi. 7, c). 

No Thompson or Lillooet baskets were made with the ends higher 
than the sides, which was a common feature of Chilcotin work 
(pis. 7, 6; 8, a). Rather, every effort was put forth to secuj-e an 
even height. 

A very pecuhar feature in the structure of the side walls is brought 
out particularly well in the photographs, especially in those which 
show the bottom, such as Plates 3 and 4, and in many others which 
give the full view of a long side, but in which nevertheless a slight 
part of the right end may be seen. In these plates it is clearly shown 
that the corners of the side walls do not radiate from the bottom in 
straight lines as might be expected, but in curved lines running to the 
left in pinwheel fashion. Some baskets are so much awry that they 
appear to be very badly warped or at least to have been wrenched 
around to the left, while the bottom was held fast (pi. 4). Although 
this pccidiarity is not noticeable in all cases, it is practically always 
present to a greater or less degree in Thompson baskets having corners. 
The reason is unknown, unless in working to the right and paying 
particular attention to the corners, quite justifiably when all the diffi- 
culties in decorating this part of the basket are understood, the 
workers unconsciously begin to tm-n a little ahead of time, each 




In oblong baskets tho spiral coil always ends on one of the long sides 
near a corner. This is a very old custom and still holds. It is also 
true for all oval shapes. On a burden basket the side on which the 
coil ends is always placed next the bearer 's back and the loops wliich 
hold the pack straps are adjusted accordingly. This is also an old 
custom. One informant states that as baby carriers are always 
held so that the head of the child lies toward the right hand of the 
bearer, the coil should always end on what would be the baby's 
right side as it lies on its back. No reason except that of custom has 
been obtained as to why the finishing point on a basket should not 
be exposed in carrying. 


There are three types of rims — plain, braided, and loopwork — - 
and the last named has many variations. The current opinion among 
the people is that the plain rim 
covered by the ordinary ' ' overcast- 
ing" is the oldest type. Certainly 
it is the most common one. A 
heavier foundation frequently, but 
not always, distinguishes the rim 
coU from the others, the usual 
reason given for the increase being 
that thereby additional strength is 
gained. But, as was indicated 
before, there are individuals who 
realize that the dimension of the 
coil has no effect upon its wearing 
qualities. There are also two 
kinds of plain rims, the one which 
is merely a continuation of the wall 
coil, and which is finished off usually by a gradual reduction in size 
mitil it disappears almost imperceptibly; and the ring coil, with which 
this ordinary ending is sometimes capped. The ends of the ring coil 
are spliced together, and the whole is covered with the sewing splint so 
that the joint is completely hidden. To make a ring of exactly the 
right size and to conceal the joint demands very neat execution. On 
some specimens there are several of these rings, one above the other, 
but the number depends entirely upon the fancy of the maker. 
They lend a much neater finish, and if the wall coil is properly gradu- 
ated in size, the top is practically horizontal. Figure 12 illustrates 
the finishing point of the spiral coil and shows two ring coils above. 
In spite of their merits, they have not been universally adopted, and 
many have attempted them only within the last few years. The 
Lower Thompson, according to their own account, adopted them 

Fig. 12.— Rim consisting of two ring coils 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

very recently, and it is doubtful if their use is ancient in any of the 
tribes. It is known that the Nicola did not have them long ago, 
b.ut reliable information for the rest of the people is not available. 

Braided rims are common on Klickitat baskets, and probably 
also on those of the Cowlitz, Nisqualli, Wenatchi, and tribes near 
them, east of the Cascade Range. Whether they were ever more 
common there than now is a question. The Lillooet, Shuswap, and 
Chilcotin do not seem to have made them; but Lillooet information 
is still fragmentary, while complete data from the Shuswap can not 
be obtained at this period. According to several informants, braided 
rims were used by the Lower Thompson and Lytton people, although 
not as commonly as plain ones, but they seem to have fallen more or 
less into disuse at the present day, for only one braided I'im has been 

Fig. 13. — Braiding of rim; Klickitat 

found in Thompson collections and that has been added on an old 
basket (fig. 13, d). Recent information has it that a few women are 
again making the braided rim. 

From the sketches and specimens of Klickitat baskets it is evident 
that more than one method of braiding was known. Some inform- 
ants think that there was only one but are not sure. They stated 
that formerly, after the rim coil had been sewed on with plam over- 
casting, a false braid was stitched along the top, to lend additional 
strength as well as to serve as an ornament ; in fact the former reason 
is more frequently given. One woman, however, feels sure that the 
braiding was the only sewing which covered the rim coil and that it 
was not apphed afterwards. Although she had never made it her- 
self, she had seen her aimt and a few other people do so when she 
was a little girl. While a few individuals did such work when they 




were yoxing, they have long since given it up, and many have never 
seen it at all. 

As far as Mr. Teit's knowledge extended, in all the rims found 
braiding and overcasting are one process. The steps involved may 
be more readily visualized if it is imagined first that the basket is held 
as during ordinary sewing. The first hole (1) , Figure 13, a, &, is made 
with the awl in the coil (4) to which the I'im coil (5) is being sewed 
and the splint is drawn through it, away from the worker as far as 
desired, usually until the butt end almost disappears in the coil at (1) . 
The length is then brought back up over the rim a little to the right 
and a hole (2) perforated near the top of the bunch of splints that are 
being covered (5), almost over the one (1) wliich has just been made 
in the coU below. Tlirough this the splmt passes again in the direc- 
tion away from the worker, and after it has been pulled tight (2) 
it is brought back up over the rim again, this time crossmg the 
diagonal whip stitch which it made before, and commg down to the 
right, where it penetrates a hole (3) made for it just to the right of the 

Fig. 14.— Braided rims; Klickitat 

fij-st hole (1). From here on the process is repeated indefinitely, 
always to the right, and a braid stitch is the result. Looking down 
on top of the rim, the appearance is that of a series of slightly over- 
lapping V's or chevrons (fig. 13, c). 

Figure 14 shows another variety (Klickitat) where the braiding 
Mes on top of the coil mstead of being sewed to it. The lower coil is 
perforated as before, and the splint is pushed or drawn through its 
whole length, then brought up over the rim and down to the right, 
where it enters a second hole made beside the first one (fig. 13, a, 2). 
This gives the necessary "starter," for without the diagonal whip 
stitch across the top there would be nothing to start the braid upon. 
After the splmt has been pulled through the second hole, however, 
away from the worker, it is brought up over the rim again (fig. 14, 
a, 2), but this time cutting across it to the left and intersecting the 
previous whip stitch. Instead of penetrating a hole perforated in the 
top coil, it merely shps under the first whip stitch which it has just 
crossed, at 3, and comes out at the intersection of the two, in the angle 
which hes farthest from the worker at 4 ; namely, toward the inside 
of the basket. It now crosses itself again going over the stitch it 
53666°— 28 13 


just made at 5, which came up over the coil from the bottom and lay 
to the left and goes down to the right, where it enters a third hole 
just beside the second one (at 1) perforated in the lower coil. From 
here on the process is repeated, as described, from where the splint 
entered the second hole. 

Frequently the long parts of the stitches which seem to descend 
from the actual braiding are covered with twining or imbrication on 
the outside of the basket, a process which is even more complicated, 
since these must be put on at the time the braiding is made. Figures 
13, d, and 14, b, show the imbrication. 

Loopwork has been touched upon in the section on " Technique of 
coiling," but may be elaborated somewhat at this point. Rims of 
this cliaracter were used only on fancy baskets and have been in 
existence for a very long time; but since by their very nature and 
consequently greater fragility they lessen the utility of the baskets to 
which they may be applied, in the days when plain and useful baskets 
were greatly in demand they probably were not much in vogue. Of 
late years outside trade has called for less classic forms; and loop- 
work rims on many odd shapes have become very common. But 
even now a basket of the less utilitarian variety need not necessarily 
be finished in this manner. Probably the arrangements indicated 
in the sketches are all of late development. 

Occasionally this technique is introduced into the bodies of bas- 
kets, generally in the middle of the sides (pi. 16, a) and rarely the 
entire structure is of tliis type. This is said to be a very recent 
invention. The Klickitat, Lillooet, Stalo, and western Washington 
tribes use loopwork; but not the Chilcotin, Squamish, or Sechelt. 

Figure 15, a, shows a rim made of an extension of the original wall 
coil. After the finisliing point has been reached on the basket the 
coil is simply wrapped, being stitched to the body only where it 
comes into contact with it at the bends (2). After this process has 
been continued all around and the starting point has been reached 
at (3) the coil is doubled, the two parts being sewed together. From 
here it is carried along horizontally, touching the loopwork only at 
the apices, and so returns to the starting point where it is fastened. 

Figure 15, h, is a common type; c is flatter and less frequently 
applied; d and e are fairly common, although e is less so;/ and (/ 
are rare, the latter especially; A is a prevalent style but is of two 
different kinds, loose and tight. Wlien tight, the coils are in such 
close contact that no spaces can be detected between them; i is 
occasionally seen, both loose and tight. A straight coil nmning 
between the loops as in i is sometimes used with style h in the same 
way, and again a flat piece such as a ribbon of bark takes the place 
of this coil. Now and then bands of silk, braids of dyed or natural 
bark or horsehair, and formerly strips of beaded skin were drawn 




through loops on small baskets, by way of ornamentation. Some- 
times loopwork is arranged in double or treble series, or there is a 
combination of these, as in j, 1-, and Z; m represents a style recently 
noticed on a basket made by a Spences Bridge woman. She declared 
that she had never made this kind before, nor had she seen it. She 
merely thought of it. Another woman who was interviewed said 
that it was not new to her, but that it was very little used. 

f: \,^\yx/\7 \: 





Fig. 15. — Types of looi) work 


Lids made of coiled work are a comparatively late development. 
Temporary lids for protecting the contents of baskets from dust, 
smoke, ashes, and insects have probably been in use for a long 
time. They consist merely of pieces of bark or board sUghtly larger 
than the mouth of the basket. Mats are even more frequently used, 
especially the small eating mats which among the L^pper Thompson 
are woven of rushes, or elaeagnus bark; among the Lower Thompson, 
of cedar bark. 


There are several kinds of coiled basketry lids which from the 
point of view of construction correspond very nearly to the various 
types of bottoms already discussed. Some varieties are very old, 
especially Types I and IV, as classified in the following description. 
These were most often applied to the round or "nut-shaped" and the 
long trunk-shaped .stlQk baskets. Although complete information 
concerning the construction and fitting of lids has not been gathered 
it is clear that there are four types which may be grouped as follows: 

Type I includes all those flat lids which are fastened to the baskets 
by means of thongs or hinges of leather or cord, or by means of 
hinges which at the same time are handles (fig. 16). They are 

Fig. 16.— Types of lids 

Type I, a. Flat, hinged, without flange, resting on the rim of the basket. 

h. Flat, hinged, without flange, resting on a basket flange placed near 
the rim on the inside. 
Type II, a. Flat, usually without hinges, with knobs or loops to pull by, and 
attached flange slanting slightly outward toward its base, and 
fitting snugly into the orifice. The lid rests on the basket rim, by 
means of its edges which project beyond the flange. 
6. Flat, without hinges, with attached flange slanting inward toward 
its base. 
Type III, a. Flat, but with a turned-down edge which acts as a flange covering 
an upright collar rim or flange which is sewed to the basket, 
b. Conoid shapes, fitting down over rims which are usually supplied 
with collar flanges. 
Type IV. Flat, and all of one piece of coiling with the basket. 

usually slightly larger than the mouths they are designed to cover, 
so that their edges project well over the rim and prevent the lids 
from dropping into the orifices. Such covers can be applied to 
almost any shape, but are most often seen on round or work baskets. 
Their construction depends somewhat on the shape of the basket for 
which they are intended. Round ones have lids of watch-spring 
coding, started with the usual knot (pis. 8, h, d: 9, a, &.• 36, d; 41, h; 
50, c) . In fact, the construction of any of these lids is exactly the same 
as for the corresponding type of bottom." Oval shapes require usually 
an elongated watchspring, while the more rectangular forms, such as 
some .stluk, have lids built of parallel or folded coils (pi. 12, i), or just 
as frequently of slats (pi. 8, c) . In these last two kinds a number of en- 

1' Round watch-spring coils are also used for more complicated round forms. (See pi. 13, 6.) 



circling coils bound tlie central portion, which varies from a true center 
to almost the entire piece. Plates 8, c; 9, c, and 10 illustrate these 
lids, which include all types of coiled and slat work, and are classified 
under one heading simply on account of their shape, their relation to 
the orifice they cover, and the way in which they are fastened to the 
baskets. They are Lillooet and Thompson specimens. A variation 
of Type I is characterized by the following features: The lid is flat, 
but smaller than the orifice, so that it requires a flange consisting of 
a few coils sewed around on the inside of the basket near the rim on 
which to rest. This variety is usually found on shapes which are 
smaller at the base than at the mouth, such as burden baskets; and 
is illustrated by Plate 11 , a. The flange is usually high enough so 
that the lid is on a level with the rim. 

The lids of the second type are of the same construction as those 
belonging to the first; they are flat and of watch-spring or parallel 
coils, but possess a flange which is attached to them instead of to 
the basket. This is made separately of rarely more than two coils, 
unless the basket is very large, and is either of the spiral or ring 
variety. Sometimes, instead of this, a flat and fairly broad piece of 
sapwood is used hoop fashion, and is covered with sewing splints in 
the usual manner. The flange is sewed very close to the edge of the 
lid, as the latter is usually constructed so that it barely covers the 
opening, the slight projection usually not extending beyond the rim 
coil of the mouth on which it rests. 

The flange is made to slant outward a few degrees, fitting the 
mouth quite snugly and even requiring a slight pressure to push it 
down, because the bottom coil is just a fraction larger than the rim 
coil, which must give a little to admit it (fig. 17, a, b). In order to 
remove it, it is necessary to give it a quick tug. Loops — or more 
recently, knobs — furnish a hold. Since such lids can not fall off, only 
the larger baskets are provided with hinges to hold them. 

A variant of this type (II, b) which is made by a few people, but 
which has never attained much popularity, has a flange which is 
deeper than the other kind, usually being built of three or four coils. 
It slopes inward from the top toward the bottom (fig. 17, c), the 
lowest coil or ring being of a diameter less than the mouth, the high- 
est being slightly wider, so that the lid may be pressed on and held 
firmly like a plug in a hole. But practically this is not feasible, for, 
on account of the springy nature of the coil, the lid frequently works 
out when the basket is moved about. Therefore, it is considered as 
inferior to the lid with a diverging flange which is used more often 
now than any other. 

The third type ranks second in popularity and includes flat and 
conoid shapes. The flat variety possesses a flange, but this is not of 
a separate piece which is later applied to the lid, but is made of the 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

last few coils of the main part of the lid, which instead of continuing 
in a horizontal plane, are laid vertically, one below the other at right 
angles to it, liice tlie walls of a basket in relation to the bottom, if 
turned upside down (fig. 17, d). To fit tliis, tlie last few coils of the 
baslvet are laid vertically on each other to form a " collar;" for, unlike 
the majority of baskets having flat lids, those with flanged ones 
usually have constricted mouths, the approach to wliicli is an almost 
horizontal slioulder, on which a flanged lid of the third type would 
slide about unless supported on a collar. 

There are several variants of this group, which are not sufficiently 
different to be placed in subclasses. With some the flange slopes 
outward, the supporting "collar" inward (see fig. 17, e). Occa- 
sionally the flange is made in a separate piece and then attached. 

A variation which in the main is like the first kind described under 
Type III is more carefully constructed than any so far discussed. 
It is used on straight-walled shapes, where, fastened by sewing to 



Fig. 17.— Types of lids 

the inside of the rim coil, is a thin slat of wood forming a hoop of 
exactly the right size. It lies on its edge, and over it, a coiled lid 
with a flange whose coils lie in the same plane as the walls fits so 
exactly that lid and basket walls seem to be one. The coils are 
perfectly matched and aUgned. Plate 11, b, shows a very neat bit 
of workmanship on a lid of this sort. Figure 17, /, indicates the 
arrangement diagrammatically. 

The conoid variety (Type III, b) is used on round or oblong shapes. 
The central part may be of watch-spring or parallel coiling, the 
encircling coils being gradually carried from a horizontal to a vertical 
plane in a curve which depends entirely on the eye and taste of the 
maker. Wlien intended for oblong baskets, the corners are rounded, 
and the makers claim that the lids are no harder to manufacture 
than the baskets themselves. Some informants say that the conoid 
shapes are rather recent. In fact they nearly all agree on this point, 
but they believe that slightly conoid forms have been applied to 
nut-shaped baskets for many years. 



The fourth type of lid is like the parallel coiled flat lids of the 
first type, with the important difference that it is made all in one 
piece with the basket; that is, the coil which completes the walls 
continues and makes the lid. This is undoubtedly a late develop- 
ment. The procedure involved in its manufacture is as follows. 

When the basket walls are completed, the coil is not cut off near 
a corner on a long side, but having run the length of one side which 
thereafter becomes the back of the basket, it is doubled and redoubled 
on itself, very much in the way parallel coiled bottoms are made, 
only that the lid is necessarily begun from the rim instead of from 
the center. These parallel coils are a little shorter than the orifice 
and do not extend to cover its full width. Instead, when a corner is 
reached at the front of the lid, after a long side has been completed 
and the maker is satisfied with the width, she carries the coil to the 
back of the basket, past the loops of the folded coils at one end of 
the lid, where she doubles it on itself and brings it back again, for- 
ward, along the front edge and around to the back along the other 
end, where she again doubles it back and brings it around the lid. 
Thus the lid is encircled on its three free sides several times, until 
the proper dimensions have been attained, when the coil is gradually 
diminished and comes to an end at the same corner where it began 
to surroimd the parallel section. This method of framing the parallel 
coils keeps the lid flat, strengthens it, and also enlarges it so that it 
projects over the rim. The sketch and key given in Figure 17, g, may 
be of assistance in elucidating the manner of procedure. Plate 12, a, 
represents a 'basket with attached lid. 

When not made in one piece with the basket, practically all kinds 
of lids are started in the center, although there are a few excep- 
tions, as in the case of bottoms, where the work may be commenced 
at the side. But there is another way of beginning lids which must 
fit exactly over the basket flange at the rim. They are not easy 
to make, but enhance the appearance of the basket not only as 
regards alignment of coils, but also, because the direction of the 
imbrication is retained, which, when the lid is begun from the center, 
is the reverse of that on the basket. Plate 11,6, again serves as the 

Informant No. 29 told how she and her sister and friends make 
such lids. After being measured to fit over the flange of the basket 
exactly the length of coil required is wrapped, and when enough has 
been covered to encircle the basket the sewing process begins by 
joining the end to the coil at the point where the wrapping has been 
completed, so as to start the spiral. From there the bunch of splints 
is sewed down to the A\Tapped coil, forming the second loop of the 
spiral, which is graduallj' carried to the center. 


All the informants agree that this is a recent devolopment and 
that the knowledge and use of the invention is as yet confined 
to only a few individuals. There seems to be some doubt as to 
whether the stitching always proceeds toward the center in the case 
of lids made in the manner just discussed. One woman thought that 
the usual method of semng from the center outM'ard was followed on 
small lids and was accomplished by first ■\%Tapping and basting the 
coils to one another at intervals until the center was reached, 
this being done merely to hold them in place. Thus the exact 
number and size of coils needed to fit into the space bounded by the 
rim coil was determined, and any adjustment of the size of the bunch 
of coU splints required to make the center as neat as the rest could 
be calculated and provided for. The real stitching then commenced 
at the center and was carried toward the rim, the wrapping being 
unwound as the stitching advanced upon it. 

A process requiring so many operations which were exactly the 
reverse of those usually employed and which entailed so much more 
labor makes it seem exceedingly unlikely that many women would 
attempt it, and makes its suggestion, as coming from a member of 
the group, all the more remarkable. Unfortunately it is impossible 
to tell whether such a scheme has or has not been adopted by any- 
one without observing its actual execution, since the finished product 
could not be distinguished in any way from a lid which really was 
begun, coil and all, in the center; and positive observation of a case 
in point has not been made. Nevertheless the thought through 
which the idea was evolved is worthy of recording. 

Usually, whatever may be the type of lid, the finish of the coil 
is neatly executed, the foundation material tapering down to a 
point. If the rim of the basket ends in this manner, the lid is 
made so that the two pieces fit one over the other (fig. 17, h). But 
on round baskets es{>ecially the coils are frequently cut off bluntly, 
and the ends of basket and lid coils are made to come together so that 
the effect is that of a continuous spiral (fig. 17, i). 

Ring coils are also used to finish lids and here, as elsewhere, impart 
a very neat appearance. It is said by the Lower Thompson that 
these are a modern development, introduced about 1S85. 

A small, new, circular shape was made entirely of ring coUs, the 
bottom and lid being of the same construction. These two parts 
were started with a knot of foundation material which was sewed 
around with a splint, exactly as when beginning a watch-spring coil, 
but the long end of the bunch of splints was cut off short and also 
overcast, instead of being bent into a coil, and the knot was inclosed 
by the first small ring, followed by others properly graduated in size. 

The splint acts as a measuring instrument for comparing the 
diameter of the mouth of the basket with that of the lid. Where 




the shape is oblong two measurements are taken. From time to 
time the lid is fitted over the basket in order that a better idea may 
be gained as to lunv it is going to fit. Every effort is made to effect 
a neat joining, to the extent of enlarging or diminishing the size of 
the last coil, but if there are slight irregularities, especially on flat, 
projecting lids, they are not regarded seriously. 

Where there is an upright flange fastened to the inside of the 
basket rim, over which the lid fits, it is more essential that the 
measurements be exact, for the diameter of the coils which encircle 
the flange must be such that the outside edges do not project beyond 
those of the basket walls (fig. 17,/). 

The lids of fancy baskets are frequently made of combinations of 
loopwork and plain coil and are without knobs or pull loops, the 
interstices admitting the entrance of the 
fingers (fig. IS). Most of the women make 
all the types of lids mentioned, but there are 
some who do not make any, or at least have 
attempted them only occasionally. Some 
make only one kind or another. 

The Foot 

Among other comparatively recent "im- 
provements" is the foot, which seems to have 
come into use about ISOO, and which has 
been apphed to fancy and storage baskets 
where it was thought necessary to keep the 
bottoms from contact with the floor. By fig. 
being so protected, the bottom actually does 
have a longer life and, according to prevailing ideas, the whole basket 
gains artistically by the addition of this little stand. It has never 
been adopted for large or medium-sized household baskets, nor for 
those used for carrving burdens, as it would merely be in the way 
and would soon become damaged. 

Unless it is composed of loopwork, as is frequently the case on 
fancy baskets, the foot consists of several plain coils added below 
the bottom, at its edge, which resemble the inception of a second 
basket, built on upside down (pis. 9, a; 11, a, h; 12, c). The number of 
coils depends on the size of the basket and for medium shapes rarely 
exceeds two. Too many are considered as evidences of bad taste, for 
they apparently alter the standard proportions to which the people 
have so long been accustomed. Therefore, usually a four-coil foot 
is regarded as being extremely high. Small baskets with a high foot 
are characterized as foolish looking, but it is said that there can be 

18.— Sketches of lids with 



[ETH. ANN. 41 


no such thing as too low a foot. It is high enough when the bottom 
of the basket clears the ground. A protecting foot is preferred to 
a sagging bottom. 

It will be remembered that in parts exposed to wear the coils were 
constructed with larger diameters. This is also often the case with 
the bottom coil of the foot. 

There are several ways of adding this part to the basket, one of 
which is to build a separate piece either of spiral or ring coils and to 
fasten it by sewing to the bottom before the walls are commenced. 
It may be either of spreading shape or straight but the former is 
preferred. It is not necessary, however, to sew 
the foot on before the side walls are begun, but 
it is easier than attaching it to the complete 

A watch-spring coiled bottom of either the 
circular or elongated type usually has a separate 
foot, even though this is not a necessary concomitant. On the other 
hand, slat bottoms or those made of parallel folded coils more 
frequently have feet which are made in one piece with the side walls. 
The separate pieces built of ring coils are less common because of 
the time required to splice each ring and to make sure that the 
joints do not come one over the other. Where the spiral is employed 
it is begun with a very small coil which is stitched to the edge of 
the bottom and which gradually increases in diameter as the work 
proceeds. The sewing is, as usual, toward the right and is caught 
into that coU which divides the planes of bottom and wall, because 

FiQ. 19.— Method of making 
foot of basket 

Fig. 20.- 

Method of making foot of basket 

a better hold is to be gained there. When the foot is high enough, 
the coil is again diminished, so that the decreased portion comes on 
the same side as that where the work began, thus making a level 
stand. Figure 19 shows the finished product upside down as it is 

When the foot is to be made all of one piece with the side walls, 
as frequently happens on rectangular shapes, a round coil is stitched 
in the middle of its length to the bottom at or near a corner. The 
left-hand portion is left loose, to be taken up later, when the foot is 
started. That at the right is used to build the side walls, which are 



carried up a short distance before the work on the foot is commenced. 
Wiien this occurs, the basket is inverted, and the material which 
formerly lay loose to the left now lies to the right, in the correct 
position for being sewed (fig. 20). It is not feasible to divide a 
watch-spring coil in this manner, for when the edge is reached, the 
coil is lying entirely to the right, everything to the left being sewed 
down. To add coil sphnts in the opposite direction would be as 
awkward as to bend back some of those already in place. 

There are at least two ways of constructing the loopwork foot, 
especially as far as the final rim coil is concerned. One is to make 
the loops and rim separately, the beginning and end of the looped 
coil being brought together and stitclied down at the same point, 
namely, at an apex which joins the basket. 

Figure 21, a, h, illustrate how this is done. Both ends are reduced 
in size, and when covered with stitching the joint is practically in- 
visible. The application of the rim coil is shown in Figure 21, c. It 
is begun and ended at the apex of a loop, where the ends are lapped 
over each other, having been cut down so that together they are 
no larger than the single coil. Another possible rim is the ring coil. 

' / d 

Fig. 21.— Methods of making a loofed foot 

but in this connection it wotild be less satisfactory because the joining 
of the two ends wovdd be necessarily weak, owing to the fact that it 
is not supported by another coil sewed to it, for the apex of a loop 
is hardly a sufficient foimdation on which to fasten the joint of a ring. 

In the second type the loopwork is begun at an apex near the 
rim (fig. 21, d, e), and when the circuit has been completed the coil 
is brought past the point of beginning, where it is fastened, and then 
carried around to make the rim, returning to the same point to be 
reduced and finished in the customary fashion (fig. 21 e). Figiure 21,/^ 
shows the appearance of the completed basket. 

About half of the women interviewed could and did make the foot, 
esj^ecially on fancy shapes. A few add this part after completing 
the side walls, but most of them have adopted the more convenient 
plan of making it first. 

A rare basket is pictured in Plate 13, a. Here the bottom is fin- 
ished with two ring coils which are added in such a way that the inner 
one seems to result from a division of the coil which made the bottom. 
The foot is constructed of four rings and above these the basket 
proper is built up. 


coiled basketry in british columbia 

[ETH. ANN. 41 

Handles are likewise of late introduction but are very common at 
present, because they are most frequently added on fancy shapes 
for which there is a constantly increasing demand. 

The simplest kind are merely interstices left between the coils 
where the upper two or three are looped up slightly in the middle of 

Fig 22.— Loops used as handles 

the wall, to make room for the fingers to enter between them and the 
coils below. Such openings are also made so that the basket may be 
suspended from a peg or by a rope. The number of coils so lifted or 
waved depends entirely on the judgment of the maker, who takes 
into consideration the size of the receptacle and the probable weight 
which it wiU sustain. For trays this type is the only kind of " handle " 

Fig. 23.— Loops made of thongs 

used (fig. 22, a, b; pi. 28, d). The angular opening (c) is rather 
imcommon. When the loop is of a single coil, it is thickened in 
diameter (pi. 40, c). This type of handle is said to be very old. 
Certainly it is widely distributed through the Rocky Mountain 
Basin region. 

There are also loops, thongs, or lugs of cord or leather which are 
drawn between the coils, by means of holes bored by the awl and 

'(X) C 

Fig. 24. — Types of handles 

tied at the ends with knots to prevent their pulling out. Various 
kinds are shoAvn in the sketches of Figures 16 and 23. In the latter, 
a and a' show the right and reverse sides of one variety; h and c, 
two other types. Lugs of iron and wire are modern and rec^uire no 
discussion here. 

Real handles of coiled work, attached to tlie rims or walls, are also 
manufactured, and these merit some attention. 




Occasionally a leather thong was used for the handle foundation, 
instead of a bimch of coil splints, or even fiber strings, either of which 
are more flexible and durable than splints (fig. 24,/). Wliere single 
coils are used (fig. 24, a), they are ■^Tapped with a splint, but when 
the}' are double, the WTapping is alternately carrietl from one to the 
other, or the second coil may be sewed to the first (fig. 24, h). The 
stitches may be held together more firmly by se\\ing up and down 
through them for the length of the handle between the coils, as may 
be seen in Figure 24, g. Such coiled handles were passed through a 
loop made by the rim coil, or else tlirough a leather loop, and the ends 
were doubled back and fastened to the body of the handle by a tight 
wrapping and sewing (pis. 14, a, i, c, e; 16, a; 31, a, which are Lillooet 
specimens, and fig. 24, a, h, c). 

The Upper Thompson very rarely braided handles of leather thongs, 
twine, Indian hemp, or horsehair — another widely diffused type. 

Fig. 25.— a, b, Method of attaching thong line; c, Load supported by sticks; d, c. Tying of top 

of basket 

No wooden handles were employed, such as bent sticks sewed to 
the basket walls, but some of the Uta'mqt used sapwood wrapped in 
splints of clieiTy bark or in quills for the kind of handles similar to 
those pictured in Figure 24, a, h, c. 

In addition to these aids in carrying baskets, where there were 
heavy loads to be transported, wrappings of ropes and withes were 
bound around the whole bundle to lessen the strain on the handles, 
and the burden was lifted by means of stout sticks passed beneath 
them. For carrying on the back tump hues were deemed sufficient. 

All handles such as knobs on lids and cups are modern. The lid 
knobs are made exactly like a miniature foot (pi. 14, d), while cup 
handles and the like are merely short bits of coiled work sewed to the 
wall of the mam structure (fig. 24, d, e). Figure 25, a, h, shows how 
the tump fine is attached, c shows a top load with supporting sticks 
and ties, and d and e the methods of attaching strings across the tops 
of loads. 



The information included in this section is chiefly applicable to 
the Upper Thompson, although probably it is equally true of other 

Wlien a new, fine basket was much prized, and in the old days 
such were not lightly regarded, the owner took precaxitions at the 
outset to protect it, as much as possible from the hard wear which by 
necessity usually devolved upon it. Wlien rawhide was plentiful a 
large piece was fastened over the bottom on the outside, extending well 
up the sides, but in later times this was supplanted by heavy canvas. 
Such patches were especially placed on baskets used for carrying 
loads on the backs of horses, where the severe rubbing against the 
packsaddle, to which they were subjected, would cut short the life 
of the best coU work. The loads were always piled to the rim, lest 
the pressure of the lash rope on the partially empty basket would 
dent or break it. If there were not sufficient contents to fill the 
basket, brush was stuffed into the remaining space. 

Empty baskets were placed upside down on the top of the load 
and tied to it with small cords. As was mentioned in the section 
on "the foot" (pi. 14, b), the bottoms of those baskets which habitu- 
ally rested on the ground were protected from contact with it by a 
few rings of coil. Only the Chilcotin put hoops around the rims, and 
with them it may have beeii force of habit, on account of their previous 
acquaintance with bark basketry and because, later, their coiled ware 
never attained the rigidity of that manufactured by their neighbors. 
(See, however, p. 201.) Dirt was removed by scouring and scrubbing 
with tepid water. At present the people take much less care of their 
belongings than formerly, another indication of the loss of the sense 
of responsibility which must be laid at the door of the white man. 


Different methods of repairing have been mentioned, such as calk- 
ing, putting in new bottoms, resewing coils, etc., so that there is little 
need of entering into this subject in detail here. Rawhide thongs 
or bark twine were sometimes used for patching coils or for fas- 
tening in a patch of stiff rawhide over the hole left by the wearing 
out of a bottom. The stitching ui such cases was vertical, catch- 
ing m different coils alternately long and short, like that on birch 
bark, where the purpose is to prevent its tearing along the grain. 
Loose pieces of hide, the size of the original bottom, were occasion- 
ally di-opped inside to protect the bottom, and for these or for new 
skin bottoms, old parfleches were cut up. In a few cases, wooden 
bottoms, consisting of pieces of board about a centimeter thick, 
were cut to fit the space, and sewed to the sides by thongs which 
passed thi-ough small holes bored near the edges. These holes and 
the joint were then pitched to prevent leakage. 


Often when a bottom is quite badly worn it is cut from the basket, 
together with the lowest coils of the sides back to where they are 
sound. A new bottom is made separately, which can be almost 
exactly fitted to the opening, and this is sewed in, the splint passing 
through and joining the edges of the walls to those of the bottom. 
The stitch may include a coil or two on either side, at least in places. 
But as mending entails no small amount of labor, few people seek 
to preserve their baskets and prefer to make new ones. 


According to tradition, in olden times there were 10 different 
kinds of baskets recognized by the tribe. These fall naturally into 
four groups according to their general shapes. (See appendix, 
p. 395.) They are: 

Group I. Burden baskets (fig. 26, p. 198). 

1. Tsi.'a, common large burden basket. 

2. Tsi.he'tsa, shallower and smaller form of burden basket, generally 

two-thirds to three-quarters the size of the tsi.'a. 

3. Spa'nek,' .small burden basket about half the size of the tsi.'a. 

4. Spa'pEnEk, smallest burden basket, about one-quarter the size of 

the tsi.'a. 
Group II. Round baskets, basins, pails, bowls, kettles (fig. 27, p. 201). 

5. .nko'EtEU, a large circular basket (kettle). 

0. .nko'koEtEn, small circular basket, the size of a large bowl. 
Group III. Nut- and pot-shaped baskets (fig. 2S, p. 203). 

7. .slkomoxe'lEmox, small round basket. 

8. Slkapuxe'lEmox, nut-shaped basket. 
Group IV. Storage baskets (fig. 29, p. 206). 

9. .stluk, large storage basket, oblong, with rounded corners, high 


10., smaller size of same shape, workbasket (?). 

In addition to these four groups, all of which are represented by old 
and well-established forms, there are numerous "freak" shapes, copies 
of more or less modern utensils, boxes and dishes, which, although 
showing many variations, are classed together in a fifth group. 
The basis of this last classification is merely that the forms are not 
indigenous. One cjuite old shape which is not included by the in- 
formants in the original four groups but which certainly was made 
from very early times, is the tray, frequently of great width, but 
very shallow or even flat. 

Each of the four original groups is represented by numerous 
gradations in size, as well as form, especially the last named. Some 
forms are due to modern influences which have crept in gradually. 
The classification given above is therefore not rigid and must seek 
justitication also from the purpose to which each group of baskets 
is put. Group I are used chiefly for dry burdens of all descriptions. 
Group II are for liquids. Group III are for the storage of small articles, 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

and Group IV are for storage of large amounts of food or clothing. 
The Indians recognize further subdivisions by descriptive terms, 
such as large, small, medium sized, low, high, very small, very 
round, big or small mouthed, constricted. In the appendix are given 
all the names that have been secured (pp. 395 et seq.). 

The various kinds of baskets are not local forms but are rather 
generally made by all the divisions of the tribe, although there is a 
tendency on the part of different bands to manufacture some kinds 
more than others. The forms, Figure 26, a-f, are very common 
everywhere, while the remainder are made chiefly by the bands 
along the Fraser River. Those around Lytton perhaps preferred 
round forms like those of Group III, while the Lower Thompson 
favored oblong shapes similar to those represented in Group IV. 
Most of the largest .stluk are made by them, while their neighbors 

Fig. 26. — Types of burden baskets 

produce a smaller size of the same variety. The bands east of 
Lytton made none of these storage baskets, and only a few round 

Group I. Burden Baskets 

As might be inferred from their general distribution and popu- 
larity, the burden baskets represented by the first group are the 
oldest forms. Tlieir shapes range from a truncated cone to a trun- 
cated pyramid, and the former is said to be the older form. Figure 
26, e, f, g, approximate old Wenatchi types which the Thompson 
imitated long ago. Their shape lay probably between these and 
those represented by a and h. These old forms were deeper in 
proportion to their diameters and resembled the earlier birch bark 
shapes; '* but they are no longer made. The sketches a and h 

" Another old type resembled some of the modern forms such as Figure 26, h, but had straighter walls. 
It was like those existing among the tribes in southern Washington west of the Cascades, such as the 
Nisqualli and Cowlitz, and is said to have been used by the interior Salish along Columbia River. 
Among the Klickitat the tendency of late has been away from this type toward a distinctly conical form, 
with very small bottom and Daring walls. It is doubtful if the tribes living east of the Cascades, in the 
State of Wasbington, ever made any but circular forms. 


represent also old types which, however, are still in use, although 
h is at present rather rare. Tyj^e c is a modern development, approxi- 
mating the common Lillooet style, but with a larger, longer base 
and less flare of sides which lack the sharp corners so characteristic of 
the Lillooet. Most of the people consider sharp corners detrimental 
to durability. Type d represents a very large-mouthed type, which is 
said not to be very old. The most common modern baskets tend 
toward tliis form, with the flare becoming less in the upper half or 
third of the basket. There are at present all possible variations of 
these forms, with sharp or rounded corners, sc|uared oval, purely 
oval and quite rectangular bottoms and mouths, or with bottoms of 
one of these forms and mouths of another. It seems that the in- 
dustry is passing tlirough a transitional stage, at least as far as the 
forms of the products are concerned, so that it is difficult to draw 
hard and fast lines. Still, with all these burden shapes, there is a 
group similarity and a noticeably fairly regular proportion main- 
tained between the parts of any one basket. The shallower forms 
(fig. 26, Ji, i) are not common. They resemble the lower parts of 
burden baskets. 

The tsi.'a is the largest of the typical burden shapes. It is 
40 cm. high, or thereabouts, 60 cm. long at the mouth, and 45 cm. 
wide, with varying base measurements. Sometunes the end waUs 
flare a little more than the sides. It is used for big loads, such as 
wood, roots, etc., and even for boiling soapberries by means of heated 
stones. It is carried on the back by means of tump lines and is 
strapped on the sides of the horses when making long journeys or 
when the load is too heavy for the people to transport. It is said 
that the tsi.'a was gradually made more and more elongated, when 
it was discovered that a modified shape did not roll so much when 
being carried. Nearly all of these baskets have elongated coiled 

Sometimes the largest baskets were used for bathtubs, or wash- 
tubs, either in or out of doors. If used for bathing purposes, a hole 
was frequently dug in the ground into which the basket was placed, 
so that it might not tip over with its occupant. 

Some old people declare that the tsi.'a was specially designed for 
carrying burdens and that the present form is the acme of perfection. 
Its lower part is made narrow to fit the small of the back, and its 
upper part wide where it rests on the shoulders. One of the longer 
sides rests firmly and flatly on the back, preventing the troublesome 
rolling of round forms. There is just enough flare so that the basket 
is about vertical when the bearer is bent forward under the load, and 
the slant of the end walls, which is a little more than that of the sides, 
is sufficient to prevent the carrying strap which passes around it from 
slippmg up and bringing too much stram on the loops through which 
53666°— 28 14 


it passes. The bottom is just large enough so that the basket will 
remain upright when on the ground. The old people consider as 
awkward and impracticable conical baskets which can not stand up 
and must be transported on carrying frames, such as they have seen 
m pictures of the Pima and Papago Indians in the southwestern part 
of the United States. 

It seems quite certain that rounded forms were the earliest and 
that the rectangular ones have gradually superseded them, but that 
the extreme angularity noticeable in modern specimens is copied from 
the LiUooet, who have used these shapes for a long time. 

The Thompson greatly admire the Lillooet forms and in trying to 
improve their own styles surpass their models in extreme angularity, 
but fail to acaomplish the ends they strive for because they still make 
the bottoms too large and the sides too low. 

The second size of burden basket, the tsi.he'tsa, is also an old 
type and varies little in shape from the large type, although according 
to a Nicola informant and his wife, who were partly of Thompson 
descent, this basket has a wider mouth in relation to its height. It 
serves as a berry basket or for carrying roots. Wlien the women go 
out to gather roots, berries, or any other similar foods they often carry 
a large and a small basket, and when the latter is filled they empty the 
contents into the larger receptacle, and when this is full it is carried 
home, the little basket resting on top of the load. The tsi.he'tsa 
measures about 30 cm. in height; the mouth 35 by 45 cm., and the 
base 18 by 22 cm. 

Young girls carry smaller baskets, and with them the spa'nSk 
and spa'pEUEk are popular. These range from 17 to 24 cm. in 
height, 16 by 22 to 25 by 35 cm. for mouth dimensions, and 7 by 11 to 
11 by 23 cm. for the base. Their names merely denote differences in 
size. A few very small ones are made for little gii'ls, and are used by 
them in play. Since they are quite as strong as other baskets, they 
are frequently pressed into service about the lodge, as dippers, scoops, 
etc. Burden baskets of almost any size were used when removmg 
snow or earth. In the former case they were employed like shovels, 
but as the moving of earth or sand was a more arduous process which 
was likely to damage the basket the soil was first loosened and heaped 
up and then scooped into the large basket wliich lay on its side with 
the rim on a level with the bottom of the pile of earth, while it was 
steadied with the knee. 

Three loops of buckskin passed around three or four coils serve to hold 
the carrying strap. They are placed at both corners of the side which 
is intended to lie next to the back and in the center on the opposite side. 
The tump line passes through them and crosses on the back; the ends 
which are brought around in front of the person are tied. Methods 
of tying coi'ds across the top of the load have been treated in the 



section on "handles" (p. 195). If the load is heavy and the basket 
does not fit the back well, small pads of bunches of grass, some brush, 
or a folded shawl or sack are laid across the small of the back. 

Group II. Kettles and Bowls 

The circular forms of the second group were used principally for 
holding liquids. Of many variations of this general type, the kettle 
basket, .nko'EtEn (fig. 27, e), is the most common. It is the general 
basket used for cooking, or was until the white man's kettle sup- 
planted it. It also held water for household purposes, but was then 
called xaiS'ka. There were sizes for all possible uses, in which the 
degree of flare varied considerably. The smaller bowls were given 
the general name .nko'koEtEn, but when used by shamans in cere- 
monies were called kaiskstEn (thing for dipping the hands in)." 

Special names were given to baskets employed about the house, 
according to the use to wliich they were put, rather than according 
to size. They held food, water, oil, berries, or medicine and were 
used as dishes, washbowls, or mortars. They also were filled with 

Fig. 27. — Types of kettles and bo\vls 

water and placed beside the cooking basket, and into them the house- 
wife dipped her hot stones to cleanse them of ashes before dropping 
them into the cooking kettle. Sometimes the larger kettles had hoops 
of wood fastened near the rim to assist in keeping them in shape and 
as an aid in lifting them, but this is more characteristic of Chilcotin 
than of Thompson baskets. The large sizes were 35 to 50 cm. high 
and 50 to 70 cm. in diameter at the mouth, winch was about double 
the size of the bottom. Like the large bm'den baskets they were 
sometimes requisitioned for bathtubs. 

The sketches, Figure 27, a-d, show different forms of bowls down 
to the smallest, which were used as cups. Figure 27, /, shows a pail 
which resembles the earlier bark baskets from which it may have 
been copied. It is rather rare at the present time. 

Baskets, shallow and wide at the mouth in proportion to the 
height, served as basins. They were made by the Upper Uta'mqt and 

" When the shaman treated a sick person the bowl was filled with water and placed near him. He dipped 
his fingers into it and transferred the moisture to his mouth while performing the ceremony. The same 
type of basket was used in the sweat lodge for holding water which was sprinkled on hot stones. These 
two kinds were specially decorated and kept separate, never being used for secular purposes. There were 
others which were used by youths and maidens during their training, but most of these were of bark. Al- 
though the sizes merge into one another almost imperceptibly to our eyes, the Indians differentiate them 
more particularly than we should be apt to do. Figures 156 and 157 and Plate 35 in Mason's "Aboriginal 
American Basketry" represent some common shapes. 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

Lytton bands. Many were provided with two lioles on opposite 
sides, for finger-holds when they were hl'ted, but it is said that okler 
specimens were suppHed with buckskin loops. Figure 27, g, gives 
the general form. 

Usually those baskets which are intended for the same purpose 
in any group are approximately of the same size. This may be 
illustrated by the "cup," which is perhaps the smallest of the round • 
forms. Those measui'ing 12 cm. in depth and mouth diameter and 5 
cm. across the bottom are said to be of average size and shape, with 
the proper amomit of flare. But there are others only 8 cm. deep, 
8 cm. wide at the mouth, and 6 cm. across the bottom. These are 
considered small specimens. The average cup appears to our eyes 
somewhat deep in proportion to its width and the walls almost too 
vertical. Mr. Teit was told that a cup might have considerable flare 
and still be used, but that it would be recognized as being wrongly 
proportioned. The men would probably notice the unusual shape 
but would not criticize it shai-ply as long as it could be made to serve 
its purpose. 

Cups were called za'utEn or .nza'umEn (thing for dipping) . They 
are not as common as bark vessels used for the same purpose. The 
dipper is supposed to have more flare than the cup. A man said it 
resembled the Wenatchi baskets (fig. 26, e, f, p. 198), but was small. 
It is said that basketry cups were mostly used by girls. 

Of the bowls and other round baskets exammed, the height 
measurement usually lay between those of the diameters of bottom 
and mouth. Two bowls were considered small, the measurements of 
which are as follows : 


of bottom 

of mouth 

No. 1 

No. 2 

10. 8 
12. 1 


7. 6 


14 6 

Round trays measuring 40.7 cm. to 50.9 cm. in diameter were 
considered large by three Upper Thompson experts, who said very 
few were made measuring more than 50 cm. Trays 25.4 cm. to 30.5 
cm. in diameter were classed as small. 

Group III. Nlt-sh-^ped Baskets 

To this group belong also the pot-shaped baskets, robin's nest, 
and underground house forms. 

The "nut-shaped" baskets were used for storing berries and were 
also the common workbaskets for the women, used to hold small 
tools — awls, thread, shells, trinkets, and any other odds and ends. 
(See fig. 28, e.) They derived their name from then- resemblance to 




hazelnuts. They are practically identical in size, for the "nut 
shape" is the most fixed and widely known of any of the round forms. 
It is also one of the oldest. The bottom is usually small, circular, 
and flat, but the sides have two distinctive forms. The fii'st variety 
is largest in diameter tlu-ough the middle; the other is widest higher 
up, at what may be called the shoulder. Among the people them- 
selves there is some disagreement as to which is the original form, 
but according to Mr. Teit, the former type is the older one. So well 
estabhshed have size and shape become that no one who makes a 
nut-shaped basket attempts to deviate noticeably from the standard. 
Every woman who manufactures one has a clear conception of how 

Fig. 28.— Types of baskets 

it must appear when finished and adjusts her work accordingly. 
She may alter the size a little, but never the shape, which is always 
one of the two tj^es just mentioned. It is claimed that long ago 
there were very large "nut shapes," but these are not made any more. 
They were about four times the size of the little ones and were used 
for holding stored provisions, or for clothes and ornaments, tobacco, 
or kinnikhinick. 

The average size of the former variety and its most common pro- 
portions are illustrated by the following measurements of four speci- 
mens wliich were declared by the three women of the upper bands 
before mentioned to be good examples. 



of bottom 

of mouth 

No. 1- 





12. 1 


8. 9 



11. 3 

12. 1 
12. 7 

No. 2 

No. 3 

No. 4 

12. 7 
12. 1 

Very small baskets of this shape would, according to these inform- 
ants, be considered as curiosities and were of little practical use. A 
nut-shaped basket with greatest diameter a httle above the middle, 
which measured 19.4 cm. in height, 23.5 cm. in its greatest diameter, 


11.9 cm. across the bottom, and 11.3 cm. across the mouth, was 
considered rather too high for the other proportions. The mouths 
of these baskets were made just large enough to permit the easy 
entrance of a woman's hand. Most of the women said tlaere was no 
point in malving them any larger and none were made smaller, be- 
cause they would be inconvenient (pi. 17, d). Almost all of these are 
provided with lids (pis. 8, d, and 9, a), which are attached by one or 
two long loops of buckskin, fastened as shown in Figure 16, e and/, 
p. 186. Occasionally they are attached with pieces of leather resem- 
bling lunges (fig. 16, a), but this style is not popular, for the hinge 
obscures part of the design. Other methods are pictured in Figure 
16, h-d. Modern baskets have a flanged rim and lid, as shown in 
Figm-e 17, d and /, p. 188. Lids of hide were ornamented with 
designs carried out in paint or beads, and were sometimes pinked 
around the edges. The small nut-shaped baskets are often imbri- 
cated aU over with great care, for they are usually intended for gifts 
to be given to other women or girls, and sometimes to men. A few 
have conoid lids instead of flat ones, with a knob on top as a handle. 
The knobs are cjuite modern and are made principally by the Lower 
Thompson. One of these is shown in Plate 14, d. 

Very httle is known about the pot-shaped baskets. They were 
rather large, like jars, with constricted mouths, just large enough to 
admit a hand, and supplied with buckskin loops for handles. They 
were used for storing water, oil, grease, etc. The mouth may have 
been sealed with pitch, although there is no information on this 
point. The age of the type is not known. 

The jar shape given in Figure 28, d, is not made at aU now, and 
many persons do not even know it. The neck was about 3 cm. high 
and was seldom over 7 cm. in diameter. There was no lid, but the 
opening was stopped with a plug of grass, bark, or wood. The loops 
for carrying are shown in the figure. Just when these shapes were 
used is not known, but they are supposed to have been employed for 
carrying water, or as pitchers in the house. Some people say they 
were fii'st made in the time when the Hudson Bay Company flour- 
ished; that is, from 1810 to 1860; and again this is denied. It is 
possible that they were an old type, for bags and bark baskets with 
constricted mouths were commonly known and used by the tribe. 
Their exact proportions are uncertain. 

A small round basket about the size of a cup but wider and with 
a slightly constricted rim was made by the Lytton people and dubbed 
"robin's nest" (fig. 28, c). It was used as a cup, generally by girls. 
"Robin's nests" were freciuently imbricated all over the surface and 
even supplied with loopwork borders. In this case they were prob- 
ably never intended to be used. They are rarely made now. 


Another peculiar shape was the ''underground house," so named 
from its resemblance to the winter lodge. It had bulging sides, 
long sloping shoulders, and a small mouth, and was used for storage 
purposes, even very long ago, but was not very common. It differs 
from the nut shape in its greater size and broad base. Figure 28, /, 
gives a conception of its general outline, which is not fixed, but takes 
two forms, as may be seen from the sketches. Its capacity was com- 
parable to that of a large burden basket, or of the large, old-style 
nut-shapes. When the base was small it was quite similar to a nut- 
shaped basket. There was a tendency to decorate ''underground 
house" baskets with ladder designs, representing the notched ladders 
of the semi-underground lodges; and also to apply a vertical stripe 
design wliich pictured the posts used in the construction of the house. 

Some informants think these shapes were given their names on 
account of their resemblance to the objects; others say they were 
actually imitations of such objects and were necessarily so called. 

The Lytton band was evidently more ingenious and original than 
some of the others, if they may be judged by the variety of shapes 
they invented. They are responsible for all the "fanciful" shapes 
as weU as for the triangular, oval, and heart-shaped forms. 

Group IV. Storage Baskets 

To the last of the four groups of old shapes belong the .stluk or 
storage baskets, often called "trunk baskets" by the whites. It will 
be remembered that the ancient types were rounded, and that 
angular forms are a modern development. Figure 29, a-e, represent 
tlie old styles, while/ represents a new form. Usually they have lids 
which are provided with buckskin hinges. Plate 15 gives excellent 
illustrations of three specimens of this type.''* The largest equal in 
capacity a good-sized trunk of white manufacture. Their use was 
formerly confined to the bands around Lytton, who used them for the 
storage of clothing, blankets, and robes, while among the Upper 
Thompson bags took their place. These large sizes were seldom 
taken away from the village, but the smaller ones, which were used for 
food, were carried along. Very small ones are longer in proportion 
to their lieight than the large specimens (fig. 29, e) and serve as 
women's workbaskets or for treasure boxes in which to keep valuable 
feathers, small feather headdresses, necklaces, and fragile trinkets. 
The trunk-shaped baskets were also made among the adjoining tribes 
west of the Cascades in western Washington, and by the Coeur d'Al^ne 
and Lake tribes of the interior. It seems doubtful whether they were 

»• See also pis. 8, c; 9, c; 10, a, b; 11, b: 12, a, b; 17, c; 18, b; 26, h; 35, e; 38, a, b; -12, g: 50, d, e. 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

copied from the trunks used by whites who were in the service of the 
Hudson Bay Company as suggested by Mason,^" for they seem to ante- 
date by a long time the advent of these traders, and the earhest arrivals 
probably brought no baggage. In later years trunks may have been 
carried to the trading posts, but there were no such stations in the 
Thompson territory and many Thompson Indians never saw any posts 
previous to about 1860. It seems more probable that if they were not 
invented by the people for their own requirements, they may have 
been copies of the bent cedar wood or bark boxes made by the coast 
Indians, as Doctor Boas has suggested, although in this case the 
difference of form can not well be accounted for, since exact dupli- 
cates could have been just as easily made, as imitations of Lillooet 

Fig. 29. — Types of storage baskets 

forms are at the present day. The arrangement of the attached Ud 
(pi. 12, a) seems to resemble flaps on woven or skin bags which were 
common enough among the interior tribes. 

Gkoup V. Odd Shapes 

In addition to the groups so far discussed, there were many odd 
forms used for a variety of purposes. The most numerous smiong 
these types are trays and plaques, which were used as food dishes and 
eating plates and especially for passing food during ceremonies, as weU 
as to toss dice on in gambling, and to, fan the fire with. These, as 
their names suggest, have broad, flat bottoms and flaring sides which 
might better be termed rims, because of their insignificant height. 
Those intended for ceremonies have higher walls than those used for 
ordinary purposes. They are of various shapes, as Figure 30 shows. 

" O. T. Mason. Aboriginal American Basketry, p. 285. 




Here also the Fraser River people who manufacture them display 
their inventive genius. The Lower Thompson have only recently 
attempted to make them, while the bands east of Thompson Siding 
never have done so, but used woven mats and bark vessels instead. 

The former distribution of coiled-work trays and dishes is not 
known, but the people say that there were not many long ago. 

Fig. 30.— Types of trays 

Those used for household purposes were rather plain, being orna- 
mented near the rim with a line of beading or imbrication in an old 
arrowhead design. Imbricated ornamentation on the inside bottom 
was unknown in former times, but at the present time for the ceremo- 
nial utensils an elaborate scheme of decoration of this part has come 
into vogue. Although the people discrimmate between the variotis 
sizes and forms according to the uses to which they are put and use 


Fig. 31. — Types of baskets— n, tub-shaped; 6, c, bo.\-shaped 

distinctive terms for these, the common name for this type of utensil 
is zalt. 

A circular tub-shaped basket sketched in Figure 31, a, is a modern 
form which is occasionally made by the Fraser River people, generally 
of sapwood foundation coil. They call these baskets .nkwoi'tsEmEn 
or .ntsau'niEn, names wliich they also apply to washtubs and basins 
of white manufacture. Mason ^' shows a specimen of tliis type in 
his Plate 156, which he says comes from Port Douglas in the country 
of the Lower Lillooet. 

I O. T. Mason, Aboriginal American Basketry. 



[eTH. ANN. 41 

The boxes sketched in Figure 31, 6, c, are examples of the unitations 
of white men's boxes made at the present time. They are of all 
sizes and either oblong or square, and when they are Lower Thompson 
products, frequently have a slat bottom and a stand or foot. They 
are used in the house for storage purposes and may or may not have 
lids. Usually when these are present they are of the variety seen in 
Plate 12, a, or flat, tied on with buckskin thongs; a few fit into the 
rim, as do those of crocks or pots of white manufacture, and quite a 
number are provided with basketry knobs of one description or 
another. They are frequently profusely decorated with imbricated 
designs and on account of their neat, attractive appearance are 
bought in large numbers by the whites. 

There are also baskets for pouring liquids, shown in Figure 32, a, b, 
which were likewise used as berry dishes or bins for dry materials, 
and flat-backed tjqaes shown in Figure 32, c, and on Plate 9, d, which 
were formerly used, but are seldom manufactured now. The origin 

Fig. 32.— Types of baskets— a, 6, lor pouring liquids; c, storage basket for tobacco and pipe; d, for 

general storage; e, rattle 

of this type is uncertain, for it is very unlikely that the fur traders 
introduced the shape. Its first appearance, the people claim, was at 
Lytton, where so many other odd shapes originated; it was not 
adopted elsewhere, and was used in much the same way as fishermen 
employ it now, or it was hung up in the house and held tobacco, 
kinnikinnick, and pipes. The hole is said to have been made in 
order to allow the long pipestcms to protrude from it. Such a shape 
was also useful when traveling, for it made a very excellent saddlebag. 
Figure 32, d, is simply a square receptacle for suspension. The 
type of rattle in Figure 32, e,^^ is usually about 8 cm. high, coiled all 
in one piece, beginning at the top and worked toward the handle. It 
ends in a loopwork coil. The head and handle are hoUow and the 
pebbles in the head are kept there by a wooden plug, which stops the 
opening. The larger and heavier kinds used ui dances and ceremonies 
frequently had additional loops of basketry or thongs by which to 
hold them. They were made by all the Fraser Bands and the Upper 
and Lower Lillooet. Fancy baskets of all shapes are now made of 
loopwork coil. (Pis. 16, a; 17, a, e, g.) 

" See top view, pi. 13, 6. 




Innumerable other objects are also manufactured by the Thompson 
and Lillooet, including backs for quivers; shields, which were of 
slats woven together with cordage or splints, but not so far as known 
of coiled ware; gaming rings and targets; toys of all sorts, which 
comprise mmiature lodges; tents; sweathouses; grave fences; and 
boxes and doll carriers, ornamented with streamers of dyed bark, 
feathers, beads, shells, teeth, and hoofs. The little houses are fre- 
quently imbricated with designs representing house beams, and 
furnished with miniature ladders, carved and painted. For "under- 
ground houses" only that part which shows above the ground is 

The Lytton people, the Upper Thompson, and Upper Fraser Band 
even undertook to manufacture spoons of coiled work, 
and so ingenious is their construction that it seems 
worthy of a full description. 

Some are toys for little girls and therefore not very 
durable, but those intended for actual use are rigid 
enough for all purposes. Where the handles show 
signs of bending, a light rod or slat is lashed to the 
back throughout the length, or occasionally a thick 
strip of rawhide or the stiff leg sinew of a deer is sub- 
stituted. The spoons formerly in use are said to have 
been strong and rigid, perhaps 35 cm. in length, over 
9 cm. across at the bowl, and 2.5 cm. across the handle. 
They were as thick as one round coil of basketry such 
as would be used in a burden basket, perhaps 7 mm. 
A loop or hole was left at the end of the handle for 
suspension. Usually spoons, if ornamented at all, bore 
only Unes of beading. However, only a few of the 
bands used spoons of basketry ; the common ones were 
of horn and wood. 

Figm-e 33 shows the method of construction. The center of the 
handle is made by folding and wrapping a coil, catching the two 
sides together with medial sewing. One loose end is doubled back 
at 1 and the end caught in the last of the wrapping which covers the 
original double section. This folded end is then covered with a 
sewing splint, and then the other end, which is longer, is brought 
around it and sewed, ending at 2. Three short pieces of coil (some- 
times consisting of a single piece doubled back and forth) are sewed 
around the outside of these to form a nucleus for the bowl-shaped 
portion; a new piece is started at 3, the end being sewed down to the 
central part of the handle, after wliich it is brought around the top 
as a loop, separated from the rest, and wrapped to the corresponding 
point 4 on the other side. From here it is carried completely 
aroimd the spoon to the point from which it started, where it is 

Fig. 33. — Sketch 
illustrating the 
making of a bas- 
ketry spoon 


fastened. A medial sewing extends dowTi the center of the handle 
and across the bowl. It is said that there are many chfferent methods 
of making spoons, but this is the only one of which a full description 
could be obtained. 

Plate 16, h, shows a modern basket with a partition. Such devices 
were unknown in former times, the form being derived from knife 
and fork baskets and boxes belonging to the white man. In fact 
there is scarcely an object which has been introduced by trade with 
the white men and which can possibly be copied in basketry that 
these people have not attempted to make. In addition to their 
inventive and creative genius which has led them to originate many 
odd forms whose construction is no easy task, and whose ornamen- 
tation is so difficult of satisfactory accomplislunent that the beautiful 
finished products challenge admiration, their imitative faculty is also 
highly developed, as the foregoing descriptions have made clear. 


Baby carriers of basketry were rather rare long ago, although 
they are common enough at the present day. Nevertheless they are 
quite an old invention. Formerly the carriers were of bark. Some 
say that the Thompson adopted them from the Lower LiUooet, who 
made theirs of rather narrow, flat coils or slats of cedar wood. The 
Thompson have always made their carriers of slats or flat coils 
rather than of round ones. Sometimes they are entirely constructed 
of slats, or else several kinds of technique are used, one kind for the 
bottom, another for the sides. In fact, there are five principal types. 
The first is of round coil throughout, the second of flat coil tlu-ough- 
out, though usually even on these a round coU connects the bottom 
and sides and finishes the rim. The third type has the middle part 
of the bottom constructed of flat coils, with roimd coUs for the rest 
of the basket, while the fourth has practicaUy the whole bottom of 
flat coU. The last type has the bottom, to above the curve, of roimd 
coil, with the remainder of flat coil, except the rim, wliich is again 
round. In the place of flat coils, wooden slats are frequently used, 
being wrapped with a sewing splint in the same manner as other 
foundation material. 

In addition to being sewed with brightly colored splints, wliich at 
the present time are usuaUy tinted with commercial dyes in several 
colors besides the customary red and black, the carriers are partially 
covered and lined with gay pieces of cloth and sometimes decorated 
with shells or other little articles wliich jingle pleasantly. 

In former times, accorchng to the old people, all baskets were very 
simple. They were rarely decorated with designs in colored materials. 
Even now those people who are more conservative and try to main- 
tain the old traditions prefer only natural tints or simple figvues. 




But they are at pi'esont far outnumberetl by others who are rapidly 
developmg the art of basketry decoration to the highest degree. It 
seems, however, that baby carriers have always been an exception 
to the rule, and that the practice has been to make them quite 

The kind of beaded work which is so often seen on baby baskets 
manid'actured by the Lillooet, Squamish, and their coast neighbors 
is not used by the Thompson, and probably never has been. 

Most Thompson carriers are ornamented with simple beading or 
unbrication on one side only, or more generally on one side and ends, 
the opposite long side being left undecorated because it is always 
carried next to the bearer. The same thought seems to control the 
situation here as with the imadorned bottoms of baskets, or with 
the bare section of the burden basket which lies next the back. 

The left side of the basket, i. e., the side to the left of the child in 
the cradle, is the one which is decorated, for when carried on the 
mother's back the cradle is horizontal and the child lies with its 
head toward the mother's right, while the child's right side is next 

■ ■■ ■ rr 



!■.■ P 


%"^-* E 



1 1 1 1 r 



Fig. 34. — Beaded designs for baby carriers 

to the mother. Mr. Teit thinks that the custom of carrying the 
baby in this manner has something to do with right-handedness 
and a belief ua the superior or mystic nature of the right side, as 
opposed to the left. Some women say it is the most convenient 
method, while others give the usual reason: "It is the old way." 

Nevertheless, there are carriers wliich are ornamented all around, 
but even, when this is so the left side bears more elaborate work, 
and only a few are evenly decorated. Some are entirely without 
ornamentation, wliile others bear designs only about the rim. 

Figure 34 gives five beaded designs seen on baby carriers among 
the Upper Thompson. It was not known where the carriers so 
adorned had been made, as they had passed through several hands. 
It is possible that they were of Lillooet manufacture. The owner 
of one thought that hers had been made by the Lillooet, but was not 
sure, while the owner of another said she believed hers came from 
the Thompson living near Lytton, but she, too, was not certain. 
Several Thompson women said they could make all of the designs 
showTi in Figure 34 if they chose. 

" See also p. 148. 


The general shape of the baby carrier is sho\™ in Phites 42, i, 
and 43, a, b. 


In order to understand the characteristic application of designs to 
different surfaces, vvliich is one of the most important question? to be 
considered, it is necessary to concentrate particularly on the burden 
baskets, which are probably the most numerous of the various forms 
on wliich these people lavish their art. On account of the pecul- 
iarly shaped fields that they offer for decoration they furnish the 
best opportmiities for study, and a closer analysis has been at- 
tempted which will furnish the necessary basis for the study of 
their ornamentation. 

In dealing with the proportions of various kinds of baskets it is 
mtercsting to note the degree of correspondence between what the 
basket makers themselves consider proper and what are actually 
the proportions arrived at in the products which they complete. 
Personal opinion regarding shapes and parts of baskets varies con- 
siderably. The variation, however, is not sufficient to disturb the 
fact that baskets of certain types, such as burden baskets, do bear 
a striking resemblance one to another. This is the more remark- 
able since not all the makers have definite proportions in view; 
inaccuracies of workmanship affect the resultant form; and measure- 
ments, when made at all, are approximate only. Furthermore, some 
of the most obvious proportions between dimensions have never 
been observed by the people themselves,^* and in regard to others 
the claims of the makers are contradicted by actual observation. 

We shall first note the opinions of the people themselves as re- 
corded by Mr. Teit and thus gain an insight into their methods 
before discussing the results of an objective study of the baskets. 

The same three experts who were questioned regarding "nut- 
shaped" baskets approved as of average size and correct proportions 
four baskets, two called by them spa'pEUEk (see p. 197) and two 
classed as spa'nek (see p. 197), the measurements of which are as 
follows : 

2* These points will appear more clearly from a study of the lists of measurements for some museum 
specimens given in the appendix (pp. 416 et seq.), together with some statements from recognized tribal 
authorities on basket making regarding correct proportions. (See also p. 220.) 






Length of 

Width of 

Length of 

Width of 

No. 1 

No. 2 








No. 1 






No. 2 . _ 


From this table it will be seen that for either type the width of 
mouth and height are very nearly, if not exactly, the same. The 
ratios of the width of the mouth to the length of mouth are, respec- 
tively, 0.73, 0.72, 0.72, and 0.7, averaging 0.72. The width of the 
bottom is a little less than half the height and a little less than half 
the width of the mouth. There is too much variation in the other 
proportions in their relation to each other to admit of any general- 
ized statement, except that in the case of the spa'pEUEk the length 
of bottom is about half that of the mouth while with the spa'nek it 
is from five-eighths to two-thirds. 

One of the three informants mentioned above, with two others, 
considered the bottom of the first of the two spa'nek a little too 
narrow for its length, the general appearance of the whole basket 
being too long. Some thought a common spa'nek should be smaller. 
All the women judged by the eye, and made no attempts to measure. 

For the purpose of comparison it is interesting to note the measure- 
ments of another burden basket made in Nicola Valley: height, 31 
cm.; length of mouth, 46 cm.; width of mouth, 27 cm.; length of 
bottom, 27 cm.; width of bottom, 15 cm. 

This was condemned as very badly proportioned, too long for its 
width, although the height was deemed about right for a small 
burden basket (tsi.'a) or one of this general size. Other informants 
said if it was too long it was only slightly so, but that the mouth 
was too naiTow. 

Siiice there is psychologically a vast difference between the ability 
to appreciate the proportions of a finished product and the faculty 
of analyzing such proportions and defining the principles upon which 
they should be judged, it will be interesting to observe the opinions of 
several women as to what constitutes the correct proportions of the 
various types of burden baskets. It will be apparent that they differ 
not only in theory but in their methods of determination. To what 
extent may be more clearly seen from the table on pages 416 et seq. 


Informants Nos. 19 and 24 thought that the bottoms of burden 
baskets should be a httle more than half as wide as they were long. 
According to them, the width of the mouth should be a little more 
than double that of the bottom, while its length should be a little 
less than double the corresponchng measm-ement of the base. (The 
proportions of the mouth, under these conditions, would be quite 
different from those of the bottom in the same basket. The latter 
would approximate the form of Figiire 35, a, wliile the former would 
resemble 6.) They maintained that the height should be about 
equal to the length of the bottom, and thought the greatest variation 
in burden baskets was in the proportionate length of the mouth. 
Different women were not so particular about proportionate heights. 
A basket which they called a large spa'nek or small tsi.'a measured 
in height roughly 26 cm., length of mouth 41 cm., width of mouth 28 
cm., length of bottom 23 cm., and width of bottom 13 cm. Another 
person said it was a little too low, which might well 
be, if actual study of measurements counts for any- 
thing. The width of mouth and height are generally 
practically the same. 

The same informants said tsi.he'tsa baskets were 
lower than real burden baskets. They thought the 
height should be double the width of the bottom 
or a little less, and about the same as the width of 
the mouth, while the length of the mouth should be 
about half again as long as that of the bottom. 
Fig. 35.-Form of These women said that they and some others meas- 
bottom and mouth urcd burdcu baskets with their fingers and strove to 

of burden basket i • i • t ■ j> / a1 

obtam these proportions. In measurmg tor a spa nek 
they made the length of the bottom about one span (the distance 
between the ends of the extended thumb and middle finger), while 
the width equaled that of the widest part of the hand. The height 
for such a basket was usually about one span. They observed that 
the greatest \vidth of the hand is about equal to the length of the 
middle fuiger from point to knuckle, or a little less, so they often 
used this instead of the width of the hand as a unit of measurement. 
A slightly larger basket than the above-mentioned spa'nek measures 
one span and one joint (the distance from finger tip to the first joint), 
which determines the length of bottom or height or both. The meas- 
urements vary, so the people say, because there are many shapes and 
sizes of hands. Some women do not measure at aU. 

No. 29 claimed that she and a number of others measured their 
baskets more or less in order to obtain better proportions. They 
only measured the length and width of bottom.s, however, and the 
height of the sides. Some took only one or two of these measure- 


ments, and gauged the rest altogether by eye or with splints. No. 
29 herself always measured the bottoms, especially for the length, 
taking tliis also for the approximate height of the sides. She gen- 
erally used the middle finger, and put the point down first, then 
joint after joint, to the knuckle. Besides such measurements, 
this group of informants used single joints, counting one, two, 
three, etc., and also the span, as well as the width of the hand, that 
of the fingers when lying close side by side, or single finger widths, 
counted in the same way as the joints. 

They declared that the bottom of a common tsi.'a should measure 
in length one span and one finger length, while the sides should be 
between that and two spans in height. 

No. 22 said she frequently measured, especially for the diameters 
of the bottom and the height of the walls. She did tliis with her 
fingers, in the same way as the others. According to her, women 
varied especiallyin the height selected. Her tsi.'a baskets were always 
two spans and two joints high, the length of bottom being a little less 
than this. The width of the bottom was half, or a little more than 
half, of the length. She said women varied in making the bottoms 
for tsi.'a or burden baskets. Some made them smaller, wliile others 
varied the proportions. A basket with a wider bottom should have 
a wider mouth, she thought. 

No. 25, apparently an expert basket maker," said that the height 
was determined cliicfly by the size and proportions of the bottom. 
She did not measure bottoms but judged by the eye. It became a 
habit to work by eye and she knew the approximate size for the 
bottom of any particular size and kind of basket. She thought per- 
haps she was especially expert regarding burden baskets. The 
common large burden basket was made in different sizes by different 
women. Apparently a "size and shape" habit is acquired. Some 
women preferred smaller baskets than others, or made them a very 
little longer, wider, or higher, but all generally acliieved the same 
shapes. Either by unconscious habit or by design they make the 
change of plane from bottom to sides very abrupt. No. 25 did not 
measure the sides until they were about half up, when she followed 
the very common method of gauging with the splint. 

An Upper Thompson informant (not a numbered one) stated that 
she had seen women measuring the bottoms of burden baskets with 
their hands. Some considered that the proper diameters for the 
bottoms of small burden baskets should correspond to the length 
and breadth of the hand. 

" See appendix, p. 446, for her personal qualifications. 
53666°— 28 15 


It is quite clear in spite of differences that the women on the whole 
have quite well defined ideas as to what constitutes a good form for a 
burden basket. Only a bottom ranging in size within certain rather 
narrow limits is ever used with a basket of a given size. When a 
woman has completed a bottom to a certain point, she may be heard 
to say that now it is about the right size for such and such a type of 
basket. The whole picture of the one she intends to create is in 
her mind before she even commences the bottom, and this picture is 
her pattern. The proper flare is obtained by practice and good 
judgment. A woman soon learns to pinch out the coil to the right 
degree and so nearly do they all follow the standard that one woman 
can complete another's basket without perceptibly changing the 
flare. A rough calculation tells a woman after the sides are up, 
and a certain flare has been obtained, when it is time to make the 
rim. Two or three coils, more or less, on a large basket make little 
difference in the general appearance while on a small one they would 
utterly destroy the proportions which experience and taste have 
created as standards. 

Sometimes the height of the walls is measured in the following 
manner. When the sides are about halfway up, the woman measures 
with a sewing splint, from the coil at which she is working do^^•n to 
the bottom, seizing the splint between the thumb and forefinger and 
marldng the completed height with the edge of the nails. She then 
holds the splint up from the top coil to assist her in visualizing where 
the rim will come. If it appears too high by what seems to be two 
or three coils, she measures to within a coil or two of the bottom and 
by means of tliis shortened measurement gauges the correct height. 
When she is satisfied as to the proportion, she counts the number of 
coils which have been made in the approved distance from the top 
coil do^vn to the one from which the splint was measured and adds 
the same number above. The proportions are not altered by the 
kind of bottom made, nor does sharpness or roundness of corners 
affect them. As a rule the Thompson adhere quite closely to their 
own ideas of proportion and therefore the Lillooet tliink their baskets 
are of very bad shape. 

When the corners arc very rounded, the whole form approaching 
an oval, it is difficult to tell where sides leave off and ends begin. 
The women do not seem to think it necessary to determine this 
exactly, and no measurements are taken. The point of rounding is 
dependent upon the eye of the maker. Baskets with very rounded 
corners are considered to be of the real old Thompson style. The 
best old specimens show a very gradual transition from base to sides. 

Several reasons are given for using the line of beading which marks 
the theoretical limit of the bottom. 




1 . This is declared to be a mark which defines the division between 
the sides and the bottom of the basket. 

2. It is considered as a marginal line for the design field or else a 
base line for the ornamentation, giving it a border. 

3. It is used as a mark to count the coils from or to measure from, 
in commencing designs, or to help the eye to note their position 
quickly. The height of the sides of the basket is also frequently meas- 
ured from this line by women who do measure, even though it is onlj' 
a theoretical and 

seldom an actual 
bottom edge. 

4. It is also 
used to protect 
the basket from 
wear at this point, 
which is where 
burden baskets re- 
ceive the most con- 
tact. Strangely 
enough this is the 
most common ex- 
planation, and 
some offer it as 
the only one. The 
thii"d explanation 
ranks second in 
popularity, and 
the first is like- 
wise common, 
while the second is 
rather rare. Very 
few women give 
all four reasons. 

Having thus ob- 
tained an idea of 
what the makers 
themselves regard as the working principles of basketry construction, 
it is highly instructive and interesting to see what are the actual pro- 
portions, and how nearly the makers come to accomplishing what they 
start out to do, and what are some of the fairly constant proportions 
which they do achieve without apparently being conscious of them as 
such. The following is based on observations of museum specimens. 

Roughly speakmg, the burden baskets of the Thompson fall 
naturally into two not very strongly differentiated groups. A casual 
investigation will scarcely reveal this difference. The general im- 
pression is one of decidedly rectangular shaj)cs, the sides longer than 
the ends, with rather smaU bases, flarmg walls, and wide mouths, the 

a b 
Fig. 36. — Forms for Thompson baskets 


area of these being at least four times that of the base, frequently 
more. On the whole, the shapes appear to be rather deep, the 
height measurement falling about halfway between the width and 
length of the mouth, and exceeding a little the length of the bottom. 
Closer examination reveals that one group is marked by a decidedly 
oval wall contour throughout the lower half of the basket, the corners, 
if noticeable, being rounded (fig. 36, a). There is a flare of end walls 
of about 30°; of side walls, about 20°. From about the middle of 
the basket upward the direction of the walls shifts to almost vertical, 
perhaps a slant of 10° being carried to the rim where the corners are 
more clearly defined. This feature, together with the rounded 
corners, small bases, wide mouths, and comparative depth, gives an 
exceedingly graceful effect. 

It will be remembered that in the section on structure it was 
reported that the women corrected a too great tendency to flare by 
holding in the coils. Evidently for a certain type of basket this has 
become a part of the established procedure, for there are too many 
examples having almost identical form for the shift in direction of 
wall building which occurs somewhere between the middle and upper 
third of the basket to be accounted for in each case as a correction. 
Such an explanation might be given for baskets made by beginners, 
or poor hands, but not for all of those noted, many of which are 
undoubtedly the handiwork of expert craftswomen. 

The second group resembles the first in general proportions, but 
chiefly lacks the curb to the flare. The walls are straight, and flare 
continuously, the ends at an angle of about 35°, the sides at about 
25°. The corners are perhaps more sharply defined and some of 
the specimens, at least, are longer in proportion to their width. 
The height is not quite so great, being more nearly equal to the width 
of the mouth. Figure 36, b, shows a typical side and end of tliis 

Within these two groups, which for convenience will be styled 
A and B, there is an almost continuous range of size, from the largest 
(A, height 40 cm., bottom 19 by 30, mouth 39 by 52; B, height 35, 
bottom 16 by 27, mouth 39 by 52) to the smallest (A, height 16, 
bottom 7 by 11, mouth 18 by 23; B, height 18, bottom 11 by 16, 
mouth 23 by 29) . There are deep ones and shallow ones, but not in 
such number as to form distinct groups, while there are all possible 
variations in between. Group A has more representatives than 
group B and a more clearly defined middle or medium size, a good 
example of which measures for the height 27 cm., bottom 22 by 15, 
and mouth 40 by 30. There is also a variety of these two groups, 
A and B (medium to small size) , represented by a few baskets whose 
walls, even at the rim, are almost purely oval. Looking down into 
them one is reminded of a clothes boiler or vat. The straightening 
of the walls toward the top, while less than in group A, is still notice- 
able. There is another intermediary group which combines the 


characteristics of the types A and B in middle-sized baskets. They 
are rectangular, with a flare halfway between that of types A and B 
and about the same relative height. 

Many baskets have straight rims on sides and ends with roimded 
comers, but rims which bxilge along the sides and ends are quite 
common. It is impossible to tell whether tliis roimdness between 
corners is an intentional feature in each case. Most of the baskets 
have been used for many years, and their shape, at the rim at least, 
where they arc more flexible, has been altered no doubt quite materi- 
ally in many cases by the character of burdens carried in them. 
AU that it has been possible to do in the way of classifying these 
was to fit them as best it could be done, with due regard for all these 
points, and thus group them together. 

There are a few specimens wliich are almost rectangular, some show- 
ing very sharply defined corners ; and some shallow, very long forms 
with walls straighter and more vertical than the average, but these are 
after all rare compared to the others. Mr. Teit declared that there 
is no relation between the type of bottom used and the shape of the 
basket, but observation of specimens shows that there is some relation 
at least. AU baskets with watch-spring bottoms, or those composed 
of several parallel lengths surrounded by elongated watch-spring 
coiling, are much more oval tlii'oughout their lower half than those 
made entirely or almost entirely of parallel coils. With these latter 
the tendency is toward well-defined corners. There is, however, 
a type of elongated watch-spring bottom, the coils of which are 
thickened to approximate the bottom to the proposed rectangular 
shape. This type is always associated with walls having corners, 
which, if not sharply defined, are nevertheless discernible. None 
of these remarks apply to the upper half of the basket, where, the 
farther away from the bottom the worker goes, the more easily she 
can adapt the form to her taste, since she is limited in her treatment 
of corners only by the thickness and rigidity of her material. A few 
baskets with very rectangular bases have perfectly oval rims, but 
these are rare, and the coils are in most cases unusually heavy and 
stiff, although there are enough examples of thin and pliable coils 
to refute the theory that the oval form is due largely to the rigidity 
of material. From the list of measurements given in the AppencUx, 
p. 416, it may be seen that there is a much closer relation between 
the height and the width of mouth than between the length of bottom 
and height, or length of bottom and width of mouth, all three of 
which dimensions have been stated to be nearly equal. 

The average excess of width of mouth over height is a little over 
12 per cent.^^ Taking the height as standard, there are variations 
all the way from 94.5 to 150 per cent. These extremes are rare, 

" See Appendix, pp. 416 et seq., for this series of ratios. 


however, and indicate that the baskets having such proportions are 
evidently of anotlier class, or are badly proportioned. It is some- 
times quite difficult to know just how to classify a basket, on account 
of the surprising number of featiu-es usually not associated, which 
occasionally are represented together. The greatest number of meas- 
urements showing the ratio of width of mouth in relation to height 
center around 113 per cent. In a number of cases the two measure- 
ments are identical. Few women, however, are aware of this, and 
few seem to have noticed that the trapezoidal end of a basket thus 
has practically the same measurements for its two most conspicuous 
dimensions, the height and width at the top. This makes a T form 
which could in most cases be inclosed in an almost perfect square. 
On glancing at the baskets it would appear that the width of the 
bottom is about half that of the mouth, but a study of this ratio proves 
that there is so much variation that no generalized statement can be 
safely made. One very interesting ratio of proportions holds for 
practically all the baskets and is remarkably constant. The width 
of the mouth is about tlu"ee-fourths of its length.^' The average 
for the series is 74 per cent, the variations showing 10 cases below 
70 per cent and 7 above 80 per cent out of 103 baskets measured. 

Because of this constant ratio between width and length of mouth, 
the side of the basket in its two most conspicuous chmensions also 
has a fairly fixed form, which could theoretically be inclosed in a 
rectangle, the size of that of the mouth, or nearly so. Owing to the 
fact that the height is a little less than the width of mouth, the width 
of this second rectangle would not be quite the same, but according 
to the average obtained from the same set of measurements as in 
the case of the shape of the mouth would be only 66 per cent of 
the length. The variation in the ratio of the height to the length 
of mouth in this series of basketry is greater than for the mouth 

The chief difficulty which lies in the way of discovering a fairl}' 
constant arithmetical relationship between the dimensions already 
discussed and those of the bottom lies in the extreme variability of 
the bottoms. To the eye a fairly constant trapezoid form is main- 
tained for all the baskets, chiefly because the angle of inclination of 
the walls changes comparatively little. The lower limit of the side 
walls is obscured by the gradual curve which unites bottom and side, 
and does away with a defining edge, making it very difficult to 
measure the exact dimensions, theoretical or actual. The bottoms 
are also very small as compared with the upper portions of the baskets, 
which fact tends to make any variation from the form much less 

" For this average and variations see appendix, pp. 416 et seq. • 



The rariabilit}' in size and sliape ma}' be attributed partly to the 
fact that women's hands vary in size, partly to the different types and 
forms of bottoms made, the shapes of wliich are often somewhat 
di'cciving, and partly to the influence of the method of startiuj^ 
the coil. In watch-spring coiled bottoms a very slight difference in 
the length or width of the first turn of a coil will create a great differ- 
ence in shape b}' the time the base is completed. Hence it is to be 
expected that very little satisfaction can be gained from trying to 
determine the ratio of the bottom to the rest of the basket. 

An attempt has been made, however, to construct a synthetic sketch 
of the ends, sides, and mouths of the burden baskets of both A and B 
types, the proportions of which are based on a comparative study 
of the above mentioned measurements (fig. 36, p. 217). It was found 
that for both types the ratio of the width of the mouth to the length 
was 74 per cent.^* The dotted lines show the approximate curves at 
the corners. 

The length and width of the bottom present considerable difficulties. 
Since these two measurements control the form of the trapezoids 
wliich constitute ends and sides, it would be desirable if an average 
could be found which would be of value. As it is, the variations in 
both are I'ather large. In Group A the ratio of the width of the 
bottom to that of the mouth lies between 40 and 60 per cent, with an 
average of about 44 per cent.^* This average has been indicated by 
solid lines in the sketch: the variations and consequent change of 
angle of the slope of sides by dotted lines. The shift in Hare of walls 
is also indicated approximately by dotted lines. Since it comes 
somewhere between the upper half and upper third, with considerable 
variation, and exact measurements are not only difficult owing to 
rounded corners, but also of httle practical value, the outlines have 
only been roughly indicated. 

The same method of tracing average form and variation was used 
for the projections of the sides of the baskets. Here the lengths of the 
bottoms ranged from 40 to 60 per cent of the lengths of the mouths, 
the greatest number falling between 44 and 59 per cent, with an 
average of about 52 per cent.^* 

In Group B the case is a little different. It has been stated that 
the proportions of the mouth were the same for this group as for 
Group A. There is also no material difference in the ratio of the 
height to the mouth measiu"ements.-^ 

The lengths and widths of bottoms in relation to their respective 
mouth measurements differ somewhat from those found in Type A. 
The length of bottom in relation to the length of mouth varies from 40 
to 74 per cent, with one case at 84 per cent and a slight preponderance 

28 See appendix, p. 416. 2" See appendix, p. 417. 



[ETD. ANN. 41 

at 52 per cent.^'^ This measurement has been indicated by solid lines, 
while the greatest variations and consequent changes in flare of sides 
are shown by dotted lines. The ratio of width of bottom to that of 
mouth, however, is represented by a quite marked preponderance of 
cases at 42 per cent, with a range from 30 to 59 per cent and a solitary 
case at 76 per cent. It is worth noting that this single example is 
the same one which showed the high ratio of 84 per cent in the rela- 
tion of the length of bottom to length of mouth, mentioned above. 
The outlines of this trapezoid are indicated in the same manner as 
described above. The straight walls of the baskets in Group B are 
their most characteristic feature.^' 

Proportions of Lillooet baskets. — Opinions concerning the propor- 
tions for Lillooet baskets have not been obtained from their makers. 

Fig. 37.— Forms for Lillooet ba.skets 

In form they are more nearly square, with very small bases, wide 
mouths, straight walls, and sharp corners. The average ratio of the 
widths of mouths to the lengths is between 75 and 85 per cent. The 
greatest variations are 68 to 86 per cent, but the extremes are few in 
number; about 80 per cent seems to be the norm. 

The ends and sides are trapezoids, the projections of which are shown 
in Figure 37. Their measurements were obtained in the same way as 
those of the Thompson baskets. ^^ The width of the mouth averages 
about 12 per cent more than the height. Therefore the trapezoid 
end is inclosed theoretically in about the same rectangle as that of 
the Thompson basket, while tlic side is a little shorter. 

The widths of the bottoms, which in their ratio to the widths of the 
mouths control the form of the trapezoid assumed by the ends, show 
a very interesting division into two groups, one with an average of 
about 34 per cent, with greatest variation from 26 to 37 per cent, and 
another with an average of 44 per cent and variations from approxi- 
mately 37 to 49 per cent. The lengths of bottoms in relation to 
lengths of mouths, however, are about the same in both groups, the 
variation ranging from 35 to 55 per cent, with the average about 44 

30 See appendix, p. 417. 

^1 In the appendi.\, pp. 416 et seq., the opinions of the makers regarding proportions and what has 
actually been found to e.xist have been tabulated for purposes of convenient comparison. 
" See appendix, p. 421. 


per cent. There is one freak basket in which the width of base is 
65 per cent of that of the mouth of the basket, while the length of 
the bottom is 83.5 per cent of the length of the mouth. '^ 

There is a very small group of Lillooet baskets in the American 
Museum of Natural History which represents the kiketca or small 
katca ^* of quite variable form. The}- measure about 12 cm. in height, 
but the ratio of the width to the lengtli of mouth ranges from 44 to 76 
per cent. The width of mouth exceeds the height by from 52 per 
cent to 79 per cent and the other ratios show equal variations; in 
some instances the corresponding measurements of bottom and mouth 
almost equal each other. 


A tradition exists among the Thompson that the art of making 
and ornamenting coiled basketry was taught them long ago by the 
culture hero Coyote, incidentally, along with other arts. Baskets 
are often mentioned in mythology and are described as being coiled 
or of bark. 

The majority of coiled baskets made by the Thompson, Lillooet, 
Chilcotin, Klickitat, and Wenatchi are ornamented on the outside 
surface by beaded or imbricated colored designs. Either may furnish 
the sole means of decoration or the two may be combined. 


According to the Upper Thompson, designs in beading are con- 
sidered as imitations of strings and necklaces of beads, or even of bead 
or quill embroidery. About 1860 and earlier beading was more com- 
mon, and at that time some baskets were completely covered with 
designs executed in this technique. Certainly it is very old, as its 
presence on the runs of ancient birch-bark baskets would indicate.'^ 
As far as tradition goes, the Thompson have always used both bead- 
ing and imbrication. There is no statement that one is older than 
the other. 

Red and black bark or grass are used for putting in the designs, 
red being more popular. The combination of these two with a third, 
such as white grass or straw, is rather rare. 

In beading the outside of a coil, as it is being sewed and covered, is 
faced with a thin strip of brightly colored bark or grass. Occasionally 
more than one strip is used on the same coil at the same time. Neces- 
sarily, in such cases, the strips are reduced in width. (Fig. 38, a, h.) 
The diagonal work shown in c and d is done by the Lillooet and 
Upper Fraser peoples but it has not been found among the Lower 

33 .\U Lillooet bottoms are made of parallel coils or slats. Thus their marked rectangular form is in part 
accounted for. 
^* Lillooet terms for burden baskets. 
55 See Teit, The Shuswap. (Publication of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Vol. II, p. 478; flg. 202.) 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

Thompson. When finished ordinary beading looks Hke a ribbon 
drawn along the coil, after it has been sewed over and under the 
stitches. Plate 18, b, shows a lid decorated in this manner. The 
bark may be carried over or under varying niunbers of stitches, any 
combination being pemiissible which lends itseK to the formation 
of a pleasing design. When the ribbon passes beneath more than 
three stitches, however, it is cut off and started afresh, so as to avoid 
too great a waste of material It is seldom carried over more than 
two stitches because, when so exposed, it is liable to wear off or to 
catch and tear. 

With the exception of the difference in the number of stitches 
passed over or under, the process which is about to be described in 
detail is the same in all cases. 

In the first place, the strip of colored bark is commonly laid face 
downward on the coil, extendmg to the left, with the right-hand end 
beneath the fingers at the point of sewmg. A coil stitch is then made 




























ES3 ^ EiaES3 C3 EZI3 E23 fSi. 

VWftiV W W ^ 



Fig. 38.— Methods of beading 

over this end and pulled tight. Thus it is secured, and if the sewing 
splint is wide enough it is also covered over, although this is not 
absolutely essential as the next stitch hides the end completely. 
After the stitch has been made the strip is folded back over it and 
drawn taut to the right, the second stitch lying over the bark, which 
is now face upward. This time the coil stitch is left on top, the bark 
ribbon being merely folded back again face downward to the left 
to permit of a tliird coil stitch being taken which will lie underneath 
the ribbon when it is again brought back right side up to the right. 
If the beaded effect is over and under one stitch alternately the ribbon 
is thus folded back and forth, lying face down to the left, so as to 
be out of the way" when a stitch is to be made directly on the coil 
and face up to the right when the coil stitch is to pass over it. Where 
a different combination is desired one or the other of the processes 
is repeated without alternation with the other as many times as is 

Another method of beginning the work is to place the ribbon right 
side up on the coil, with the left-hand end under the fingers at the 
point of sewing, the remainder lying to the right. This causes the 
first stitch on the coil to be exposed, and is a much less secure means 
of fastening the end of the ribbon. There are several ways of joining 



strips, whether of the same or different colors. The explanation wUl 
be clearer if it be supposed that there are two colors. If a strip of red 
is finished, or it is desired to shift from red to black, the former is cut 
off just beyond where the final stitch will be made before the change. 
The left end of the black strip, right side up, is laid over the right end 
of the red strip, that is, the ends overlap, right side up (fig. 39, a), and 
a stitch is taken over both, concealing the junction and holding them 
firmly. Care is taken that the end of the new strip does not protrude 
to the left from beneath the stitch. 

In a second method, occasionally used, the ribbons are placed end 
to end just touching each other instead of overlapping (fig. 39, &), so 
that the stitch covers the joining and at the same time holds both 
ribbons firmly. This is more difficult of accomplishment than the 
former method, because of the narrowness of the sewing splint. It 
is more commonly employed with "over and under two" than with 
"over and under one." 

Instead of overlapping the ends of the ribbons of bark or laying 
them end to end, a few women place the new strip face down on top 
of the coil just beaded, 

with the end of the old "r-^^iL r---- 

strip and the beginning of ^ — ""'L ' ^ > ! • \ 

the new meeting, both [_,,.,- — iC^"rtri- ) CT.j 

pointing to the right. a b 

After they have both been ^'"- 39-Ioining of strips used in beading 

caught by the stitch, the new strip is folded back to the right 
over the top of the stitch and drawn tight, when the ordinary beading 
process is continued. With this plan, which has been used on a num- 
ber of Thompson baskets, the stitch which fastens in the new strip is 
not exposed as in the other two methods, but is finally covered by the 
bark. The old strip, like the new one, extends a little beyond the 
stitch. While a few women know all of these ways of joining ribbons, 
following any which seems most convenient at the time, they all have 
habits of work more or less firmly established, resulting in their 
preference for certain ones. 

As a means of ornamentation beading is still employed, particularly 
on lids and bottoms (pis. 3, h; 4, a: 8,c; 9, c; 10, a, h: 11, h; 50, a, e) and 
occasionally by the LJllooet on the walls (pi. 18, c''). It wiU be remem- 
bered that a line of beading almost invariably defines the theoretical if 
not actual limits of the bottom, and serves to mark off the field avail- 
able for designs. Not quite as often, it is found near the rim, delineating 
the top of the design field, while its appearance on top of the rim coil is 
by no means rare. There seems to be no rule for its application, but 
practically always it may be found in a single line near the base of 
the side walls. 

^ Another view of the same basket (pi. 57, g) shows that the beading is, as usual, confined to the side 
resting against the back of the person who carries the basket. 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

All of the women interviewed are well acquainted with its decora- 
tive possibilities and its simple technique and make most of the easier 
patterns that are found, while the experts have evolved a number of 
other very pretty and quite complicated designs which will be dis- 
cussed later. In addition to making various patterns, a few women 
enhance their effect by regularly bifurcating the stitches on the coil 
above that which has been beaded. 

Fig. 40. — Method of imbrication 


Imbrication, which is the characteristic feature of modern baskets, 
is quite unique in the types of basketry technique of the world. 
Many of the design elements used, however, are found in the Plains, 
California, or the Southwest. 

The material employed is the same as in beading, except for the 
occasional recent substitution of black cloth for black bark or dyed 
grass. The process is as follows : After being started as just described 

in the third method, the ribbon is 
bent back face upward to the right 
over the coil stitch which fastens 
the end. A second coil stitch is 
then taken, but not pulled tight. 
The bark strip is bent back on itself 
to the left, the sewing always pro- 
gressing toward the right in normal 
cases. Care is taken that the fold 
of the bark will come just where the lialf-finished stitch will lie. The 
fold is then slipped under the .sewing splint, which is now pulled tight 
(fig. 40). The wet sewing splint holds the fold of the ribbon firmly. 
A sharp tug would be necessary to pull the bark from under it. As 
soon as a succession of stitches has been made, and the moist basket 
dries and "sets" a little, it becomes even more difficult to pull out 
the ribbon. Rather, instead of unraveling, the bark will break, be- 
cause when dry it is quite brittle. At the completion of the second 
stitch the ribbon lies as it did in the beginning, and the same process 
is repeated for two stitches, as has just been described, and so a 
second imbrication is completed. When a change or addition of a 
strip is necessary it is made as in the third method of beading. The 
two processes of starting beading and imbrication are closely related, 
and imbrication may have developed from beading. 

The effect of a line of imbricated stitches is that of a row of tiny 
overlapping shingles, only that the overlapping edges lie vertically, 
not horizontally, the left-hand edge of each "shingle" being on top. 
In working, the bark is placed in position with the thumb and fore- 
finger of the left liand, sometimes assisted by those of the right hand, 
which are also used for folding the bark back. Wlien finisliing an 


imbricated strip the end of the ribbon of bark is caught under a coil 
stitch and then cut off close with a knife. Several women, wlien 
making a design consisting of a large field of one color, instead of 
cutting it off carry it through underneath the stitches which are to 
be worked in another color, placing the strips for the intervenmg 
inabrication on top. 

One informant reduced the 'thickness of her coil very slightly 
where the imbrication was applied, by this delicate adjustment pre- 
venting an embossed surface. She explained that she desired an 
even thickness of wall throughout, and declared that several other 
women pursued the same plan, but none were observed by Mr. Teit. 
Coil reduction is accomplished by special tiglitcning and tapping 
home of the sewing splint or by removuig a small part of the founda- 

Because of the sjiiral construction of the basket, imbrication or 
beading which passes in the same coil completely around the basket 
can not be made to meet, but ends one row higher than where it 
began (pi. 8, d; 50, c), unless ring coils are used, which does not often 
happen; hence it is customary to arrange the designs so that any 
such breafe in the lines occur near one corner of a short end (on a 
rectangular burden basket) (pi. 3, &), but some bring the break on a 
long side, near a corner (pi. 8, c). 

All informants of the Upper and Lower Thompson agree that no 
imbrication was placed on the bottoms of any kind of baskets, out- 
side or inside, in former times. Even at the present day imbrica- 
tion on the outside of bottoms is exceedingly rare. In small cu'cular 
baskets an imbricated piece of work which was originally intended 
for a lid is now and then converted into a bottom. 

According to Lower Thompson informants all bottoms were 
formerly devoid of beading except for the dividing line already 
mentioned, although a few L'pper Thompson say that small circular 
baskets had bottoms of groups of beaded coils alternating with plain 
ones. The number in each group ranged from one to four. A few 
instances are on record of bowls the bottoms of which were beaded 
over the entire surface, except for one or two groups of from one to 
three undecorated coils. It is said that lids were treated in the same 
way. Very rarely the beaded designs on the sides extended to the 
center of the bottom. If they were placed in radial rows they all 
converged at the center. At the present day many trays are imbri- 
cated on the mside, at the bottom, and on the outside of the sides as 
well. Several Lytton people say that trays used for ceremonial 
purposes were ornamented in this manner very long ago. Whether 
those used in gambling games to toss dice upon were also ornamented 
was not learned. When designs are to be placed on the inside of a 
bottom it is considered better to make this section of the basket in 



[eTH. ANN. 41 

a separate piece. To use a watch-spring coil base, which is continu- 
ous with the side, adding the design as the woi'k proceeds, is thought 
to be very slow and awkward. An imbricated bottom worked in 
the ordinary way — with the side which bears the design held toward 
the maker — is reversed after being completed and the walls are added 
with their designs, for, if it were to be made m one piece with the 
sides, either the design on it would necessarily Be applied on the 
side away from the worker or else the coiling would have to be re- 
versed at the rim of the base. 

Where imbrication or beading was not desired, as was the case 
with the Shuswap, a very pleasing ornamental effect was achieved 
by the furcation of the coil stitches in alternate groups of coils, those 
between being sewed in the ordinary manner. At other times verti- 
cal or diagonal lines of bifurcation were attempted (fig. 41). Regular 
bifurcation was practiced only to a limited degree, and then chiefly 
on baskets ornamented only with beadmg or utterly bare. It was 

Fig. 41.— Bifurcation of coil stitches 

nsed on bottoms, from the centers to the corners (pi. 6, i). As a 
rule the stitches are furcated, but the predommant aim is a water- 
tight product, even if regular stitching must be sacrificed. 

A few other means of deriving an ornamental effect were tried and 
practiced to some extent. Darker tinted sewing splints were used 
on different coils, giving a banded appearance, and on rare occasions 
the use of larger or finer splints for sewing groups of coils was also 


General Remarks 

The Thompson informants all agree that any design may be used 
on any kind of basket and that its selection does not depend on the 
type of bottom used. 

On round, high forms resembling the modern paU practically any 
type of decoration may be successfully applied. The continuous, im- 
brokcn wall surface lends itself equally well to horizontal arrange- 
ments in bands, to vertical stripes, all-over arrangements of isolated 

" See also Teit, The Lillooet Indians, pp. 205 et seq. 



figiu-es which may be aligned horizontally, diagonally, or vertically, to 
diagonals and spirals; in fact, to practically any type of decoration, 
even that which cuts tlie basket surface into two sections. All of 
these are found with the exception of the last. Vertical decoration, 
however, including stripes, is rather uncommon on these shapes. 

Flat tray fomis are best adapted to designs which radiate from the 
center, and the Thompson recognize this very clearly. Most of the 
women express a preference for the radial arrangement of designs on 
flat round shapes (pis. 17,/; 44, e; 52, c; 54, c), saying that those 
wliich "lay across" the field were not "good." (See pi. 50,/.) By 
this they meant patterns which ignored the relation of the center of 
the circle or oval. 

They feel that certain patterns do not permit of satisfactory ad- 
justment on some lids and trays. Often in trunk-shaped baskets 
the design on the body is carried over to the lid and converges there, 
a treatment which makes its adaptation at times more or less diffi- 
cult (pi. 48, h). Circular bands are frequently used on trays (pi. 54, h). 
The women try to have the radiating portions of the design equidis- 
tant, but this is often difficult to do when working only by eye. 

Burden Baskets 

The rectangular burden basket offers an entirely different problem. 
Nevertheless many of the typical patterns of round baskets, such as 
horizontal bands, diagonals, and spirals, are used on the modified and 
rectangular shapes. Evidently such types of ornamentation have 
always been in existence on imbricated basketry. This corroborates 
the tradition that the burden baskets were formerly round and high, 
like the Klickitat baskets still manufactured. The Klickitat, who 
do not use the rectangular shapes, decorate many of their tall round 
burden baskets with wide horizontal zigzag bands which reach from 
the base nearly to the rim. 

Rectangular jorms. — The Lillooet, Chilcotin, and Thompson Indians 
have all adopted the rectangular forms, and while other shapes are 
also produced, particularly by the Lytton band of the Thompson, the 
most interesting problems of decorative designs center around the 
burden baskets with their trapezoidal fields, and it is here that the 
most striking tribal differences are apparent, even though a certain 
degree of assimilation prevails owing to intertribal intercourse. The 
Thompson now possess several distinct styles, some of which are 
closely related to the typical patterns of the LiUooet and Chilcotin. 
A characterization of the Thompson style is made difficidt also by the 
development of peculiarities among the various local bands. Broadly 
speaking, however, the products of the different tribes may be dis- 
tinguished by the arrangement of the design field. 


|ETH. ANN. 41 

Lillooet designs. — Lillooet designs are divided horizontally into two 
fields, the upper and larger one with imbricated backgromid covering 
the entire surface and bearing one large design in outlines, which 
occupies the whole space. This is sometimes divided vertically into 
two complementary and symmetrical sections. There are perhaps 
eight or ten designs of this character and rectangular in construction. 
As an accompaniment of these, there extend from this field into the 
lower, which has a plain, unimbricated background, two or three ver- 
tical stripes — droppers — bearing small geometric figures. Plate 18, a., 
represents a Lillooet basket in which the upper half has no imbri- 
cated background. 

In a second characteristic Lillooet type of decoration the field is 
ornamented with vertical bands ascending from base to rim (pis. 35, 
i; 37, a; 57, a). Manj' baskets of this class are constructed of broad 
flat coils which are distinctive of the Lillooet. 

On many Lillooet burden baskets the side that lies against the back 
of the person who carries the basket is beaded. (Pis. 18, c; 27, Ji; 
55, g; 57, c, g.) 

Chilcotin designs. — Almost all the Chilcotin baskets have three dec- 
orative fields, the upper and lower imbricated entirely, and bearing 
designs which are alike, the middle being either unmibricated, except 
for lines crossing it and connecting the other two fields (pi. 59, a), or 
imbricated, bearing totally different patterns (pi. 60, a). 

Other tribes. — Mr. Teit says : 

That the basketry of other Interior Salish tribes also had peculiarities seems 
likely. So few specimens are obtainable nowadays from the Shuswap and 
southern Salish tribes that it is impossible to ascertain their styles of orna- 
mentation. The Shuswap claim that although some of their baskets were so 
much like those made by neighboring tribes that they could hardly be dis- 
tinguished from them, yet on the whole a Shuswap product could be told from 
others by its general appearance, there being certain minor points in workman- 
ship, shape, and designs by which it could be identified. Yet in the absence 
of specimens it has been impossible to learn the exact nature of these differences. 
The same is said of the basketry of the Moses,'* Columbia, and Wenatchi, 
although it seems that on the whole the arrangement of the ornamentation on 
their baskets was similar to that of the Thompson. 

Thompson designs. — Long ago, according to native informants, 
three ways of dividing the design field of burden baskets were in use 
among the Lower Thompson, perhaps also among the upper bands. 

First type. The field was arranged in two sections. The upper 
occupied about two-thirds of the entire side, the lower one-third. 
Occasionally the two sections were more nearly equal. The upper 
was imbricated over its entire surface with a light background and 
dark designs, but on the lower the designs appeared on a backgroimd 
of bare coils. The designs in the two fields were unrelated. Some- 

38 These people were commonly called by this name after one of their prominent chiefs. 



tixaes each field contained only one design, but occasionally there 
were two (pi. 19). Tliis style closely resembled one still employed 
by the LiUooet (pi. 20, a, 6). Plate 21, c, represents a modern copy 
of this old style as well as of the old, somewhat roimdod form of 
burden basket. 

Second type. There are also two fields, but the upper occupies 
about tliree-quarters of the entire surface and carries the designs, 
while the lower is left plain, without any imbrication. If patterns 
appear at all, they are merely lines of beacUng. (PI. 22, a, b: c is a 
modern adaptation.) As far as the informants could recall, no "drop- 
pers" like those on LiUooet baskets were ever used by the Thompson, 
no matter what type of ornamentation was applied.^' 

Thu'd type. It was less common, but still frequent; charac- 
terized by the use of three fields, all about the same width, the 
upper and lower thirds imbricated aU over for backgrotmd and de- 
sign, while the middle third lacked the imbricated background. In 
some instances the central field was entirely imbricated, both back- 
ground and design, while the upper and lower fields carried only 
imbricated or beaded designs on a plain background (pi. 24, d). 
Either the three fields carried diflerent designs or else the upper and 
lower thirds had the same pattern, while the middle area was differ- 
ent. Occasionally baskets with tliis style of ornamentation bore im- 
bricated vertical bands crossing the central section at regular dis- 
tances, connecting the upper and lower fields. They were usually 
narrow and contained small designs. The Lytton people used this 
scheme of decoration quite frequently. 

Nowadays very few if any Thompson baskets are decorated in 
any of the above-mentioned ways, but the first method is common 
among the LiUooet, while the third is characteristic of the Chilcotin 
(pi. 8, a). An example of a Thompson basket of the third style 
is probably represented by Plate 24, a. 

Mr. Tcit summarizes his long-continued observations in the field 
as follows: 

Thompson baskets, especially burden baskets, usuallj' have no Imbricated 
field in which the designs are set. As a rule, the bare coils of the basket form the 
background, the designs only being imbricated, and worked in three colors, red, 
white, and black. When this is not the case, as happens in less than a quarter of 
the baskets made, then the whole is imbricated with white straw, excepting the 
designs which are in bark, usually dyed red or black. Sometimes white (straw) 
is used as a filler in the design when its character permits this. Occasionally 
two-thirds of the basket surface is imbricated with bark, as in checker designs of 
all-over distribution, where all three colors appear in equal proportions, but in 
this case no one color can be called the background. Red is the preferred color 
when onl}' one is used, black is ne.xt in popularity, but white is seldom used 
except for backgrounds. The exceptions to the single field of designs on modern 
baskets are ver}' few. 

" See, however, remark on p. 232. 
53666°— 2S 16 


During many years Mr. Teit has noted only tlu'ee or four Thomp- 
son baskets with designs arranged in three fiekls. One of these was 
imbricated only in the central zone, the others being ornamented solely 
with beading. Another similar to tliis had a middle field equal to 
about half of the entire surface, while a tliird one was imbricated over 
the upper two-thirds and had a narrow unbricated band at the bottom 
with several vertical bands connecting it ^^^th the upper fields. Mr. 
Teit says that it is one of very few specimens he has seen with indi- 
cations of "droppers" which are such a common feature of Lillooet 
baskets. He has noted some eight Thompson baskets imbricated 
over at least the upper two-thirds, with unimbricated lower sections 
without even a trace of designs. A modern style, quite common, is a 
grouping of designs into two sections, one of which occupies more 
than the upper half of the surface while the other covers the remain- 
der, and these two groups differ in type of pattern used. 

Other varieties of present-day Thompson styles which are men- 
tioned by Mr. Teit are the division of the field into horizontal bands 
encircling the basket, all-over patterns, such as "net" or "mesh" 
designs, and the large rectilinear designs before mentioned which 
occupy one or two fields on the basket face. 

The vertical arrangement of designs in imbricated stripes which 
traverse the unimbricated faces of the baskets from base to rim has 
not been discussed by the Thompson themselves, nor have we dis- 
covered any notes concerning it from Mr. Teit. At the present day 
it is one of the most common arrangements and probably has per- 
sisted from the earliest times to the present, although it has not always 
been so popular as now. 

The spccunens collected show that the single field has become 
popular in recent years. Three varieties of this style have devel- 
oped. In the first, the whole basket is imbricated with the excep- 
tion of a small section at the bottom, and the designs occupy the 
whole field (pi. 23, a). In the second, the basket is left bare, ex- 
cept for the designs themselves, which are imbricated and, as in the 
fu-st instance, cover the entire field (pis. 18, d; 22, d; 23, d; 24, 6; 77). 
The third resembles the second, but the designs are in two series, one 
above the other. Tliis recalls the first of the tliree ancient types, 
except that the upper section lacks the imbricated background (pi. 
24, c). These last two varieties are far more common than the first. 

It is odd that most of the Thompson men admire the Lillooet 
baskets rather than those constructed by their own people. Many 
express a liking for even and regular stitching and cods, and although 
serviceability impresses them, they prefer to see it combined with 
fineness of workmanship. A few of the men show a marked 
preference for certain designs, and consider the women who make 
them very clever and ingenious. 



Aside from the Lillooet type of two-field decoration mentioned 
above and the single or double unimbricated background Held bearing 
imbricated designs, there are among modern Thompson baskets speci- 
mens showing the imbrication of background on tlie upper half of the 
surface with mixed designs in both fields; there are also entirely imbri- 
cated baskets bcarmg classic or modern figures set "all-over" fashion 
in a white background. (PI. 23, b.) These are fr(>quently made as 

The fact that the informants in discussing old styles began with 
the division into fields is probably merely an indication that tliis 
tvpe differs from the ordinary modern forms and that it is striking. 
They can not now trace its origin, but recognize its similarity to 
Lillooet and Chilcotin arrangements, f^ike all people, they are 
inclined to ascribe the invention of cultural forms common to them- 
selves and to their neighbors to their o\^^l creativeness. 

As remarked before, the baskets of the Thompson, Lillooet, and 
Chilcotin may be distinguished not only by the arrangement of the 
designs but also by various technical features. Thompson coils are 
finer than those of the Lillooet and very uniform in construction. 
In burden baskets the coils of both tribes are of nearly the same tex- 
ture, but the sewing splints of the former are finer and the diameter 
of the coils smaller. The wall construction among the two tribes is 
alike, for both can build perfectly smooth straight walls, without 
bumps or any unevenness, vertically or horizontally. The shapes, 
however, are different, the walls of Thompson baskets being drawn 
in more nearly to a vertical direction than the Lillooet, which flare 
unrestrictedly to the rim. Thompson baskets stand on broader 
bases and present a less angular appearance, the corners being fairly 
rounded even in their most angular specimens.'"' As stated before, 
the division of the basket surface into two decorative fields, and 
also the presence of beading in place of imbrication in the upper 
section on one or two faces of the basket, is characteristic of the 
Lillooet style. It is instructive to observe, where similar decoration 
of field is concerned, the difl^erences between the two tribes as shown 
in Plate 24, r/, a Thompson, and Plates 24, e, and 76, Lillooet baskets. 
The baskets of the Chilcotin are characterized by remarkably fine 
stitching, accurately bifurcated splints, uneven coils, bumpy walls, 
and a rim wliich is higher at the ends than in the center of the sides. 

The types found in the collections which we have studied do not 
wholly agree with the descriptions given by the Indians. A great 
many old baskets have entirely imimbricated backgrounds bearing 
simple beaded or imbricated horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines 
or small figures. 

The lines are usually cjuite narrow, the horizontal commonly 
consisting of one coil beaded or imbricated, the diagonal or A^ertical 
being composed of series of two or tliree imbricated or beaded 

" See also p. 222. 


stitches. Of these very many show only horizontal lines encircling 
the basket at regular intervals. A number of modern specimens 
are exactly of the same kuid. The horizontal lines are imbricated 
or beaded (pis. 8, d; 9, a; 27, d,f, g). The chagonal (pi. 31, h, d) and 
vertical lines (pis. 14, a; 34, a-c; 35, h) and the horizontally or verti- 
cally trenduig zigzags are imbricated (pis. 10, a; 11, b; 14, e; 18, a; 
22, c; 23, c). 

Use of Colors 

Only rarely is any fixed connection established between color and 
design, the aim usually being merely to obtain a contrast. In the 
arrangement of parts, wlxite is often employed to separate red from 
black or as a border around patterns executed in these colors. It is 
always used for backgrounds, except in rare cases on small baskets 
for which enough purple has been secured. Perhaps because there 
are so few colors in use, practically any design may be carried out in 
any one of them, and usually no attempt is made to give a more 
realistic effect by selecting the one most suitable. For instance, 
panthers may be black, red, white, or spotted. Of the few known 
designs which are always carried out in the same color, those repre- 
senting rain, hail, and snow are examples. The first is invariably 
red or black, the last two are wliite, snow being differentiated from 
hail by its spotted formation. Whore berries are depicted the 
red currant (laa'za) is red, the service berry black. 

Attempts were occasionally made to take advantage of the natural 
colors or shades of splints and grass. The darker colored splints used 
for sewing were put in one ])lace and the lighter in another. Thus a 
basket might have all the lower coils, perhaps a third of the entire 
surface, imbricated in dark colors, the rest being lighter. Also, in 
the same way but more rarely, grass was selected according to its 
color — white, yellow, or purple — and used (each color by itself) for 
imbricating certain sections. Baskets imbricated entirely in grass 
were very rare. However, this plan of segregation of colors was 
not often adopted, owing to the great diversity in shades of a given 


There are not many photographs of baskets bearing beaded 
patterns, and in the few that do illustrate this technique the work 
is of the simplest kind which in the photographs, unless taken at 
close range, is not to be readily distinguished from imbrication. Mr. 
Teit has furnished a number of sketches of difl'erent patterns which 
he has seen during his many years spent among the Thompson 
Indians and these are reproduced here with such comment as he has 
supplied. It will prove instructive to return to these figures after 
the study of imbricated design has been completed, m order to note 

'1 See p. 153. 




the many similarities between patterns produced in the two kinds of 
technique. He has been unable to determine whether the imbri- 
cated designs are derived from beaded designs or vice versa, since no 
actual liistory^ is known. It seems as if imbrication as a technicjue 
may have been the result of an attempt to solve the problem of 
obtaining a contmuous line of color without the intervening coil 
stitch always necessary in beading. 

From the series of simple beaded designs given by Mr. Teit in 
Figures 42^5 *^ it seems that some of the most likely combinations, 
such as two rows of over and under one, alternating, were not seen 
by him, although several rows of this technique occur occasionally. 



\A>V ^T^ 

D □ n n p 




n u 




u a 
n n 




8 5 

Fig. 42. — Beaded designs 

The very simple combinations have given way to more complicated 
forms, and even these are falling into disuse, for beading is going out 
of style. 

Nos. 6 and 12, Figure 42, sometimes formed connected patterns 
covering the whole surfaces of baskets. They were also used in 
bands. Nos. 4 and 8 were common in bands three to five coils wide, 
between which bare spaces of equal width were left. No. 14 was a 
very frequent pattern. All of the others shown were used in bands 
of different sorts with bare spaces between them. Nos. 1-5, 7-10, 
and 16 were at times employed as borders along the rims of baskets. 
Some baskets were ornamented with two or more patterns, such as a 
border, for instance No. 1 or 5, which covered one or two coUs, and 

i- In these sketches diagonal shading indicates red, solid black, black. 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

below this extending over most of the side a pattern such as No. 14, 
while below this might be a band like No. 6. 

Of late years certain beaded patterns have become more popular 
than others. Thosenotedrecentlyare shown in Figure42, Nos. 1-8 and 
12-14. Nos. 9-11, 13, 15, and 16 are said to have been used formerly, 
as well as several others of which exact descriptions were not obtained. 

Fig. 43.— Beaded designs 

Figure 43 represents beaded designs related to the t_\'pe just 

The so-called woven design shown in Figure 44, a, is made by two 
women of Spuzzum and by one woman hving among the Upper 
Uta'mqt. It is used as a single pattern once only on each face of a 

basket, but the upper and lower 
single-stitch border runs entirely 
around all four sides. The pattern 
here shown was copied from a 
small carrying basket belongmg to 
Mrs. Guichon, of Port Guichon, 
British Coliunbia. The basket 
measiu'ed 8 inches deep, the mouth 
was lOj^ by 13 inches, the bottom 
5 by 9 inches at the Ime of bead- 
ing wliich marks this part off from 
the side walls. *^ 

It is said that patterns like this 
are occasionally used, and according 
to one informant, an Uta'mqt wo- 
man, they are loaned and copied. 
Figiu-e 44, h, gives the pattern 
known as "woven design, short 
ends." The intricacy of the inter- 
woven, continuous bands is quite 
foreign to Thompson basketry art. There is no uiformation avail- 
able regarding the possible derivation of this pattern. 


The statement of the informants that long ago burden baskets were 
roimd is substantiated by the fact that the old examples have 
roimded corners and are decorated, as we might expect, by designs 

"The pattern gives the impression of being in part, at least, imbricated. Continuous lines can not be 
made in beading. 

Fig. 44. — Beaded designs 


suitable for conical or cylindrical shapes, such as horizontal lines, 
zigzags, and small figures arranged in spirals which partially en- 
circle the baskets as they ascend from base to rim, without regard 
to corners. In addition to this, round baskets showing similar 
artistic treatment are still occasionally made. Modern rectangular 
shapes which are decorated in one of these ways are fairly common. 
Evidently such types of ornamentation have always been in exist- 
ence throughout the life of imbricated basketry in this region. In 
fact, unimbricated backgrounds, bearing groups of small designs, are 
more typical of Thompson basketry art than any other kind of 

The Thompson like to use the same pattern on all sides of a basket, 
whatever may be its shape. Square and oblong forms are well 
adapted for the short ends. Different designs might be used on the 
long sides, because the sides are separated from each other by the 
corners. Yet the people do not seem to have realized this, for their 
designs are an-anged in a way which would be equally effective on 
cylindrical shapes. Only four or five specimens have been seen with 
decorated sides and bare ends and none with end designs only. Two 
or three were noted in which ends and sides were different but none in 
which the patterns on either side or end were fundamentally different 
from those on the other.** The Lillooet and near-by coast tribes have 
a curious habit of ornamenting two sides and an end and leaving the 
other bare or giving it a different decoration. This plan has never 
been adopted by the Thompson. 

Arrangement of Designs 

In the arrangement of designs on the basket walls there seem to be 
some rather definite tendencies which Mr. Teit has noted in the 
following manner. The numerical listing corresponds to the degree 
of popularity prevailing for the particular arrangement. 

A. Separate or disconnected figures: 

1. Vertical rows. 

2. Horizontal rows. 

3. Diagonal rows. 

4. Zigzag rows. 

5. Scattering. 

6. One figure occupying the entire field. 

7. All-over arrangements which may be considered in any one of the first 

three classes. 

B. Connected figures: 

1. Vertical. 

2. Horizontal. 

3. Diagonal. 

4. Vertical (in banded arrangements). 

5. Horizontal (in banded arrangements). 

6. Diagonal (in banded arrangements). 

'< The observations made by Mr. Teit extend over many years, during which time hundreds of baskets 
were examined. 


C. Figures connected by lines: 

1. Vertical. 

2. Horizontal. 

3. Diagonal. 

4. Zigzag. 

5. Not conforming to any of the above, such as net designs, or to be 

regarded as belonging to any of the first three classes. 

D. Designs composed of hues: 

1. Vertical (straight, zigzag, or meander). 

2. Horizontal (straight, zigzag, or meander). 

3. Diagonal (stepped, straight). 

E. Combinations of figures: Frequent and numerous. 

F. Fillings": Sketches 39, 42, 159-162, 222-229, 231, 232, 245, 246, 254, 278, 281, 

303, 398, 525, 529, 547, 859. 

G. All-over: Close connected or open arrangement. Sketches 244, 264-267; 

more rarely 24, 268, 272, 274, 275, 288, 289, 293, 307, 308, 564, 565, 689; 
rarely 399, 400, 402, 457, 536, 537, 558, 559, 563. 

There are some designs the arrangement of which has become so 
fixed as to be aknost invariable. 

Of the separate figures (Group A), designs 222-229, 231, 232, and 
859 are jiractically always scattered over the surface. Designs 135, 
237, 240, 241, 261, 271, 311, 328, 339-341, 511, 548, 608-615, 686, 700, 
and 701 are practically always found as a single figure occupying the 
entire field. Designs 222-229, 231, 232, 240, 241, 339-341, 547, 548, 
615, and 859 are also sometimes seen in smaller dimensions arranged 
in vertical, horizontal, or diagonal rows. Designs 268, 272, 274, and 
275 generally form horizontal zigzags, and 700 and 701 are also some- 
times found arranged in this manner. Designs 135, 149, 237, 261, 
271, and 511 are occasionally seen in vertical or horizontal rows, but 
the last named is more frequently horizontal than vertical. 

Of the connected figures, 245, 247, 252, 254, 278-281, 284-285, 
288, 289, 329, and 330 are generally vertical, while designs 293 and 
307 are found about equally in vertical and horizontal arrangement. 
Designs 264-267 are generally arranged horizontally, as are 315 and 
316 occasionally, although these are more often arranged diagonally. 
Designs 42, 138, 141, 246, 249-251, 257, 292, 298, 301-304, 332, 
334-337, 529, 532, and 533 are always seen in stripes, usually vertical, 
rarely horizontal. The elements, however, are placed along the stripe 
in zigzag or diagonal alignments or are separated fi'om each other 
by stepped or diagonal lines. 

Of the figures which are joined by lines, 78 is usually placed in 
horizontal zigzag arrangement; 244, 308, 564, 565, and 689 are 
arranged all-over fashion and may be regarded as in vertical, hori- 
zontal, or diagonal series, depending on the point of view; but 562, 
564, and 565 are also not infrequently placed in single horizontal rows. 

« These niunber,s reter to Plates 78-94. The numbers here given and those contained in the following 
paragraphs are taken from Mr. Teit's notes. They could not be checked from available specimens. 



There are many common arrangements not mentioned here, which 
may be seen in the photographs, and others are taken into account 
in the sketches themselves, which often give not only the pattern 
itself but its arrangement. Wliile Mr. Teit says that this classifi- 
cation is not complete, he thinks that the great majority of figures 
are included in it. 

Vertical arrangements include the alignment of figures one above 
the other in an open formation, two or three or more series occupy- 
ing one face (pis. 15, c: 25, c, d; 26, a-f), or the confinement of 
patterns to vertical stripes having straight edges, which appear like a 
ribbon on which the designs are set (pis. 10, h; 11, a; 12, a, h; 26, 
c, d, e, h: 51,/, j). These are imbricated in dark or light straw or 
bark, while the figures are -wrought in contrasting colors. Such 
vertical stripes are very popular as decorative schemes. Wliether or 
not this idea also came from the Lillooet is not knowni at the present 
time. As a method, it bears marked resemblance to that employed 
by them on low-walled, long storage baskets (pi. 15, a, h), as well as 
to the droppers which are pendent stripes extending down into the 
lower field from the upper. (Pis. 18, c; 29.) Plate 30 illustrates the 
use of the droppers by the Lillooet. Vertical lines decorated with 
various types of patterns may be observed in a-e, g, and t. There 
are, however, also a variety of designs used in the field ordinarily 
occupied by the droppers. Isolated lines occur in Plates 30, Z; 51, c, 
and 58, a: triangular figures in Plate 30, m; beaded horizontal stripes 
in Plate 30, Ji; and a number of larger figiu-es may be seen in the 
remaining illustrations on this plate. 

Whatever the origin of the stripes may be, the Thompson have 
given to them sometliing of their own individuality and have adopted 
them to the extent of almost supplanting many of the other artistic 
forms that once prevailed so widely. Of necessity tlie figures in the 
''ribbons" are small, and in this respect they resemble most of the 
other elements which are combined in different ways on typical 
Thompson products. They are also infinitely varied. Since from 
many points of view they have influenced the modern art to a great 
degree, and since there are so many possible ways actually in use of 
subdividing these long narrow spaces into figures, it seems best to 
postpone a discussion of them until the last and to dispose first of 
the horizontal and "all-over" distributions and of large designs 
wliich are not in series. 

There are two varieties of horizontal arrangement. The first is 
in several series or bands; the second is composed only of one, 
which generally encircles the basket about the middle, but more 
rarely in the upper half. The simplest figiu-es are mere lines, as 
has been said before. Sometunes these are interrupted by small rec- 
tangles divided into three sections. (Pis. 21, d; 27, d.) Except for 


these, or numerous adaptations of the zigzag, or the disposal of figures 
such as right angles, diamonds or triangles, the horizontal arrangement 
is not very often used. (Pis. 12, c; 28, a, d; 36, h; 41, a, j; 51, &, d, Tc.) 

The diagonal series usually begin at the left side below and run 
toward the right above. On rectangular shapes the diagonal may 
merely traverse one face of the basket from base to rim, or it may 
extend over to another face, without regard to the corner, in which 
case it is called spiral. There are no variations of the diagonal 
arrangements, except in direction to right or left, as there is always 
a continuous series starting along the base, never only one to a field. 

Diagonal distributions are very common and aside from the ordi- 
nary zigzags, include series of small squares, rectangles, triangles or 
"little spot" designs. (Pis. 25, a; 27, e; 28, c, h; 33, a; 36, Ic; 50, h; 
51, e, i; 77.) 

The all-over distributions of small or large figures are always 
orderly and usually permit of a consideration as horizontal, diagonal, 
or vertical, according to their size and spacing. At any rate, the 
elements are generally aligned in at least two of these directions, 
instead of being scattered aimlessly, although Plates 27, e, and 41, c, 
show an exception. Plates 25, a, h, d; 26, g; 28, e; 42, e; 47, d, and 
the frontispiece are examples. The arrangement on the basket Plate 
27, e, might be considered as horizontal or diagonal, although the 
last is more obvious. The example in Plate 47, d, is a similar case, 
really identical except that the vertical distance between figures is 
less than the horizontal, thus giving the effect of vertical rows, 
especially with the added emphasis in color. Plate 25, b, shows a 
predominating horizontal arrangement, because the distances between 
the figm-es in that direction are less, and because the vertical align- 
ment is imperfect. Plate 25, «, gives an unmistakable diagonal, not 
only on accoimt of the color but because of the interruptions in ad- 
joming rows in other directions. The crosses, which are the elements, 
are quite rare as outlined figm-es. Single elements are not often 
large, and on this account these are also unusual. In Plate 25, d, 
and the frontispiece the arrangement may be considered as either 
vertical or horizontal. The feeling for the diagonal has been mini- 
mized by the exact alignments in the other two directions as well 
as by the closmg up of the series in a vertical direction. It is rather 
interesting to note that in the examples given the diagonal elements 
are predominant. 

Designs resembling the head, mouth, intestine, and other such 
figures are employed in all-over effects by the Thompson, as well as 
in vertical stripes and two field distributions. The figure is called 
by them "half circle." Plate 32 illustrates some of these types. 
Whether these circles are adaptations suggested by the larger figures 
or vice versa is not known. They occur more frequently among the 



Thompson than among the Lillooet, where, however, they are not 
lacking. Plate 32, b, pictm-es an all-over distribution in the upper 
field adapted to the t^'pical Lillooet style. In present-day Thompson 
baskets these patterns are not often seen. 

Large single patterns are not very numerous. They are probably 
all of modern conception. The pattern shown on Plate 33, h, was 
introduced by an Uta'mqt woman, who called it "leaves and ferns." 
It is obviously derived from the hammer pattern, although so difler- 
ently interpreted. Plate 28,/, shows a variation of the widely known 
"leg" design; Plate 28, g, what was interjjreted as part of an aiTOw 
design; Plate 33, d, merely part of a design, the remainder of which 
is probably carried over to the other side of the basket. More data 
about these patterns would be A^ery desirable; for instance, whether 
they were taken from other articles, such as blankets. Surely the 
last pattern suggests "borrowing," since it is placed in a manner 
foreign to the usual basket arrangements and is too large for proper 
presentation to the eye at one glance. 

For several reasons it would seem that the large rectilinear designs 
are of foreign extraction. In the first place the upper half of the 
surface which bears these designs has an imbricated background, a 
trait which, except for the few definite patterns always appearing with 
this style, is seen only in a few very modern specimens which differ 
from the older art in design, material, shape, color, and general 

Secondly, the patterns used in this type of decoration number 
about six or eight only. They are large. Generally Thompson 
designs are small, or if they assume any considerable size they are 
cut up by checkerwork or some other form of subdivision, wliich 
does away entirely with any considerable plain surface inclosed in 
outlines. Thirdly, these designs are all rectangular. Thompson 
designs as a whole show fewer rectangles than any other figures, and 
when these do appear they are small. The large outlined square, 
or anything approaching it excepting for these few designs, all of 
similar type, is conspicuously absent. Fourtldy, these same six or 
eight patterns are typically Lillooet. 

The early type of simple Thompson baskets, characterized by 
the undivided field and imimbricated background, is still produced 
in large nuinbers and has always been one of the commonest styles in 
use. The division of the field is made according to Lillooet standards, 
with designs worked partly or wholly on unimbricated backgrounds. 
It seems likely, therefore, that the fashion of so dividing the surface 
into fields came into vogue at a later time. With these, as part of the 
complex, came the peculiar designs always associated by the Thomp- 
son with this style, the so-called head, mouth, hammer, intestine, 
grave-box, and similar patterns. Any of these alone fills the entire 
upper or lower field, and is, according to the particular design, either 


one large figure or two halves divided vertically, facing each other 

On the parfleches of the western plains the rectangle is rather 
conspicuous, not only as represented by a single line running around 
the edges of the flap, but as a smaller design element. In all sections 
of the plains the two flaps of the envelope are treated in the same 
fashion, so that two complementary sections result. This same idea 
is presented in the Lillooet mouth patterns, although these particiflar 
designs do not seem to be part of the parfleche group. Nevertheless 
it seems cjuite possible that some connection exists between the two. 
These patterns are quite popular among the Thompson, and the many 
baskets adorned with them form no inconsiderable group. Plate 29 
shows the ends of two Lillooet baskets and one side with the head 
and intestine designs, respectively. Plate 20, a, also shows the head 
design, as does Plate 57,/, with the head pattern occupying the lower 
field. Plate 30 illustrates LiUooet work with large symmetrical de- 
signs. It is also distinguished by the "droppers" and by imbricated 
backgroimds in the upper field. Except on some of the newest 
baskets, all of these patterns arc more or less related artistically, 
and as used by the Thompson include to a large extent aU that they 
possess which resemble outlined squares or rectangles. 

Whatever may be the history of the typical Lillooet style as found 
among the Thompson, the fact remains that the most usual method of 
decoration is that of placing imbricated designs on an unimbricated 
background which is all one field, although there is a variation of this 
with a two-field arrangement whore the lower one may or may not be 
totally bare. 

The Vertical Stripe 

The vertical stripe is a comparatively narrow space inclosed by 
vertical lines usually extending from base to rim but occasionally 
rimning down from the rim for about two-tliirds of the way. It is 
executed in a color contrasting with the background of the basket, 
and set off' by perfectly straight edges. Within the boundaries 
of the wider stripes there are many possible arrangements of smaU 
designs wliich frequently give rise to other designs as the result of 
the small remaining spaces of backgroimd on the stripe itself. Such 
"by-product" or reverse patterns, if the term may be used, are most 
apparent when the real designs extend to the edge of the stripe, thus 
definitely cutting up its whole width. Tliis method of decorating 
basketry by means of vertical stripes is not unknown to the LUlooet, 
as has already been indicated. Short stripes are often seen in 
the so-called droppers, while completely developed forms are also 
present. The Lillooet specimens give many illustrations of these, of 
which good examples may be seen in Plates 7, c; 10, b; 15, a, b. 


The vertical stripe is usually entirely imbricated. In its simplest 
and probably most common form it consists of a series of checks, 
either small squares or small rectangles standing on end. (PI. 33, c.)^^ 
Very narrow ones are composed of one series of such rectangles. 
Another variation is a series of four or five vertical lines, cut up into 
small sections by changes of color. (PI. 34, a.) The sections are about 
as long as the whole series is wide, so that they form squares. Still 
another variety is composed of alternating dark and Ught narrow 
vertical lines, about five or seven of which constitute a stripe. At 
intervals these are interrupted by a short section of checkerwork. 
(Pis. 7, a; 34, d.) There are others composed of small squares ex- 
tending down the center of the stripe. (PI. 34, c.) Uninterrupted 
vertical lines are also seen. (Pis. 34, b; 35, h.) 

There is no rule regarding color. Stripes may be black or red with 
light figures, or light with dark figures, wliile their edges may or may 
not be outlined with contrasting colors. Plate 34 illustrates various 
forms of vertical stripes in which only vertical and horizontal subdi- 
visions are employed. 

Another very popular way of ornamenting the stripe is by means 
of parallel diagonal lines, in the handling of which several ingenious 
variations are noted. The most common is that involving long 
diagonals, which slip past each other, giving a clear effect of parallel 
lines with no very apparent "by-product" patterns. These are 
illustrated on Plates 26, h, and 35, c, d, e. 

There are other shorter, thicker diagonals, the adjoining lines 
beginning or ending on the same level, instead of slipping past. If 
the stripe is narrow, so that the corner of the one just finishing about 
touches that of the new one just beginning, the reverse patterns 
along the sides of the stripe consist of two series of superimposed 
right-angled triangles, the apex of one touching the base of the 
next. If the parallel lines trend toward the right, as they usually 
do, the series of such right-angled triangles on the left turn down, 
those on the right turn up. (PI. 40, a.) If the lines trend to the left 
the positions of these two series are reversed. Sometimes, when the 
stripe is wider, two parallel lines are found on a level instead of one, 
wliich, except that they are a bit out of line with those on the next 
level, might give the impression of slipped diagonals. (PI. 36, g.) 
Much of the general effect depends upon the width of the stripe and 
the comparative width and length of the diagonals. Plates 37, a; 
43, c ( a storage basket), show this type of decoration where the lines, 
although no thicker than those shown in the plates illustrating slipped 
lines, are, because of then- shortness and relative width as compared 

" The vertical zigzag belongs neither to the vertical series of small figures nor to the vertical stripe with 
straight edges. It is included here for convenience. See also PI. 33, e, which is a photograph of a rather 
old specimen. 


to that of the stripe, almost rhomboids. In this style of art they 
seldom are wide enough to give that impression, as they do in 
CalLfornian baskets, and in addition, they are here almost always 
associated with the vertical stripe, wliereas in California they are 
usually connected with the spiral or diagonal. 

Where the design figures do not come close to the edge — and here 
again, closeness is only a comparative term, depending on the width 
of the stripe and the width and shortness of the hgures — the reverse 
designs appear not so much like triangles as like vertical lines with 
serrated edges. Plate 37, a, demonstrates this. Although in this 
sample the lines extend to within one stitch of the edge and in diagonal 
patterns the edge is almost never broken or interrupted (see pi. 
39, c, for a rare, exceptional specimen), the figures are so broad and 
short that these single stitches along the edge form a distinctly con- 
tinuous line. (See also pi. 49, d.) 

Next to the checker stripes, those enlivened by diagonal parallel 
lines are the most common of any to be seen on either Thompson 
or Lillooet baskets. 

There are besides these many other combinations which will be 
treated briefly. Perfectly plain stripes are occasionally seen, espe- 
cially on newer baskets. (PI. 36, e,f.) 

The zigzag is more rarely used than might be imagined. Plates 
37, d; 42, g, show two of the few examples. The employment of 
diamonds formed by an intersecting zigzag is also rather rare. 

The chevron is a popular figure on the vertical stripe. Plates 
37, e, and 38, d, show it in the usual position and color, light on a 
dark grotmd. Plate 38, c, gives a variant, not only because of the 
reversed color but also because of the alternations in direction of the 
chevrons on the difi'erent stripes. Occasionally, as in Plate 42, g, 
a combination of up and down turning chevrons occurs in one ctripe 
resulting in the diamond in tlie middle. This is exceptionally ornate 
and beautiful. 

Triangles in vertical series turning up or down are also employed 
on vertical stripes. (Pis. 37, b; 39, a.) In either case the reverse 
triangles along the sides are necessarily on the same level. In fact, 
the reverse triangles are always so situated in opposite pairs, whether 
they turn in different directions or not. It is this fixetl character 
of reverse patterns that is most striking, for an uneven alignment 
is not impossible. Did such an arrangement occur, there would be 
no very evident design down the center, a condition which is utterly 
foreign to the Thompson stripe, unless the whole stripe bo divided 
from side to side by diagonals, as is shown in Plate 39, c. 

Because of the truncation of the triangles in Plate 39, h, and 
the short distances between vertical stripes, it is difhcult to decide 
which is the design and which the background. The black triangles 




arranged along the white stripe are much more evident at first glance 
than the vertical stripe with its straight edges and central design of 
truncated triangles, yet it would seem that this is the form intended, 
judging by other stripes of similar character. It would be quite 
impossible for the maker not to see the other possibility involved 
here, and that the people did observe the charm of the reverse 
patterns is evident in many of the baskets of tliis group. Basket i 
in Plate 36 shows this recognition in the stripes which are like those 
of Plate 39, h, but with dark triangles doubled symmetrically. There 
is no doubt that arrangements of triangles such as these are suggested 
by reverse patterns. The division of the stripe vertically into pairs 
of two right-angled triangles occasionally gives rise to a very curious 
arrangement which, because of its apparent lack of sjoninetry, does 
not seem at all typical of either the Thompson or LUlooet. Nor is it. 
This may be seen on the lower specimen on Plate 49, a. Here the 
color combination 

Fig. 45. — Designs on vertical stripes 

is accountable for 
the apparent gross 
breach of art eti- 
quette in the associ- 
ation of what seems 
to be two series of 
black right-angled 
triangles which 
trend in opposite 
directions but face 

the same way. The design in reality is the series of superimposed 
isosceles triangles which are divided through the center into two 
sections of contrastmg colors. The remaining background series of 
necessity are developed in opposite colors. This is the only specimen 
that has been noted which displays such incongruity, which, after 
all, is not faulty as far as arrangement goes, but merely in regard to 
coloring, since it emphasizes one-half of the design and one-half of 
the background, giving to them an apparent association which does 
not and should not exist. 

Some unusual and elaborate subdivisions of the vertical stripe 
taken from photographs which were too poor to be reproduced as 
plates, are given in Figure 45, while the plates throughout the book 
give numerous other examples. 

The diagonal stripe is very rare indeed, but seems to be coming 
into vogue on the newer baskets. Plates 27, a: 36, Ji: 41, b: 42, h, are 
illustrations. On trays it gives the impression of rotation (pi. 17, li). 


Before taking up the question of the treatment of designs and their 
adaptation to given fields in detail it is necessary to make a survey 
of the elements and their variations which are employed in their 


creation. In order to enable the reader to appreciate fully the almost 
endless number of variations on a simple theme which are used by the 
Thompson in their decorative art, we have grouped the more than 800 
forms which have been noted and copied by Mr. Teit, during many 
years of close association with the people, around the simple form 
elements from which they may be derived. (See pis. 78-94.) To 
a certain extent these groupings are necessarily arbitrary and patterns 
assigned to one group might just as well be associated with another, 
but in this attempt at an arrangement of designs from the most simple 
to the most complex, it must be understood that the order as given is 
merely one of convenience. 

The art is almost Avholly conventional. Dr. W. H. Holmes in his 
paper on "Textile ^^t in its Relation to Form and Ornament" *" has 
discussed at length the decoration of basketry and its limitations. 
Due to these same limitations the art is almost wholly angular, near 
curves being seen only seldom and attained by series of stitches 
arranged in step formation. 

There is a group of semirealistic forms, in which the objects are 
mostly represented by lines which can usually receive but one inter- 
pretation, and another of purely geometric forms in which the geo- 
metric figures may be interpreted in various ways as representations 
of objects. This latter type of art preponderates largely and will 
receive first consideration. 

Geometric Designs 

Most of the simple geometric forms appear and are elaborated. 
These are the horizontal, oblique, and vertical lines, meanders, 
chevrons and zigzags, the triangle, square, rectangle, rhomboid, 
trapezoid, diamond, hexagon, and octagon. There are a few other 
figures which result from the truncation of some of these forms, and 
a number which are more complicated. 

The creation of the horizontal line is practically determined by the 
technique of the basket. It is the result of beading or imbrication 
carried sufficiently far along one coil to produce a decorative effect. 

Theoretically, vertical rows should not be particularly difficult to 
create, since they merely require for their construction a repetition 
of the technical process of beading or imbricating stitches in each coil 
directly over those so treated in previous rounds. Practically, how- 
ever, with the Thompson, at least, this is quite a difficult achieve- 
ment, for, while they spht the stitch beneath on the side toward them 
when making the awl hole, they seldom divide it into equal portions, 
as is done by the Chilcotin. Because they drive the awl through 
the basket at right angles to it, they likewise furcate the stitch on tlie 
inner side. The splint lies across the coil in a more nearly vertical 

" Siith Ann. Kept. Bur. Ethn., pp. 187-252. 



direction on the reverse side, while it slants downward to the right 
on the face of the coil, giving each stitch the appearance of leaning 
to the left. Even were the stitches exactly divided on the face a true 
vertical series could not be obtained on account of the leftward lean- 
ing of each stitch, although a perfectly straight edge could be pro- 
duced. But when the furcation is uneven the second difficulty ap- 
pears in the impossibility of making a straight line (fig. 46). This 
last the Thompson doubtless soon learned to overcome, although 
there are plenty of examples which show that many women did not 
recognize the cause of the trouble. The other more fundamental 
practice continues until the present day in nearly all Thompson 
work, although a few women have succeeded in bringing their splints 
over the face of the coil in an almost perfectly vertical direction, 
after the manner of the Chilcotin, thereby securing vertical lines. 
The majority of so-called vertical bands on Thompson baskets show 
a decidedly leftward trend which, however, must not be confused 
with the true diagonal, where each stitch in the series is placed at 
least the distance of one to the right or left of that 
similarly treated by imbrication or beading in the 
coil beneath. 

It is quite likely that the same difficulty of ob- 
taining perfectly vertical effects was encoimtered 
where purely beaded designs were used. There are 
few specimens, apparently, which show attempts to 
obtain vertical lines in beading, but it is probable that 
this was not the result of failure to produce the desired 
results, but merely that the people adopted the prac- fig. 46.— Biiurca- 
tice of beading alternate stitches in successive rows, tion of cou stitches 
This would at once give rise to diagonal effects which would be more 
pronounced than the vertical. Slight inaccuracies in the width of the 
splint or in the placing of the stitch would also not be evident. 

When once the stepped diagonal has become thoroughly estab- 
lished, by one means or another, an enormous development in deco- 
rative designs becomes possible. In anj^ series of Thompson baskets 
appear zigzags in niunerous varieties or some step figm'e, or the 
chevron or V, the last one being far more frequently built up from 
the apex than vice versa. The diagonal zigzag in both horizontal 
and vertical arrangements is one of the most common figures. There 
is also that composed of horizontal and approximately vertical lines 
which is seen on many old baskets, and frequently on rectangular 
shapes, where it starts at equal distances around the bottom, ascend- 
ing spirally to the rim, crossing over corners or faces of the basket 
surface. Undoubtedly it is a survival of one way of decorating the 
old round forms. These two types of the zigzag, that composed of 
53666°— 28 17 


diagonal lines and that built of horizontal and vertical sections, are 
quite distinct and probably had entirely different histories. The 
meander is also derived from the combination of short vertical and 
horizontal sections, but because of its construction is confined to ver- 
tical and horizontal bands. 

Checkerwork likewise, which imdoubtedly contributed to the 
appreciation of the diagonal and which is inextricably associated with 
it, is naturally present in great abundance. 

A rapid survey of the elements and designs, as well as closer study, 
gives the impression of a preponderance of diagonal forms, although 
vertical lines and arrangements as well as right angles are not lack- 
ing, particularly owing to the great popularity of the mouth or head 
design. Having touched upon the lines necessary in the construction 
of figures, and which are present in the art of this region, it will be 
seen that curved figures are conspicuous by their absence. The 
designs are entirely angular. 

It now becomes necessary to discuss the elements used and their 
treatment and subdivision according to their sizes. The simple geo- 
metric forms before mentioned will be reviewed separately from this 
standpoint. The figures which result from the combination of these 
are not especially common and may be better comprehended by 


We begin the discussion with the square, since its form is presented 
immediately to the eye on the accomplishment of the first stitch in 
beading or imbrication. All beaded or imbricated designs are 
composed of series of squares or rectangles, made either of single or 
double coil stitches or larger combinations of these. Checkerwork is 
purposely omitted from this discussion. The smallest square is 
necessarily of one solid color — red, black, or white. It can not be 
subdivided, but squares which ai'e produced by a number of stitches 
en masse, or by an outline which may include many stitches within its 
boundaries, may be subdivided in a number of ways. The extent or 
kind of subdivision depends on the size of the square. 

In speaking of subdivision it must not be understood that the people 
consciously subdivide a large square, but the temi is merely used in 
an objective sense. Of the many possible combinations or sub- 
divisions in a square composed of four stitches where three colors are 
available, comparatively few arc actually represented. 

Before discussing the subdivided square it is necessary to state that 
occasionally the single stitch in any of the three colors is used as an 
element, or two stitches if one woxdd be too narrow (pi. 41, a, c). 
But when the square of four stitches appears there are odd gaps in 
the scries as actually found, compared to what is theoretically possible. 
The square composed of four stitches may be divided in various ways 




by the employment of two contrasting colors. The vertical stripes 
on the basket in Plate 29, c, are decorated witli these rare squares. 

A nine-field but not necessarily nine-stitch square is fairly common 
on modern baskets; and has been seen on some rather well worn 
specimens. Usually it extends over three coils in height and is about 
six stitches wide. The nine fields are of alternating black and white, 
or red and white, so that the effect is that of a dark cross on a light 
background. Usually the central square is light. The related figuire, 
without the four light corner squares which provide the so-caUed 
backgroimd, is frequently interpreted as the "star" or "little spot" 
design, and as such it appears either alone or in a series. Figure 47 
shows this nine-field square. 

The larger squares, totaling in all 25 units or more, are, on the 
whole, rare and usually found on new baskets. One Lillooet speci- 
men displays large squares divided diagonally, covering three broad 
coils and extending for six stitches, but these are very rare. A very 
few Thompson specimens give 
the figure in black outline, 
with an unimbricated center 
or one filled in with white 
imbrication. Such figures 
cover about four coils, and 
from five to eight stitches usu- 
ally, although lai-ger ones Iiave 
been noted on very new speci- 
mens (pi. 41, g). Another 
rare white square is delineated 
partially by a narrow black 
band along the sides, but not at bottom or top, while a still more 
peculiar variant has a fine of black along the bottom and the right 
side (pi. 41, ^). This type is closely related to triangular forms. In 
this case the artist goes out of her way to complete the square form; 
in partially outlined triangles she does not. Black solid squares about 
three coUs high and seven stitches wide are more common, even on 
earlier baskets, and appear alone or in vertical, horizontal, or diagonal 
series (pi. 36, a). In the last-named arrangement their corners may 
or may not touch; in the first two they are either widely separated or 
appear in close formation with only narrow intervening stripes of white. 

Banded squares are six stitches wide and extend over tliree coils. 
Others are ten stitches wide and extend over five coils (pi. 7, a), or six 
stitches wide and extend over four coils (pi. 26, c). Some are divided 
into vertical stripes, each one or two stitches wide. Wlien there are 
three stripes, the center is white, the outer two are black. A horizon- 
tal arrangement of a similar nature on another basket gives rather the 
impression of three narrow separate bands than of a subdivided square, 

Fig. 47.— Basket with star design. U.S.N.M. 217438 


although technically it may be so characterized. The banded ar- 
rangements are very common in squares of tliis size on old baskets. 

Recent specimens present squares subdivided, as shown in Plates 
41, h, d,f; 44, b, i. (See also the sketches on pi. 85, Nos. 348 et seq.) 

The large square in outlines is used as an element by the Clulcotin. 
It seems to have enjoyed great popularity among them and is found 
in a variety of styles. The people not only bifui'cate their stitches 
with remarkable accm-acy but also on many baskets bring their 
splints over the face of the coil in an almost vertical direction, 
keeping the cUagonal direction on the reverse side. Being thus able 
to place their stitches almost exactly over one another, the Chilcotin 
impart to their basket surfaces a vertical effect wliich is quite as 
pronounced as the diagonal ribbing on a piece of serge cloth (pis. 

It is impossible to say how much influence the technique has had 
on the art style developed, but it is certain that habit, whatever 
may have been the initial cause, has led to two very different styles 
with the two peoples. 


The large and small rectangles are more common than the squares 
as elements and seem to have been suggested very often by the 
horizontal direction of the construction of the basket. Small ones, 
only a coil in height and three or four stitches long, are often seen in all 
black or red, or when longer, in sections of different colors (pis. 21, d; 
27, h, c, d). Tall rectangles (really placed on end) cover usually three 
coUs and two stitches and arc sometimes seen in the dark colors, but 
rarely in white. A common and fairly old vertical stripe arrangement 
is composed of a series of black and white tall rectangles (pi. 26,/). 
The first pair may be black to the left, white to the right. Joined to 
these and immediately above is another pair with color reversed, 
and so on (pis. 34, d; 56, d; 57, d). Tins idea does not seem to have 
been developed further. 

The largest rectangles, extending over several coUs, are usually 
about twice as long as they are wide and are generally horizontal. 
They are worked in black, red, or white, and appear singly or 
in vertical, horizontal, or diagonal series as well as in checker 
formation (pis. 24, A worked in a wide coU; 26, a). They are varied 
by subdivision into smaller vertical or horizontal rectangular fields. 
One was divided vertically into four sections, tlie two ends being 
black, the two centers white; others were composed of tlnee, of 
which the center was white, the outer two black, or vice versa. 
When the division is into horizontal fields along the line of the coil 
regular alternation of dark and hght seems to be the rule (pi. 45, 
I, m). In the modern basket (pi. 52, i) wiiite fields alternate with 



black and red ones. In horizontal figures the failure to attain truly 
vertical lines is not disturbing, because they do not extend over 
more than two or three coils; but it is noticeable in tall and narrow 
figiu-es. A number of rectangles may be seen in the plates illustrating 
the use of squares and triangles. 


Not a single old basket and only very few modern specimens have 
the true triangle appearing alone as a single element, unconnected in 
any manner with other triangles or figures; but botli isosceles and 
right-angled triangles in series are common on all specimens. Where 
the triangle is connected with others the figure is the result of diago- 
nal divisions of a larger surface. A casual glance at himdreds of 
specimens would lead the student to suppose tliat the triangle was 
one of the most common single elements in Tliompson art. By the 
term triangle a three-sided figure is meant, which by its treatment 
shows that it is a three-sided figiu-e, not a space between converging 
lines. It is an independent form worked in solid color, or outlined 
on tlu"ee sides, imbricated or plain within these boundaries. The 
presence of such figures would lead the student to suppose that the 
triangle as a separate art element was consciously recognized. Only 
on a few baskets of fairly late origin is anything conforming to these 
specifications discovered. Here one finds the simple very small 
triangle — of course with the step edge, not exceeding four coils in 
height — built up in solid colors as a separate element. Usually the 
direction of building is upward from a single stitch at the apex to four 
or five stitches at the "inverted base," except where tliere is an 
opposed series. Here in one series the direction of building is to our 
eyes normal. The niunber of stitches along the base as compared to 
the height usually depends on whether the triangle is right-angled or 

The outlined triangle is also seen occasionally on modern examples 
but nearly always in a series. The only illustrations of the use of true 
triangles (that is, not interlocking) are given in Plates 25, d; 44, c, h, i, 
and 45, A, whicli are almost all that were found after a careful study 
of hundreds of photographed specunens comprising not only entire 
collections from all tlie large museums in this coimtry but also those 
belonging to individuals. In some semirepresentative attempts the 
wings of butterflies and birds assimie truly triangidar forms. These 
are excepted from this statement. In one example the true triangle 
is used along the rim. It may be that the necessarily increased 
widtli of the horizontal outline of the triangle which must have the 
ivR width of the coil, as compared to that of the diagonal sides, wliich 
consist of one or two stitches, accounts for the frequent omission of 
this part of the figure in the case of outlines. Certainly when present 


it gives a very heavy effect. The triangle shown in Plate 45, A, is 
interesting because its base is worked in alternate stitches of black 
and white in a single row, mstead of being composed of two rows, 
one white and one black, as is the case along the sides. In some 
cases, when tilling the space between the black lines ■with white, the 
artist merely emphasizes the space enclosed by the diverging lines. 
It is peculiar that on coiled baskets of all the tribes studied practically 
all old tiiangular decorations consist of a field set off b}' an angle and 
filled with plain imbrication, checkerwork, or with lines parallel to 
the outlines. The expedient of increasing the -v^-idth of the diagonal 
lines to offset the necessarily wide horizontal line of the base has ap- 
parently not been resorted to. 

In addition to the baskets shown in Plates 42, e, and 44, d, e, J, i, 
which are decorated with single isosceles and right-angled triangles, 
three or four other specimens (pis. 8, c; 13, 6) show the presence of 
small isolated figures worked in solid color, but these are very few on 
which to base a theory of the construction of elaborate series of tri- 
angles in vertical and horizontal arrangement from the triangle as an 
element, or the conscious application of this as a figure in art, except 
in very recent times; yet, on account of the very number of superim- 
posed, divided and complete triangles appearing in combination, it 
seems impossible that the people have not long recognized the tri- 
angular form. This is proved by the filling in of the space between 
the diverging lines of chevrons. Certainly the triangular figure is 
given an individuiil hiterpretation in the majority of cases. 

There is little doubt that if an isolated triangle had been drawn in 
outline by a wliite man and shown to the Indians, the old people would 
have seen nothing new in it. The infrequent appearance of the fig- 
ure as a separate element, and tli« universal appearance of the chev- 
ron in outline or filled in, as well as of inmmaerable triangles found 
in series separated by lines or contrasts in colors, merely suggests 
that the development of the form came through the channels of that 
of intersecting or opposed zigzags or filled-in chevrons. It also sug- 
gests that it was comparatively long in being recognized as a possi- 
ble separate design and illustrates what a large part habit plays in 
the formation of an art style. 

The subdivisions of true triangles are rare indeed, although fre- 
quently the figure is outlined once or twice in black, and the space 
between the lines is imbricated in white, or the outline may be in 
white wliile the center is black, as may be seen in the Wenatchi 
specimen shown in Plate 44, c. A triangle worked all in checker is 
practically the same in effect as a series of concentric chevrons with 
the spaces between worked in white. For the other treatments of 
triangular surfaces the reader is referred to Plates 78-94. 



The chevron (pi. 21, b) should bo discussed before taking up the 
subject of the diamond and hexagon. Its presence is very signilicant 
and doubtless has been influential in the development of diagonal 
designs. It does not seem probable that the figure was derived 
from the vertical zigzag (pis. 33, c, e; 7G) which is merely a diagonal 
line which changes the trend of its direction from right to left or 
vice versa at given intervals, although it is closely allied to it. The 
chevron starts with a single stitch from which others branch to 
right and left simultaneously. The fact that it is found so widely 
with several elaborations both on old and new baskets suggests that 
it is very old. It is nearly always interpreted as the flying bii'd 
design and as such is often elaborated (pis. 21, a; 24, h). In its 
inverted form, appearing singly or in opposition to others placed apex 
downward, it is much less commonly seen and is undoubtedly newer. 
Still more rarely is it turned on its side so that the apex lies to the right 
or left. It is a design which seems to be suited equally well to all 
shapes of baskets, especially when arranged in a vertical series. 

On round flat shapes these series radiate from the center ; on rectan- 
gular and cylindrical forms they ascend side by side from base to 
rim. The sides of the angles often overlap. The series of plates 
which illustrate squares, rectangles, and triangles, as weU as Plates 
7, c: 3.5, d: 37, e; 38, c, d, give some good ideas also of the forms and 
varieties of chevrons. They likewise indicate their popularity. 


The term "false triangle" is not synonymous with chevron, for the 
latter implies diverging lines, the former a solid figure in which, 
however, the idea of divergence is prominent, as in the emphasizing 
of the angle rather than the inclosed triangle which requires a con- 
tinuation of the outline across the base. These false triangles are 
illustrated on Plates 44, d, f: 45, c: 46, a. 


The diamond is an old figure in Thompson art, for it is found on 
many well-worn and even ancient baskets, as well as on modern speci- 
mens. It occurs freciuently as a separate element (pis. 37, c; 76) , either 
outlined in a dark color or as a solid or checkered figure (pi. 17, c, f). 
It is often subdivided by diamonds of contrasting colors arranged 
within it in concentric order. Plate 38, d, shows a diamond outUned 
in three rows, black, white, and black, and combined with chevrons 
to form a design. There are black diamonds outlined in white and 
black (pi. 49, c) and black and white ones outlined in black (pis. 17, h; 
25, h), as well as others consisting of bare or imbricated surfaces 


with black outlines (pis. 21, c; 22, d; 31, a; 38, a; 40, d: 49, f ,- 54, d). 
A diamond, to be recognized as such, must cover at least fivQ coils, 
since the size of the stitch and the width of the coil count very 
materially in reducing the effect of a short diagonal produced by the 
necessary "steps." The three-coil diamond would be exactly like 
the star design discussed in connection with scjuares. A five-coil 
diamond would not be obviously more clean-cut (pi. 42, li). Average 
sizes are seven to nine coils in height, although there are many which 
are larger than these. Diamonds are frequently imbricated in solid 
colors with one of the above-mentioned "star" designs of a con- 
trasting color placed in the center and with or without an outline of 
the same shade around the whole figure (pis. 28, h; 46, d). As a single 
figure the division of the diamond is usually concentric (pi. 38, d). 
In series there is sometimes a vertical or horizontal subdivision 
through the axes, but both do not often appear together, nor have 
diagonal subdivisions or banded effects been noted (pi. 14, d). The 
long axis almost invariably lies in a vertical direction, although there 
is one exception, to be seen in sketch 562, Plate 89. 


The hexagon and octagon occur in outline, concentric and single 
(pis. 5, a; 38, a, b; 49, a), but not in solid or checker formation, and both 
are usually found in connection with diamonds, although they are 
sometimes seen alone. They are rarely regular but are more often 
elongated vertically or horizontally, corresponding to the arrange- 
ment on the basket. This feature, together with th«ir frequent 
appearance with the diamond, makes it seem possible that they have 
been derived from it through truncation, particularly as they are 
found encircling diamonds more often than not. Stars and crosses 
are also used as single design elements. (Pis. 25, a; 51, g; 52, a, i.) 


The Indians divide all designs into two classes as real designs (that 
is, evidently geometric, highly conventionalized figures) or represen- 
tations of objects (tlEe'ka) and therefore not to their minds real 

The tlEe'ka are as nearly realistic representations as basketry 
technique permits and include animal and human figures, plants, 
insects, birds, and objects, such as bows and arrows, moss cakes, 
tipis, etc. Because these figures are, as it were, unmodified, being 
pictures which are seldom made twice alike, they are recognized as 
being different from the others. Each woman exercises her own 
fancy in regard to them and is not obliged to follow any definite rule 
in their composition but merely strives to represent as well as possi- 
ble the object of her choosing. 

As a i-ule tlEe'ka patterns do not appear with geometric designs, 
except when they act as fillers in what would otherwise be large blank 


spaces not covered by the real designs. Usually they consist of 
rather large single representations which occupy the side of a basket. 
(Pis. 21, c; 22, b; 23, a; 24, f; 44, a, g; 45, a, b, d-g, i-k; 46, e, g, h; 
47, e: 52, a, b; 76.) 

Apart from the general conception of tlEe'ka designs, there is 
among some informants a slightly different idea as to what character- 
izes them. If a reahstic representation of a deer, for instance, appears 
once as a fairly large single figure, it is called tlEe'ka, but if this 
figure is small and repeated many times in some regular order, a 
real design is the result, and it is named "deer pattern." The 
regular deer design may be seen in Sketches 790 and 791. There 
is no reason why one woman may not execute either type of design; 
she usually makes the one which she knows best. Those not know- 
ing how to reproduce a real deer pattern (that is, witli a tribaUy 
prescribed arrangement) may attempt it, in reality producing 
tlEe'ka patterns to which they give the name "real deer design," 
but this, according to authorities in the tribe, is wrong. They say 
that any pattern not conforming to the rules of arrangement is 
tlEe'ka. Under these conditions Sketches 804-806 showing the eagle 
are tlEe'ka, as are Sketches 746 and 798-800 (pis. 92, 93), which 
depict the butterfly, no matter whether they are large or small or 
whether or not they are used as fillers. 

Other informants differ on this point. To them the best, that is 
most realistic, representations of birds and animals, etc., are given 
the highest standing, or are called real designs and designated by 
the names of the creatures or objects pictured. According to these 
individuals, those patterns which are less detailed and are arranged 
in groups are considered more or less conventional, having been altered 
to suit the conditions. With these people, all forms, including the 
realistic, are called true designs or parts or variations of them, while 
the tlEe'ka are those which have not yet been generally recognized 
or adopted, being new or as yet untried in arrangement or not 
reduced to conventional form for convenient basketry decoration. 
The following sketches are termed by some people tlEe'ka, not real 
designs: 430, 740, 838, 844, 848, and 859 (pis. 88-94). 

Others include in this class most of the flower and leaf designs 
shown in Sketches 219, 539, 546, 642-644, 658, 659, 665-667, 733, 
741, 742, 792, 793, 828, 842, 843, as wefl as panther, salmon, otter, 
beetle, and other rare realistic figures wliich are seldom reduced 
to any standard arrangement. 

There are people who place in the tlEe'ka class all patterns, even 
though they are really geometric, which have been copied from 
white sources, or invented by women, which have not yet been 
applied in regular basketry arrangement but merely in single figures 
or on small baskets. Such are the designs appearing in Sketches 


328, 333, 339-341, most of those from 608-614, some of the hammer 
figures like 808, as well as 394, 416^18, 515, 604, 605, 641, 656, 657, 
660, 661, and 675. 

Generally these patterns become real designs as soon as they are 
reduced to a specified arrangement, or one that becomes commonly 
adopted. Some of these may be similar to those shown in Plate 46, e, g. 

Mr. Teit describes a typical tlEe'ka basket thus (pis. 22, b; 76) : 

One side pictures a buck deer, another a bow and arrow, a third a man, and 
the fourth a moon. This is one of a small group of baskets with designs that 
illustrate a continuous story. As arranged in this order, the Indians give the 
patterns the following explanation: "It was moonlight. A man was hunting in 
the moonlight and saw a buck deer running away and shot it with a bow and 
arrow in the back." Some of the interpreters feel sure that the maker had this 
idea in mind when she made the basket. Such instances are exceedingly rare. 
* * * Another tlEe'ka basket is nut-shaped and bears quite unrelated designs. 
On it there are three large patterns about ecjually spaced — a snowshoe, a beetle 
(nkokauEm) , and an eight-pointed arrowhead star with a square center. 

It will be seen that the Indians' classification of designs into those 
which are tlEe'ka and not tlEe'ka corresponds roughly to oui" own 
wliich takes into account the realistic designs and the purely geo- 
metric. In addition, their undecided and vague conception in 
regard to patterns which may once have been tlEe'ka but are now in 
process of change toward conventionalization and therefore toward 
increased geometricity, as indicated by their conflicting classification, 
matches our own rather ill-defined term "conventional." 

There are a vast nmuber of patterns which may be described as 
being on the borderland between realistic and geometric. Their 
classification is difficult, owing to the fact that even realistic designs 
on basketry are necessarily more or less conventional. The only 
criterion to be employed in doubtful cases is the judgment of the 
student and the name applied to the pattern. Where more than 
one name is given the design is considered as in the borderland class. 
Only those which are obviously pictures belong to the reafistic group. 

From what has already been said in regard to design elements 
and their arrangement in fields, to the use of lines and their re- 
lation to geometric figures which are often merely a chance result 
of their intersection or combination, not ends in themselves, and 
from the recognition by the Indian of the reverse patterns on vertical 
stripes it seems that it is quite unwarranted by the facts to suppose 
that aU these geometric combinations, so simply derived from playing 
with the technique, ever originated in an attempt to depict natiu-al 
or artificial objects; in other words, had their inception in realistic 
art. This viewpoint is strengthened by the fact that to most of the 
simple geometric figui-es so many different and utterly unrelated 
interpretations are given that it is quite evident that the process of 
i-eading in meanings has been carried very far. While the resem- 


blances are in many instances so striking as to suggest themselves to 
anyone, in otliers they are so remote as to be recognized only after 
the interpretation has been given. The element so charged with 
representative significance is certainly far older than most of its 
connotations and certainly the supposition of its technical origin as 
a geometric figm-e is as capable of acceptance as that of its first 
introduction as a delineatory attempt which, by the conventionaliza- 
tion of form through stereotyped arrangement and repetition, has 
been reduced to the most unrecognizable and " gcometrified " shapes. 

To return to the undeniably strong tendency of delineatory art 
which is used for decorative purposes to pass into conventional and 
then geometric form, which may be due to any of a number of causes, 
such as diiBculty of execution in rigid technicjue, stereotyped and 
frequent repetition, increasing freedom in execution resulting often 
in omission of details not essential for the effect desired, and speed, 
which is most easily gained by cm-tailment of all but necessary 
details, it is not surprising that conventionalization might seem to 
be the fate of all representation utilized for decorative effect. There 
are several interesting instances of this process in a collection of 
sketches of imbricated birds and insects made by Mr. Teit. The 
eagle is shown in Sketches 804-806 in a surprisingly accurate fashion 
illustrating how much can be done, even in basketry, by painstaking 
care, attention to details, and a great expencUture of time and labor. 
Less perfect forms are shown in Sketches 706, 710, 716, and 717. 
In Sketch 707 the form is so far reduced that the head is missing. 
In Sketch 711 the tail has disappeared, and in Sketches 712 and 718 
both are wanting. In Sketch 713 the shape of the wings is retained 
but there is no division indicating that there are two, while in Sketch 
70S the form is a mere rectangle. All of these figures are interpreted 
as eagles and all are still being made. 

The beaded "butterfly" designs shown m Figure 43, a (p. 236), were 
so named by a number of women, among whom were two from Lytton 
and two from the Upper Uta'mqt, who called b and c l)y the same 
term. They said that these patterns, including d, e, f, g, and h, 
were not "Indian rice"''* designs, nor halves or fragments of them, 
nor were they "fly"*'' patterns. They agreed that they might be 
called "spot" or "bead" designs because of their checked elements, 
but that their real name was "butterfly," a name used also by the 
mothers and grandmothers of the women interviewed. People who 
designated them by any other term did so because they did not 
know any better. They are all old common figures and were used 
in embroidery on clothing as well as on baskets. There were many 
variations of the design, all called butterfly, of which only a few are 
shown in the figure. 

" See p. 406, under " mula." " See p. 465. 


The same women designated Figm-e 43, i (p. 236), as a butterfly, 
saying that the cross was the head. They declared that all checker- 
work designs with crosses were really "buttei-fly" figures. 

On the other hand, the series of sketches of imbricated butterflies 
corresponds to that of the eagle just given. Sketches 798-800 show 
beautifid realistic figures. Sketches 801 to 803 are much reduced. 
Finally in Sketches 704 and 705 only the wings are seen, while in 
Sketches 136, 151, and 305 there are mere triangles capable of various 
arrangements, onlj^ some of which are knowTi as butterflies. 

In discussing designs there must be no confusion between the ele- 
ments composing them and the designs proper. 

TlEe'ka designs may serve as design elements. In rare cases, as on 
the two baskets described by Mr. Teit, they may tell a story. There 
the several figures of persons and objects occurring in the tale might 
for the sake of argument be considered as elements of the whole design. 

In geometric art, all designs, practically, consist of a combination 
of simple geometric elements. Only rarely do these figures forsake 
their true sphere as elements and rise to the status of designs. These 
are the infrequent cases of the use of large single figures, such as the 
diamond, real and false triangles, the chevron, etc. 

At least one band of the Thompson, namely, the Uta'mqt, are 
much inclined to regard certain of their patterns as half designs or 
parts of patterns which are considered as complete designs by the 
Upper Thompson and are called by different names. 

Thus the "bent" or "broken back" figure L, especially when in 
an inverted position T, is called a part of the ladder or step design. 
Indeed, some people consider the two as having the same origin. 
Diamonds, particularly if arranged in horizontal rows, and also 
chevrons are thought to bo parts of an aU-over design known as 
"mesh" or "net." Many checker patterns which are not diamond 
in general shape are called half or part of the " Indian rice " pattern, 
and all figures which are mere symbols are considered as parts of full 

The index to the sketches includes a number of interpretations of 
these fragments (pp. 473 et seq.). 


In the application of the design to the trapezoidal field of the 
burden basket the Indian woman encounters many technical as 
well as artistic difficulties. Although she may possess a clear idea 
of the design she intends to place on her basket before she more 
than finishes the bottom, it frequently happens that she is prevented 
from accomplishing what she proposes to do by the complications 
arising from the many points wliich require attention at the same 
time. The general form and structure of the basket, working the 



coil splints up into a perfect round bundle, adding new splints, 
preventing lumps or depressions, keeping coils uniform both as 
regards size and tightness of sewing, attending to the proper dampen- 
ing of material, the imbrication — which mth some women means 
lessening also the thickness of the coil sufficiently to keep the imbri- 
cated surface even with the plain sections — the selection of colors, 
spacing and treatment of designs, with enlargement or diminution 
accorcUng to the changing size of the field, all are to be considered 
at the same time. It would not be surprising if something were 
temporarily overlooked and mistakes occurred which were observed 
only when it was too late to remedy them. In fact, it is amazing 
that the general character of the entire product is so perfect, the 
stitches so even, the coils so uniform, the colors so well blended, and 
the designs so well adapted and spaced. 

It will be seen from Figure 36 (p. 217) that roughly trapezoidal 
fields are formed on all sides, wdtliin which the designs selected must 
be arranged. Owing to the teclmique of sewing and imbrication, two 
stitches never are placed exactly over each other in succeeding rows, 
but run to the left, more or less markedly, according to the amount 
of care exercised by the maker. Thus all designs which under ideal 
conditions would present vertical lines lean to the left, and in the 
upper right-hand corner of the field a space results wloich is actually 
much larger than it should be if the design could be properly con- 
structed. The people evidently feel the need for filling in this space, 
thus helping to obscure an otherwise obvious fault in the technique 
and therefore add sections of design to occupy this left-over tri- 
angular field. This treatment of corners furnishes material for a 
most interesting and instructive study of the inventive faculties, 
resourcefulness, and artistic taste of these Indians. To our eyes, 
long accustomed to symmetry, or balance, these "left-overs" fre- 
quently present an annoying spectacle. 

Considering the inconvenience to successful ornamentation occa- 
sioned by such forms as the burden baskets have assumed, in which 
pronounced corners have created new difficulties, it would seem that 
round forms, the smface of which presents an easily treated and un- 
broken field, would have remained in favor. A stiff, round burden 
basket is inconvenient, however, because it roUs back and forth while 
being carried. Flat sides lend greater stabihty to the load which is 
carried on the backs of men or on the sides of horses. It seems that 
the practical improvement secured by the alteration of shape has 
outweighed all artistic considerations and has determined the devel- 
opment of the form. 

Of those who plan their work (and they are in the majority), a few 
sketch the design first on paper. Some who, when not engaged in 
basket making, see designs which please them, sketch them at once 


in a rough fashion and carry them home for future reference, if thoy 
think they are unhkcly to liave an opportunity to reexamine the 
original. Long ago, before the wliites came, such sketches were made 
on birch bark with bits of charcoal. Baskets which are traded from 
one place to another and arouse a woman's admiration are some- 
times taken as models if she has decided to attempt an entirely new 
design instead of adapting an old and tried figure. If she chooses 
the latter alternative she generally knows beforehand just how she 
will alter the pattern. It is quite usual for a woman to remark, 
"I will make 'such and such' a pattern this time," naming a well- 
known design, much as our grandmothers in weaving woolen cover- 
lets or patcliing quilts might have said, "I shall try the log-cabin 
pattern on this one"; but such a decision does not prevent the 
basket maker from changing her mind, especially if, on account of 
technical difficulties, the pattern does not fit as well as expected. 
As a rule, however, difficulties are anticipated and allowance is 
made for them, so that very little change in the original plan is 
necessary. There are undoubtedly some standards of taste to 
wliich all the basket makers adhere as closely as they can, but natu- 
rally considerable variation occurs in the abilities of the different 
women, such as would occur among ourselves, and each woman is 
likewise free to exercise her own ingenuity in working out the adapta- 
tion of her design to its field. Considerable effort is made to produce 
as much symmetry as possible on the trapezoidal field. Practically 
everyone pays some attention to these points, but an artistically suc- 
cessful result depends very largely on the designs selected for the 
type of basket. With some women far more attention is given to 
the design itself, its symmetry, and execution, than to its suitable 
position in the field. 

Although the number of coils to be covered by a pattern is not 
usually calculated, the relative size of the figure as compared with 
that of the entke field serves as the guide. The coils are only counted 
when there is to be a second tier of designs above the first, composed 
of the same figures, unless these are enlarged to correspond with the 
increased size of the field. 

As far as the stitches are concerned, counting them would not 
assist in obtaining exact diiplication of patterns on account of the 
constant, almost imperceptible variation in the width of the sewing 
splint, which amounts to very little spatial difference in the course 
of a few stitches but which becomes very noticeable in a large design. 
Usually more care is exercised to make the stitches even where they 
are covered by imbrication than where they are not, especially if 
more than one stitch is covered by the same fold, as happens at times 
when the stitches are small, since there are greater chances of notice- 
able variation in the combination of two stitches than in single ones. 


No matter how carefully the artist may perform her task, certain 
conflicts are bound to arise between any design arrangement she 
may select and the peculiar form of the burden basicet which she 
seeks to beautify. Thus she is constantly prevented from accom- 
plishing with success that which she attempts to do. We see that 
the creative instinct, at least along the lines which tradition has laid 
down, is cm-bed in many ways by conditions which could only be 
removed by radical changes in the shape of the basket. 

So we find here a group of artists struggling, for the most part, to 
ornament a peculiarly difhcult shape with designs which are in many 
instances not capable of perfect adjustment. Even in the case of 
the more easily handled patterns, however, there are problems the 
successful solution of wliicli would tax to the utmost the patience 
and ingenuity of the majority of white women. 

Among the general obstacles in the way of successful treatment, 
from wliich no woman can escape, however true may be her eye, 
however painstaking her work, however extraordinary her artistic 
sense, is the leaning stitch, a difhculty which is unsolvable except by 
a complete change of sewing methods, something not likely to occur 
in a tribe which has sewed in this manner for generations. The 
leaning stitches necessarily affect more or less all lines intended to 
be truly vertical. Secondly, there is the constantly varying width 
of the sewing splints which, minute as it is, affects the size of the 
imbricated block to no slight degree when a number of stitches are 
taken en masse. This difficulty could never be adjusted without a 
machine gauge for preparing the splints, since human handiwork 
almost never attains to mechanical acciu-acy. Lastly, there is the 
structure and form of the basket itseff which includes several prob- 
lems. The coarse coils and stitches do not admit of direct diagonals, 
but necessitate "steps." Neither is it possible, or at least practi- 
cable, to make smaller adjustments than the size of coil and stitch 
admits, although in one rare instance we may see how the square 
block of a bird's beak was shaved down by narrowing the ribbon 
in successive stitches (pi. 47, e). On account of the square stitches 
curved designs are eliminated altogether. 

The spual coil necessitates a "jump" at some point on the basket 
wall at each round and therefore at that point two adjacent figures 
lying either side of it although otherwise alike are bound to differ in 
their relative position on the basket by the distance of one coil. 
The form of the basket with its constantly increasing wall circum- 
ference in the direction of the rim and the oblique corners offer the 
last two and probably most baflling of aU the problems with which 
the artist must wrestle. 

With all these difficulties to be kept in mind, we will attempt to 
discuss the remarkable ingenuity of the weavers. At the same time 


we will also call attention to the irregularities in their work which are 
instructive because they show how attempts have been made to solve 
the arising difficulties. 

The imperfections will be taken up first in a general way, from the 
standpoint of the adjustment of the designs to the field, and coincident 
with this, as occasion demands, the attention of the reader will 
be called to any minor points that may present themselves. The 
relation of designs to each other, as regards spacing or incongruity, 
will also be touched upon, as well as the adjustment of figures made 
necessary by wrong calculations. Next occurs the question of sub- 
dividing the surfaces of imbricated areas, such as the vertical stripe, 
and the lesser mistakes that result from the varying width of stitches 
or from distracted attention, wrong calculation, or inherent inability 
on the part of the worker to keep in mind changes of rhythm. It 
will also be interesting to discuss some specimens technically and 
artistically almost perfect. Some problems arising from the decora- 
tion of lids, when the designs are carried over from the walls of the 
basket and converge there, together with the related question of 
designs on oval trays, are also important. 

We shall first discuss the various types of designs in use by tlic tribe 
as burden basket decorations. We must recall the several cUstinct 
styles of distribution which have already been treated, namely, the 
horizontal, diagonal, vertical (including the vertical stripe), all- 
over, and large single patterns. It has been observed that the 
Thompson have tried and still use all of these in the application of 
their designs to baskets, so that they offer a more varied and inter- 
esting study than the similar specimens manufactured by the sur- 
rounding tribes. In the application of large single designs, one to a 
field, which is perhaps the easiest type of decoration and strangely 
enough one of the rare ones, the first problem is to center it, 
which is generally accomplished by eye, but sometimes aided by 
means of rough measurements. These designs must be, in most 
cases, symmetrical, and slight inaccm-acies such as arise from the 
varying width of stitches are usually not very obvious. Plate 46, c, 
shows a basket, which, while having more than one figure to a face, 
at least has only one on each level, and each of these designs center- 
ing on the same principle as a single large design. It is interesting 
to note how the upper figures have been increased in size the better 
to fill the larger field. (See also pis. 28,/, g; 29; 31, e; 46, c; 51, h.) 

One of the simpler distributions is the horizontal banded arrange- 
ment which rims completely around the basket (pis. 8, d; 9, a; 21, d; 
27, c, d,f; 36, c; 41, i; 54, h). Here, at least, with plain continuous 
lines, there is not the difficulty of spacing isolated designs or vertical 
stripes and providing for fillers, etc., or of doing what seems to us so 


obvious and easy, dividing tlie ciirumference of tlie bottom into a 
given number of sections for ends and sides, at wliich points stripes or 
figures are to be started. It will be remembered tliat the horizontal 
beaded lines were the common type of decoration on old baskets (Lil- 
looet, pis. 18, c; 55, g). But these have long since given way to more 
complicated horizontal bands which in their complexity rival the 
vertical stripes. 

Practically all the types of decoration used in this area present some 
undesirable difficulties in the way of their successful execution. The 
diagonal all-over arrangements of small figures are perhaps the only 
exceptions, since a little more latitude in selection of stitches may be 
assumed without very noticeable bad effects and the very number of 
the figures conceals the errors more successfully. Yet diagonal 
patterns of this type are used on far less than half of the baskets and 
on the other hand a large percentage of the patterns on more recent 
baskets consist of vertical stripes or vertical series. 

The women are well acquainted with the difficidties of their work. 
The specimens illustrate many devices intended to overcome faidts, 
but the basket makers have not worked out any well-defined and 
generally accepted system for disposing of difhciilties, except that of 
the use of the fdlers for bare corners. Even here a great amount 
of latitude prevails, so that while fillers are sanctioned there is 
almost no common feature which characterizes them. For some 
reason the cu-cumference spacing in the placing of designs seems 
a particularly difhcult problem for the Thompson women. Of course 
there are individuals who accomplish it very easily but most of them 
seem to have their greatest trouble here, which is due not entirely, 
however, to incorrect divisions in the beginning, but rather to the 
premature turning of the coil at the corner, which becomes more 
accentuated as the basket is built up and which makes the trapezoidal 
field askew, and not at all conforming to the shape of the bottom. 
All divisions of the circumference are made by eye or only very 
roughly with a splint, and slight inacciu-acies at the bottom of the 
wall become more apparent as the work proceeds. 

The Horizontal Band 

The horizontal band is more easily handled, although, if it consists 
of a row of smaller figures, there is always the problem of spacing them 
and avoiding a too small or too large unit where the circle is completed, 
as well as of affording a satisfactory solution of the jump. If the 
horizontal band is wide, difficulties arise on account of the greater 
circmnference of the upper edge, as compared with that of the lower. 
Tliis incompatibility of upper and lower edges must often be dealt 
with entirely in the region of the corners of the basket because a 
63666°— 28 18 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

gradual adjustment of figures along the sides and ends can not always 
be nxade. The two panunount difficulties of the continuous horizon- 
tal band are the rounding of the corner and the treatment of the 
jump, although in successive horizontal rows, each with its distinc- 
tive tj'pe of figure, a thu-d problem of keeping these properly aligned 
presents itself. 

In a design such as that shown in Plate 46, d, some women would 
certainly try to have the points of the central row of "stars" or 
diamonds touch the centers of the triangles above and below, but 

this is practically an impossible 
feat, if the latter are to be kept 
all of a size, owing to the increas- 
ing length of the field. To render 
such a plan feasible it would be 
necessary to enlarge or spread out 
the triangles in the upper series, 
and tliis would throw them out of 
proportion with the lower series. 
The woman who made the basket 
probably knew from experience 
that an exact symmetry and bal- 
ance could not be maintained be- 
tween the different "layers" of 
designs, and therefore gave her 
cliief attention to properly spacing 
the "stars," letting the triangles 
take care of themselves. 

While a few women constantly 
attempt to bring about harmony 
between different bands bearing 
unrelated designs, most of them 
have probably observed that at 
least they themselves have no suc- 
cess, and therefore treat each sec- 
tion independently, especially if there is no very obvious relation 
between the designs in each. 

In a three-banded arrangement, where the upper and lower bands 
are alike, frequently the designs in the upper can be placed exactly 
over those m the lowest band, with room at either end near the cor- 
ners for an additional element. This is a very satisfactory method, 
especially if the elements are " stars," crosses, or diamonds. But where 
meanders or mouth designs encircle the basket or are applied all-over 
fashion, as m Figures 48 and 49 and Plate 11, &, the problem is com- 
plicated greatly because the notches are continuous, not spaced, and 
the shghtest miscalculation m the first row at the bottom in such a 

Fig. 48.— Corner of basket. A.M.N.H. 




Fig. 49— Corner of basket. U.S.N.M. 217463 

design creates untold difficulties in subsequent layers; that is, if any 
attention is paid to their relation to each other, even if the basket 
is without corners. Figure 49 shows the arrangement secured by 
one artist, the result of whose efforts can not but challenge admiration. 
The late Dr. Hermann K. Haeberlin, who made a special study of 
these technical problems and their solutions by the women, collected 
a number of specimens in 
which various points were 
illustrated, and made some 
sketches of them. Disre- 
gardmg for the moment 
baskets with corner's, it is 
instructive to discuss the 
Tery interesting specimen 
shown in Figure 50. The 
desecration consists of six 
horizontal bands of imbrica- 
tion, each of which covers 
three coils. In the first two 
the alternation of colors is 
regularly white, red, and 
black. The bands are connected at regular mtervals by vertical stripes 
which, although only one stitch wide, mark the surface into sections. 
In the first two tiers these stripes appear after every second block, and 
those of the second tier are halfway between those of the first. In the 
third and fourth tiers the stripes still come after every second block, 
but the regular arrangement of the blocks has been dropped and they 

have been made longer in an effort 
to accommodate them to those of the 
tiers below, a task which becomes 
mcreasingly difficult as the basket 
circumference becomes greater. 
Finally in the fifth and sixth tiers 
the stripes and blocks show no coor- 
dination. This basket tells a story as 
plainly as words of a woman who had 
a definite idea of decoration wliich she 
was obliged to abandon because of the impossibility of harmonizing 
the design with the shape of the basket, although the fact that she 
sought to do so is evident in the middle zone of the basket. 

Figures 51 and 52 are sketches of baskets decorated with designs in 
such a manner that the corners are ahnost ignored. Were these bas- 
kets round instead of rectangular the style of decoration could not 
be improved upon. 

Fig 50.— Banded decoration on basket. 
Peabody Museum. 62239 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

As it is, in Figure 51 the artist could not have selected a much 
worse design than the "leg" pattern for this particular trapezoidal 
field, especially since the figures all face in the same direction. This 
is technically a very carefully consti'ucted basket. Sketch a shows 
how well the figures were started and adjusted in the given space. 
The pattern is perfectly placed. On account of the nature of the 
design, however, the upper portions of these figures must in some 
cases pass around the corners, and, since each figure is so large, this 
detracts from the symmetrical appearance of each face. If the artist 
sought to avoid the use of fillers, her selection was excellent and the 

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Fig. 51. — Adjustment of meander to sides of basket. U.S.N.M. 217434 

handling of the design at the corners is admirable. Technically the 
pattern has its merits, especially in connection with tliis type of bas- 
ket, since it admits of such comparatively easy methods of maintain- 
ing equal spaces, on account of the number of lines involved, but ar- 
tistically it seems rather unsatisfactory. The series of short horizon- 
tal lines placed beneath the main band of decoration show no particu- 
lar effort on the part of the artist to correlate them with the design 
above, a fact which adds to the artistic confusion (see Sketches h 
and c). In accuracy of workmanship nothing better could be desired. 
Sketch & proves this. Doctor Haeberlin's notes say that each scjuare 
represents one coil and one stitch. All of the figures extend over 21 
coUs, with one coil or one stitch of white intervening between aU 




black lines. The distances between the figures are always three 
white coils or stitches and the height of the horizontal arms nine coils. 
On the other hand, the series of horizontal lines beneath are very 
irregular. The length of the lines varies from 6 to 1 1 stitches and the 
distances between the series are also not constant, the average being 
five nonimbricated coil stitches. The remarkable feature about this 
basket and that pictured in Figure .52 is that the distances between 
the figures are always exactly the same for the entire circumference 
of the basket. In the meanders of the basket sketched in Figure 52 
the length of the figures is not fixed, and indeed in Figure 51 the 
upper portion of the leg figure, which reaches around the corner, is 
somewhat longer in places than the corresponding section at the 



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Fig. 52.— Adjustment of meander to sides of basket. U.S.N.M. 217447 

base of the same figure. Nevertheless, the variations are very slight 
and show extremely accurate spacing of the designs when they were 
first begun. Starting at the jump on the basket shown in Figure 52, 
the lengths of the meanders are as follows : 

First meander 15 stitches 8 cm. 

Second meander 15 stitches 8 cm. 

Third meander 17 stitches 8 cm. 

Fourth meander 16 stitches 8 cm. 

Fifth meander 16 stitches 8 cm. 

Sixth meander 17 .stitches 8H cm. 

Seventli meander 16 stitclies --8J^ cm. 

Eightli meander 16 stitches 7J^ cm. 

Ninth meander 13 stitches 63^ cm. 



lETn. ANN. 41 

Like the basket sketched in Figure 51, the block pattern beneath 
the meander is quite independent of it, as is the border. The latter 
consists of two or three dark stitches alternating with three to six 
white ones in uTcgular succession. 

In many specimens the treatment of the corner has given more 

trouble than in those cases just 
discussed, even though the design 
distribution has been in horizontal 
bands (pi. 37,/). 

Figure 53 shows an excellent 
adjustment, which although not 
quite perfect is certainly very 
well done. Note the increased 
size of the flattened apex of the 
diamond to the right as com- 
pared with that on the left, and 
that it is a little farther away 
from the corner. 

Figure 54 shows how the position 
of the apex of a zigzag was altered. 
The outline has been changed so that the point is shifted from the 
place where it theoretically belongs to the corner. (See also pis. 18, d; 
24, a, c, d: 28, b, d: 77.) Plate 46, h, and Figure 55 (both the same bas- 
ket) ; also Plate 55, h, show the clever avoidance of trouble by the length- 

FiG. 53. — Corner of basket 

Fig. 54.— Corner of basket 

ened connecting line between the zigzags at the corner. Figure 55 
also shows the extremely successful concealment of the jump, which in 
this design is scarcely noticeable. On the left face the apex of each di- 
agonal is one coil higher than those which correspond on the right face. 




Fig, 65.— Corner or basket. U.S.N. M. 217467 

Figure 56 is taken from a basket whose maker was f ai- too ingeni- 
ous to wrestle with c6rner problems. That she could have done so 
better, perhaps, than most of her fellow workers is demonstrated 
by her remarkably well placed de- 
signs and even work. Undoubtedly 
she preferred a vertical alignment 
for the loose ends of the superposed 
zigzags rather than the compromises 
which might have been necessary 
at the corners. Doctor Haeberhn 
remarks concerning it as follows: 

This basket and its ornamentation are 
most beautifully made. The regularity 
shown l)y the exact measurements proves 
that in a basket of this kind the surface 
as such is ornamented and that great 
pains have been devoted to the task of 
dividing the surface correctly. 

Sketch a. Figure 56, is a reproduction of a section of the pattern, 
showing the careful nature of the work. 

The treatment of the jump in 
a basket with horizontal banded 
decoration is illustrated in Figure 
57; a gives the general scheme of 
decoration. Sketch b is an en- 
larged section of the lowest band 
E in sketch a, at that part of the 
basket where the jiunp occurs. Of 
this Doctor Haeberlin says: 

This first band is quite regular in 
the numbers of stitches composing the 
pyramids. The junction (A) always con- 
sists of four stitches except at the break 
(jump), and after the second pyramid 
from the last. Here A consists only of 
two stitches. At the break the diffi- 
culties are solved as presented in the 

The second band from the bot- 
tom is presented in sketch c. Tliis 
band has been lettered D in 
sketch a. It again shows the 
break. Doctor Haeberlin says: 

As seen in the drawings, the triangles of D fit into those of band E. Due to the 
curvature of the basket the spaces between the bases of the triangles (marked 
.4) can not be so regular as those of band E. The number of stitches at the A's 
in band D are as follows (beginning at the break): 3, 5, 5, 4, 8 (corner), 5, 5, 8 
(corner), 4, 3, 3, 5, 6 (corner), 3, 3, 4 (break, at corner). 

Fig. 56.- 

-Adjustment of zigzag pattern to sides 
of basket. U.S.N.M. 216416 



Fig. 67. — Adjustment of zigzag pattern to sides of basket. A.M.N.H. 16-4862 


Band C (sketch a) consists of lozenge-shaped figures in black and white 
imbrication. Wliere the coils begin an unmistakable attempt was made to 
bring these diamonds symmetrically between the triangles of bands D and B. 
But on account of the curvature of the basket these triangles shift in their position 
and make the symmetrical alignment of band C impossible. This shifting and 
the corresponding lack of symmetry become more and more marked the farther 
the distance from the bottom of the basket. 

The spaces of band B are again all uniform. All the junctions consist of three 
stitches, excepting near the break, as shown at M in sketch d. The corner 
where the break occurs is accurately represented. 

Band A (sketch e) locks into band B; as D does into E. The bases of the 
inverted triangles of band A again vary like those of band D. The number of 
stitches connecting the bases of the triangles, beginning with the break, are as 
foUows: 3, 4, 3, 3, 4, 3, 8 (corner), 1, 3, 2, 4, 6 (corner), 3, 4, 3, 3, 4, 5 (near 
corner), 4, 4, 2, 3, 3, 2 (at break and corner). 

All-ovek Large Figures 

The ornamentation of the hasket showTi in Figure 58 may be con- 
sidered as all-over, diagonal, or horizontal, but for the purposes of 
this study may just as well be 

treated here. It will be seen that \ JT n n pTL-K-rL 

the upper left corners are bare, \ jvjv'j-l'vCH/V^ 

due to the fact that the vertical \^}^-{rC^ 

arms of the crosses in adjoining \ tj 'tj-' '-lP 'ij '-lt 

horizontal rows dovetail and that a 

in the top row at the left corner fig. as.— Decoration ot sides of basket. Pea- 
there was no room for a complete ^"'^^ ^'^^"'^ «''^° 
cross. Usually the situation is reversed in the numerous patterns com- 
posed of vertical stripes which lean to the left, so that the bare space 
is in the upper right corner. Here a sequence of events due to placing 
the lowest crosses in b too far to the left, or in failing to begin a cross 
just before turning the corner in the top row (a), as well as the 
tendency for all workers to buUd true diagonals to the right in the 
direction of sewing, caused the placing of these stars as they are, 
more than compensating for any leftward lean of vertical lines. 
The bare upper left corners on this basket did not seem to disturb the 
esthetic taste of the worker as much as the balancing lower right 
corners. Perhaps they were a welcome relief. But it is interesting 
to note that the maker deemed a filler desirable for the lower right 
corner on the ends of the basket. The necessity for tliis in her mind 
must have been apparent before she could have progressed very 
far in her work. The five stars of the lowest row on the long sides 
are very evenly distributed, but the filler appears on both short ends. 
There are many types of decoration besides the complicated 
horizontal band, wliich require circumference spacing and sub- 
division of the basket walls. All figures ranged in horizontal series, 
all-over effects, and vertical stripes are among the number. The few 



|ETH. ANN. 41 

practically perfect specimens of horizontal and all-over designs may 
be discussed here, before taking up the vertical styles, since the latter 
bring with them a number of other problems not presented by the 
first group. 

The first of these perfect specimens with a horizontal zigzag 
pattern in red, white and black, which has been admirably handled, 
has been sketched by Doctor Haeberlin in Figure 59. He discussed 
the design as follows: 

There are four zigzags on each long side and two on each short side. The long 
sides are about 8 inches in length, the short sides about 4. (This is a spa'pansk 
basket, of the same shape as the full-sized burden baskets.) At each of the 
four corners the zigzags are symmetrical with the edge of the basket. They 
extend over 12 coils and the different parts of all of them are in corresponding 

^/M o^ B/IJI^rT 

Fig. 69.— Adjustment of zigzag pattern to corner of basket. A.M.N.H. 16-4581 

coils; that is to say, point m, Figure 59, is in the same coil in every zigzag. The 
top and bottom of the zigzags consist always of three stitches. This is a remark- 
able regularity, especially striking at the corner where the coil stops. What 
has been said above also obtains for this corner. This regularity was not brought 
about by counting the intervening unimbricated stitches, because these are not 
by any means of corresponding numbers. It seems to have been accomplished 
by dividing the first coil by eye into four parts on the long sides and two on the 
short sides. The ensuing difficulties were then avoided by making the unim- 
bricated stitches larger and smaller as the case dictated. The stitches are 
irregular in size and number, excepting those of the imbricated band, which are 
at least always constant in number. 

An all-over decoration which is very pleasing to us on accoimt of 
its regularity is shown in Figure 60. Doctor Haeberlin says: 

This arrangement is so regular that the intention of dividing the circumference 
into eight parts when the first imbricated coil was made is quite obvious. The 
number of stitches between the blocks did not furnish a basis of division because 
these vary, but the divisions must have been made by eye. 



It is, of course, possible that the sewing splint was used as a gauge, 
but realizing the comparative infrequency of such measuring, it is at 
least doubtful if tliis was done. There are four black diagonal rows of 
blocks and four red ones, wliich divide the circumference into eighths. 

Plate 46, e, shows a remarkably fine treatment of flying birds. 
Note the gradually increased size of the figm-es toward the rim. 
They could hardly be better adjusted to the given space. Only 
two minor defects are apparent in the photograph. The first is a 
correction of the direction of the bird's head in the lower left figure, 
the other the failure to maintain a straight line for the edges of the 
bird's wings on the right, such as has been done so beautifully on the 
left. Tills is due, of course, to the leftward lean and the troublesome 
right corner, but nevertheless the basket is a remarkable piece of 
work. The bulges and depressions in the walls are an interesting 
and rather rare structural de- 
fect. Usually Thompson women 
are perfect builders. (See also 
pi. 46, g.) 

There are two baskets por- 
trayed among Doctor Haeberlin's 
sketches the long sides of which 
are decorated with zigzags which 
do not extend to the corners and 
where other problems than cir- 
cmnference spacing arise. Tliese 

are shown in Figures 61 and 62. Fio. eO.-D.agonal .rraagement. A.M.N.n.lf^l(M4 

"The design on one long side in Figure 61, o, h, does not reciuire special 
comment. It was interpreted as a snake and small triangles." The 
head and tail as they are arranged here fill the upper corners of the 
field very well indeed, although in her effort to fill the right corner 
the artist overemphasized her spacing in that direction. The general 
decoration of the basket marks it as a rare specimen and leads to the 
suspicion that it may be of Lillooet rather than of Thompson origin, 
since Mr. Teit says that the Thompson are not addicted to the use of 
different patterns for the different faces, or even for a fourth face, 
wliile the Lillooet frequently used this peculiar style. 

Doctor Haeberlin's discussion concerns the three sides the upper 
portions of which are beaded, below wliich is a broad slanting design 
composed of short horizontal and vertical sections. The large beaded 
field is another typical Lillooet featm-e, but since the basket is Usted 
as a Fraser River specimen it is included here. 

The side of the basket shown in Figure 61, c, is very interesting. The steplike 
figure (c) consists exclusively of black imbricated lines enclosed by two white 
imbricated lines. Accordingly the upper end of the ornament ought to extend 
over three coils — one black and two white coils. But this is not the case; it only 
extends over two. How is the principle of the step ornament carried out under 





3 ceili 

Fig. 61.— Arrangement of zigzag pattern. U.S.N.M. 219879 




these conditions? The maker resorts to the following method. Instead of 
imbricating the top coil with one strip, as is ordinarily the ease, she used two, 
one over the other, first black, and above it white. Thus the design is carried 
through and the black line appears between the two white ones. The maker 
did not move up one coil for the top white line because she had already started 
the snake on the opposite long side (a) in that coil and the jump occurs at the 
edge between the sides a and b. The snake must extend over the same number 
of coils as the beadwork of the other sides. The mistake was made when the 
weaver started the low-est extremity of the stepped ornament on the lower part 
of the basket. She ought to have started one coil sooner than she did. What 
has been said of the treatment of the top coil on the side c also pertains to the 
corresponding parts of tiie ornaments on the other sides. 

.Vertical Strifes and Series 

The vertical styles of decoration, or those which, while not vertical, 
do not encircle the basket, are numerous, and offer perhaps the best 
opportunities for the study of the points in which we are interested. 
The question as to 
whether these stripes or 
series extend all the way 
from base to rim or not 
does not affect the prob- 
lems which the women 
have to solve, except in 
one particular. Vertical 
stripes or series begun at 
the base of a basket are 
more likely to be out of 
line and place in the up- 
per portion of the basket 
than those which have 
been begim somewhere about halfway between the base and the rim. 
In the latter case the peculiar twisted form which the basket generally 
acquires has had ample chance to become apparent by the time the 
structure is partly completed, and the woman has at least some idea 
of the degree of structural defect she is likely to have to deal with 
and can space accordingly. Designs begun at the very bottom are 
perhaps spaced correctly around the circumference of the base, but 
the subsequent turning of corners of the basket wall so completely 
alters the relation of the faces to the bottom that designs frequently 
are quite out of place. It often happens that a woman appears 
to take this probable difHculty into account at the beginning, for 
in no other way could we find a reason for the extremely one-sided 
spacing sometimes seen, except the lack of even average ability to 
calculate distances. Her overanxiety to correct the trouble at the 
outset sometimes results in even more pronounced incongruities 
than usual, since the defects in structure occasionally do not come 
up to her anticipations. 

Fig. 62.— .Arrangement of zigzag design. U.S.N.M. 216408 



Figure 62 shows the presence of a filler, the most interesting 
feature of wliich seems to be the beginning of another zigzag which 
the maker soon chscovered would not fit in the remaining space and 
therefore abandoned for a small filler. Otherwise the distances 
between the points are remarkably constant and accurate. 

In such a basket as that shown in Figure 63 the vertical scries re- 
quire a circumference division, but the design in itself presents prob- 
lems of horizontal balancing of the arms, as well as their vertical 

spacing one from the other. Discussing 
this specimen, Doctor Haeberlin says: 

There are in most of these vertical arrange- 
ments four rectangular areas which lie one below 
the other, downward from the rim (fig. 63, a). 
But this idea could not be carried out in all 
cases because of the pronounced curvature of the 
basket walls. The result is that the ornamental 
combinations seen in sketches b, c, and d also 
occur. At each right corner (6) on all four faces 
a short design of only two rectangles is found. 
Really these are fillers. 

In addition, at one place, not at a 
corner, the unusual and incongruous device 
shown in sketch c is placed between the 
usual ornaments which are here too far 
apart. The women quite often resort to 
some such means of fiUing large spaces, 
and the type of figure chosen depends 
entirely upon the individual taste of the 
artist. Sketch d shows another odd treat- 
FiG. 63.— Fillers on side of basket, ment at the top of One of the usual orna- 
u.s.N.M. 222032 mcuts wliich can not be explained on the 

ground of filling a space, but rather seems like an instance of play- 
ing with the design element. 

The rectangles of all the ornaments vary greatly in length, ranging from 2 
to over 5 inches. Inasmuch as the basket appears to be very old and a number 
of stitches have been broken it is not always possible to locate mistakes in tech- 
nique or in carrying out the color scheme, which is here executed in white and 
black. The black imbrication material is cloth and forms the outline of the 

Doctor Haeberlin says that the basket maker has succeeded well 
in placing the corresponding rectangles of the figures along the same 
coil. Their leftward lean is particularly noticeable, although they 
have been trued in the sketches. 





64. — FUler on corner of 

Figure 64 illustrates a beautiful corner of an extremely well made 
basket. The filler in tliis case was not needed to help to cover a 
side, but rather serves as a decoration for the corner itself and its 
character is in perfect keeping with that of the main design. The 
basket sketched in Figure 65 affords an instructive contrast, show- 
ing in a the almost perfect spacing of the 
zigzags at the bottom if we consider, as we 
must, that one farthest to the right which 
is carried aroimd the corner. But the ever- 
present leftward lean and the "wrenched" 
corners or oblique edges occasion again the 
filler seen at M. This is very carefully 
placed and evenly spaced in accordance 
with the four zigzags to the left, so that 
along the rim almost no fault could be 
found with the decoration. Nearly as good 
a distribution occurs at the bottom. All of this woman's difficulties 
would have been met if in buUding the walls she had bent her coil 
at the correct places for the corners, a little more to the right at 
each round, instead of attempting, as do most of them, to make the 
corner appear vertical from a fuU view of any face, or in other 

words, to bring the right corner 
around on to the face. 

Figure 65, 6, shows the treatment 
of another comer, with the selection 
of two utterly incongruous elements 
as fillers, which, however, are sym- 
metrically placed. They are merely 
single rows of imbricated stitches. 

Figure 66 illustrates another bas- 
ket with a comer filler which ought 
not to have been difficult, simple as 
it is, to place exactlj' on the corner, 
but the same trouble prevails here as 
elsewhere, and the corner was turned 
too soon. 

The basket sketched in Figure 67 

65. — Filler on corner 
U.S.N.M. 216426 


is ornamented with vertical series of 
imbricated blocks, all of which extend 
over three coils except those in the topmost row. These cover only 
two. By change of color the imbrication forms a vertical subdivision 
in each block, where every colored imbricated stitch covers two coU 
stitches, or more rarely three. The blocks are arranged regularly, a 
circumstance which is not attained by counting the stitches between 



(liH. ANN. 41 

them, because these vary, but the ahgmnent is made entu-ely by eye. 
(Fig. 67, d.) An odd inconsistency is foimd in the vertical spacing 
between the blocks. The intervals between all horizontal series are 
four unimbricated coils, except at the interval e (fig. C7, a). Here 
there are only three. As may be seen from sketch h, in Figure 67, aU 
imbricated sections, both red and white, cover two coil stitches ordi- 
narily, leaving one stitch without imbrication. But occasionally the 
imbrication crosses three stitches; that is, three coil stitches are 
covered by one imbricated stitch (d) rather than the usual single coil 
stitch that is so treated on the majority of the baskets. 

It has been said that with the exception of the top row, the blocks 
extend over three coils, the middle being unimbricated in each case, 
but in the top row this center coil is omitted, as shown in Figure 
67, c. 

In the alignment of the blocks over one another there is considerable variation 
of the distances maintained between the different 
rows; the intervals range from 4 to 10 stitches. Even 
between the blocks in two adjoining rows there are 
not the same number of stitches at different heights. 
For instance, there may be more in one space (fig. 
67, d) than at another. But the distances are aU 
approximately constant because an effort has been 
made to secure a perfect alignment, even if it has 
been done only by eye. 

Ordinarily the vertical rows of blocks are 
continuous and there are eight between the 
rim and the bottom of the basket. But due 
to the vertical alignment and the conical shape 
of the structure certain sectors without orna- 
mentation would be bound to occur under 
this plan of decoration. (Fig. 67, e.) The gaps 
between series are, of course, widest at the 
rim and are fiUed in with vertical rows of 
four blocks each, while the blocks in themselves are simplified forms 
of those used elsewhere, as may be noted in Figure 67,/. It is rather 
interesting that the rectangles are here carried out only in red. 
There are six sectors filled out in this manner, but on the whole the 
work on them is quite haphazard and certainly does not rest upon 
any scheme of counting, and every sector is different in some partic- 
ular. At times the blocks consist of only two imbricated stitches; 
again, near the rim they are quite as complete as those used in the 
main design; wliile those below are made smaller to accommodate 
them to the narrower space. (Fig. 67, g.) In addition to all the 
other irregularities the blocks in these places are not located upon the 
same coils as the corresponding ones in the adjacent complete rows 
(fig. 67, h), nor is the ordinary number of intervening coils adhered to. 
The six sectors are also unevenly distributed about the basket, for 


3. — Filler on corner of 




two of them are near two corners while four are near the other two. 
One gap is quite as wide as those which have been supphed with 
these "fillers" and this is left entirely bare. 

Such a lack of symmetry is due not only to the fact that no attempt 
is made to count the stitches or to measure spaces, except by eye, 
but also to the woman's poor judgment in spacing and incapacity 
for calculation. Even in such work as this, where study reveals so 
many discrepancies, it is surprising how well the finished product 
appears to the casual observer, and it is indeed remarkable that 
such good results are obtained with such a complicated problem 
and by such methods as each woman has at her command. No 


^m. Wm . WMiii — ^m. 

Fig. 67.— FUler on corner of basket. U.S.N.M. 277607. Cross hatching; red; diagonal hatching: 
white; white: unimbricated 

better gauge than a true eye could be desired, but many women, as 
with ourselves, do not possess this gift. And so, without natural or 
mechanical aid, they nevertheless struggle with the most perplexing 
and patience-exhausting artistic and technical problems, with results 
that are often not without real beauty. 

Figure 68 and Plate 47, rf, give a similar basket, in which all the 
blocks extend over two coils and each horizontal row consists of 
blocks which lie at the same level. The nimiber of coils in the inter- 
vals between the horizontal rows is five in each case except the last, 
where it increases to six. Vertically the blocks are very carefully 
aligned, but entirely by eye. The intervening stitches vary in num- 
ber not only between different vertical rows of blocks but also be- 
tween different pairs of single blocks in any two adjoining rows. 
63666°— 28 19 



(ETH. ANK. 41 

The distances between the different vertical rows vary from 4 to 
about 10 stitches, showing that the circumference division for spac- 
ing the figures is in this case not very accurate. The colors em- 
ployed are white, red, and black, and the succession is as shown in 
Figure 68, b, and is adhered to throughout the whole basket, each 
vertical row being always executed in the same colors, with one excep- 
tion, which is obviously the result of an early mistake on the part of 
the basket maker. The red in this row (see c) is applied in the same 
fashion as the black in other rows on either side of a white imbricated 
stitch, instead of between two white ones. The open spaces near the 

\ u u 



U U j 

\ n n 



a a 





\ n a 



□ o / 

\ D D 




j D n 



a a 

\ O D 



D o / 





\ BmcH 










C M 

Fig. 68. — Vertical arrangement of ornamentation. 
U.S.N.M. 222.'i95 

rim are filled out by incomplete vertical rows, as illustrated in Figure 
68, c. Three of these spaces are at corners; the fourth, however, is 
several inches away from the corner which itself has no open space. In 
contradistinction to the basket pictured in Figure 67, the blocks of 
the fillers of Figure 68 are at the same coil level as the blocks of the 
full series and are on the whole better arranged than those on the 
former basket. The arrangement of colors in the blocks of the fillers 
is interesting and may be seen in sketch d. It is consistent for all 
fillers. An odd feature is a fifth filler ornamented with only one 
block at the rim. 




Figure 69 not only shows the introduction of a filler in the upper 
right corner but an interesting treatment of one of the stripes near the 
bottom at the corner of the basket. Here, owing to miscalculation 
in spacing, the stripe was begun too far to the right and therefore was 
interfered with by the presence of the corner. In order not to have the 
stripe carry, around on to the other side, the woman has resorted to the 
expedient sketched in Figure 69, 6, where the treatment is reproduced 
so as to show the decoration on either face and at the corner (the 
middle). The stripe was begim with only one stitch and increased 
diagonally along the right edge where the edge of the wall occurs, 
tmtil the space became wide enough for its increase to full size. 
Then, to balance this increase, an abrupt addition appears on the left 
side of the stripe. 

The fillers frequently 
consist of different, 
smaller designs than the 
majority of those used, 
or else are portions of 
the prevailing ones. The 
baskets sho^vn in Plates 
12, b; 18, a; 2S,d; 24:, g; 
26, d; 34, a, c, d, and 35, e, 
are examples of such a 
treatment. In most of 
these the tendency of the 
design to "rim" to the 
left is very clearly seen. 
Good results as regards 
vertical stitching are ob- 
tained where the work is 
not ciuite so accurate, and where the stitches of the new coil bifur- 
cate those of the previous row to the right of the middle. But the 
irregularity in stitching frequently interferes with the creation of 
absolutely straight vertical edges, hence is not practicable for certain 
types of designs. 

A straight edge is the prime essential, therefore the fault of leaning 
is considered much more glaring if an attempt is made in the middle 
of the band to correct the trend than if it is allowed to continue in 
the same direction, even when the slant is very pronoimced. 

In the baskets depicted in Plates 36, /, and 47, a, the maker at- 
tempted in vain to correct the trend of her right band, thus creatmg a 
bend in it. The introduction of animal figures at the corner, however, 
shows what poor success she had, although it wiU be noted that at the 
outset indications were certainly in favor of a good trend. It may 
be that she foresaw that, if she continued, the space would then be 

Fig. (iU.— Filler. Peabody Museum 57203 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

too great between the third and fourth bands. Certainly it is rather 
odd that she should have known how to direct the band to the right 
in the beginning in a way which was the only possible solution of 
her difficulty and not have applied this principle throughout for 
aU the bands which ought to have leaned in that direction. It may 
be that the care involved in carrying out the plan proved too much 
in addition to all the other points about the work which had to be 
kept in mind, or that owing to the technique the band as it progressed 
would necessarily have had to lean too far to the right. 

In many cases the right band is begim so far to the left (for ex- 
ample, see pis. 24, g; 77) that it is difficult to understand how its maker 
did not foresee the result. The band in this particular example, which 
properly should balance the one on the left, has not the same degree 
of slant ordinarily encountered, but it was so badly spaced that 
not one but two additional design elements were required to fill the 
vacant spot. 

Figure 70, a, b, show the introduction of a filler the presence of 

which is not so much demanded by the 
leaning verticals, which in this case are 
not enough out of line to affect the corner 
seriously, as on account of a miscalcula- 
tion in placing them when the wall was 
first begim. The ends of the baskets are 
alike and the long sides also resemble 
each other except that on one the filler 
consists of a double row of imbricated 
stitches, while on the other it is single. 
The checker idea introduced here is hardly 
in keeping with the diagonal subdivision of the stripes, but as has been 
pointed out before, such artistic incongruities are by no means rare. 
The space to be filled in tliis case would admit of little else. 

The sketches in Figure 71 show the four sides of a basket, the first 
of which (a) is remarkable for the even distribution of the meanders. 
Although the same number of stitches is not used every time, prob- 
ably because of the varying width of the sewing splint, the distances 
maintained are very exact. The short side (h) shows the same char- 
acter of treatment as far as an even distribution is concerned. On 
the second long side (c) it has been found necessary to insert a fiUer, 
as was the case also on the fourth side (d). The order of the sides is 
reckoned from the break, which shows where the walls were begun. 
This is an interesting specimen, since it shows that a woman who is 
capable of making very exact circumference divisions and calcula- 
tions does not always keep up to standard, even on the same basket. 
It may be that her attention wandered or that it was difficult to 
concentrate for long on her complicated task. At any rate, so 

Fig. 70— FUler, U.S.N.M. 222586 




important is the work on the lowest coil that, once started, with 
reasonable care a very good distribution could be maintained. 
Here it seems that not even for the extent of the circumference of 
the bottom did the woman succeed in measuring accurately, but 
even so the basket is very much better handled than those which 
have just been discussed. 

It is probable that in most baskets bearing corner designs fillers 
were not at first intended, but that the necessity for their incorpora- 
tion was felt as the work progressed. Undoubtedly this was so in the 
basket shown in Plate 49, /'. 

Fig. 71.— Filler 

Some women, however, to judge from the character of these small 
figures, evidently know that the filler is, in theu" work, usually un- 
avoidable and plan for it, either creating for these spaces smaller, 
complete designs, which are totally different, as in Plates 47, h; 49,/, 
or else cuttmg down or rearranging those already in use so that their 
proportions are appropriate, as in Plates 33, e, and 39, c. The pres- 
ence of these "foreign" elements seldom seems to disturb the esthetic 
sense of the people; indeed, if the other bands come out fairly well, 
so that fillers are needed in either corner, they are much preferred, 
and it must be admitted that the effect is better than when they are 
absent (pi. 40, b). 



(ETH. ANN. 41 

According to information collected from a number of women only 
a comparatively small group of designs could be used as fillers for 
the left-over upper corners in the trapezoidal fields of burden baskets. 
Flower designs were only rarely used in this way. On the other 
hand, one or two rather plain vertical "droppers" or stripes, or small 
combinations of arrowheads or half arrowheads which usually pomted 
downward, were most frequently employed. Half arrowhead designs 
of this character resemble those shown in Sketches 277 and 292 but 
are without borders. Other fillers are typified in Sketches 245, 254, 
288, and 293. Still other patterns are Nos. 42, 66, 75, 173 extended 
vertically, 176, 230 upside down, 303, 361, 363 and 364, 433, 434, 
606, 625, and 626, although there was some doubt expressed regarding 
684, 685, 698, and 699. The remainder of the list mcludes 45, 63, 64, 
69, 70, 144, 145, 150 in one line vertically, 159-162, 277 rather rarely, 
294-296 rather rarely, 331, 357 and 358 arranged vertically, 359, 

365, 395, 398, 438, 514 as a single 
figure, 524, 551 with ends turned 
down, 570, 571, 627, and 757 in one 
line verticaUy.^" 

The basket sketched in Figure 72 
speaks for itself. At first glance 
side a appears well made, and the 
bare corners about even. But this 
feature has been secured only at the 
cost of a great difference in width be- 
tween the first and third of the wide 
stripes. Note also the omitted stitch 
at the top of the left stripe. A similar incongruity occurs in the 
widths of the stripes of the other sides, those on h being more nearly 
equal. This is still another method of correcting miscalculation in cir- 
cimiference spacing which has not been touclied upon before. 

Doctor Haeberlin has sketched in Figure 73 a basket belonging 
to the collection in the United States National Museum which is 
reported to come from the Fraser River region. One side contains 
no designs except a band of plam beading near the top. According 
to Mr. Teit's observations and data, this should be a Lillooet speci- 
men, perhaps traded into the Fraser region, for the Thompson are 
said never to have decorated three sides of a basket with imbrica- 
tion to the exclusion of the fourth. On the first imbricated side, 
which is shown in a, the very poor adjustment of the design is obvious 
and in distinct contrast to h, which is excellently done except for the 
slightly wider space between the third and fourth stripes. This gives 


'2. — Symmetrical arrangement on side 
of basket. U.S.N.M. 216412 

•» Compare Plates 12, b: 18, o,- 23, d; 24, g: 26, a, d, f: 33, c: 34, a, c, d; 35, c, e: 38, c; 39, a, c; 40, a; 51, 
I; 55, e, h: 56, 6; 57, e; 77. In these additional patterns will be found. 




us another glimpse at personalities. There are women who start 
well and finish less perfectly and there are those who having spoiled 
one side are not deterred from improving the next. The fourth side 
(fig. 73, c) is uiteresting because of the omission of tlie lowest stitch 
on the right side of the third stripe, doubtless because the whole would 
then appear too near the corner. 

Fig. 73. — Symmetrical arrangement on sides of basket. U.S.N.M. 217442 

One of the most perfect examples of fine technique and circiunfer- 
ence spacing is to be seen in Figure 74, a-d, which shows better than 
a discussion the unusually even distribution of the bands, wlule the 
regular alternation of colors is most pleasing. The blocks them- 
selves are beautiful in their regularity and there are no mistakes. All 

















Fig. 74. — Basket with symmetrical ornamentation. U.S.N.M. 217459 

12 stripes are worked as shown in Figure 74, e. But the stripes of 
the sides h, c, and d are longer than those of a, for what reason can 
not be determined. With such perfect work as this, it is evident that 
tliis pecidiarity is intentional. 

A nice example of almost complete symmetry in design and color 
may be seen in Figure 75. The character of the vertical pattern has 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

been carefiiUy worked out b}"- Doctor Haeberlin in Sketch a. His notes 
refer to the lowest triangles which in each series are only three 
instead of four stitches wide across the top ; all the others in the series 
conform to the latter measurement. The rim is entirely imbricated 
with red and black stitches, the colors being arranged to form a 
contrast with the scheme of the vertical design immediately below; 
that is, above a design worked in red and white the rim stitches are 
black; above a black and wliite figure the stitches are red. The 
alternation of the two rim colors lies about halfway between the 

:',Xi^. 1. 1,1.1- 



Fig. 75. — Basket with symmetrical ornamentation. A.M.N.H. 16-9543 

vertical patterns. At the rim the spaces between the vertical stripes 
are divided into the two colors in the following manner: 

Space 1 3 black 3 red. 

Space 2 Bred 2 black. 

Space 3 2 black 3 red. 

Space 4 8 red 9 black, corner. 

Spaces 4 black 5 red. 

Space 6 9 red 6 black, corner. 

Space 7 3 black 4 red (shown in sketch). 

Space 8 3 red 3 black (shown in sketch). 

Space 9 6 black 6 red, corner. 

! Space 10 5 red 6 black. 


Doctor Haeberlin says : 

At the last corner she gets into difRculties, for this is the place where the 
jump occurs, or where the coil begins and ends. The arrangement there is as 
shown in sketch b of Figure 75. 

The symmetry in this basket is excellent, as is the balancing of 
color. It is secured first by the very careful circumference spacing 
of tlie vertical designs and secondly by the treatment of the corners, 
where more space is allowed between the designs than elsewhere. 

Small Designs on Vertical Stripes 

There are a number of baskets decorated with vertical stripes 
and similar patterns where the subdivision into small designs has 
involved more difficulties and consequent errors than the placing 
of the stripes themselves or the treatment of the corners. Indeed it 
frequently happens that the basket wall is exceedingly well subdi- 
vided, so that at first glance the entire basket presents a remarkably 
symmetrical appearance, but upon examination the subdivision of 
the stripes or similar patterns into small designs reveals a multitude 
of small errors. This fact seems to indicate that the two problems 
are utterly different, allied though they appear to be, and that the 
case of basket making is analogous to that of sculpture, painting, 
music, or any other of the fine arts. There are those artists who have 
broad conceptions and splendid ideas which they can sketch in a big 
way very effectively, but when it comes to execution the work had 
better be left not simply to artisans, but to artists who finish their 
work with the utmost nicety and attention to detail. The real 
artist who possesses both of these qualifications to a marked degree 
is occasionally found, here in British Columbia as elsewhere, as we 
have seen from such specimens as those portrayed in Figures 57 and 
59 (pp. 270, 272) where every point is perfect. 

We have already discussed some baskets which displayed small 
errors (if the term may be allowed as meaning smaller in size), as 
well as those of spacing on the basket itself. The baskets about to 
be discussed are to be regarded almost exclusively from the point of 
view of the little errors made in stitches and color, because these are 
the more conspicuous points in this group. Nevertheless some of the 
old mistakes in spacing are evident and will be noted briefly. 

It should not be inferred that these so-called small errors are 
regarded as of any less importance artistically, mechanically, or 
psychologically than those of the other type. They are controlled in 
part by some of the same principles, but their smaller rhythms, the 
necessity for closer attention to the detail of the stitch, the very fact 
that smaller spaces are involved as well as color and more minute 
and numerous repetitions of an idea, give the situation a different 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

Figiire 76 depicts a basket in wliich the shortcomings of the indi- 
vidual maker are as clearly disclosed as if one knew her personally. 
Beginning with the bottom coil of the walls, as shown in a, b, and 
d, it is evident that she planned to border her vertical stripes 
with two rows of stitches instead of the one row which she adopted 
at the next round. Evidently she was influenced in her decision to 
make the change by the fact that when she reached the end of the 
first side at the corner she discovered that by poor measuring the edge 
of her last stripe on this face would come exactly at the corner, whereas 
the first stripe was begxm 2}4 centimeters in from the left corner. 
Nevertheless, on the succeeding three sides she continued putting 
in two imbricated stitches where the edge of each stripe was to come, 
although she had omitted the second stitch at the corner just dis- 

i. j i ,1 cussed. In addition to this 

lyr : : A ': : W ^ mistake, in the first vertical 

stripe she had placed one too 
many stitches so that the bot- 
tom chevron was not exactly 
centered, necessitating an ex- 
tra stitch on either side where 
the chevron extends to the 
edge at some distance up on 
the stripe. Then in the cen- 
tral stripe not only on this side, 
but also on the opposite long 
face, she began the design in 
the stripe with two stitches, 
which in the following round 
she reduced to one which could 
not be (or was not) centered 
above the two, thus giving the base of the figure its unsymmetrical 
appearance. In the second row, in the first vertical stripe on 
the side marked a, the edge stitches of the vertical stripe are 
placed above the outside stitches of the two used in the first 
round; in the central stripe one side is continued upward from 
the inner stitch, the other from the outer. The third stripe was 
necessarily continued from the inner of the two stitches of the 
first coil because of the short distance between the second and third 
stripes, which perhaps was now more apparent to her. On the end 
(b) the continuation of the stripe from its foimdation of two (and 
three) stitches for either edge is symmetrical, but does not corre- 
spond to what occurred on the first face, since here the continuation 
proceeds from the inner of the two stitches on each edge. On the 
second long face we have still other methods of procedure, as we have 
again on the second end. Doctor Haeberlin's notes state that the 
stitches on the entire basket are unusually irregular, part of which 


4 d^ 




11 [ 



, / 

-Basket showing change in the plan of deco- 
ration. U.S.N.M. 216413 




may be accounted for cjuite readily by the uneven width of the sewing 
sphnts, as may be noted in the center of the second stripe on face a, 
a circumstance which here makes the two "arms" of the crosspiece 
quite asymmetrical. On the whole, one can quite easily perceive 
from her handiwork the careless disposition of the woman, who not 
only prepared her sphnts badly, but likewise was so little able to fix her 
attention on the work in hand, or was so lightly blessed with a love 
of order, that she could not in two consecutive stripes maintain the 
same general procedure, although she evidently had a definite scheme 
of decoration in mind, wliich was well planned, not only for the bas- 
ket, but in color, where the imbrication for the stripes is alternately 
red and black; and to her credit be it said that she did not need a 
"filler." The indications are in favor of a mind wliich can visualize 
and plan in a large way, but which can not execute with nicety. 

The basket shown in Plate 49, 6, and Figure 77 is extremely interest- 
ing from the standpoint of small rhythms and mistakes. On the 

Fig. 77. — Basket illustrating lack of symmetry in detail 

whole the design is quite well conceived and executed and it is quite 
evident what the maker's intentions were. Doctor Haeberlin has not 
given any photographs of the long sides, but there is enough material 
for study on the ends of the basket. Beginning with side a, on the 
left end, since the work progressed toward the right, it is evident 
that the intention was to ornament each block with two diagonal 
lines, and judging from the blocks on both ends the predominating 
idea was to have those on the lowest tier rim up toward the left. But 
in the middle block this direction was shifted toward the right. 
Whether tliis was the original intention and the maker changed her 
mind, or a mistake, can not be stated. With the beginning of the 
second tier it was found that the increase in size of the face owing to 
the slant of the walls would permit of inserting another block at the 
left. Probably this had not been previously considered. This is 
merely assumed, however, due to the change in ornamentation from 
the established diagonal to an utterly incongruous vertical line run- 
ning up the middle of the block. Such is usually the character of 


the filler. It is true that the filler most frequently occupies the right 
side, but it has occasionally been seen on the left. It would be inter- 
esting to know what the maker had to say on the subject, for only she 
could settle the question. The women are not very prone to intro- 
duce foreign elements except in the filler, and this is the considera- 
tion that influences our assumption in this case. In the second 
tier of blocks the same idea of diagonals is consistently carried out 
as in the first, namely, they lean in the first block to the left, in the 
second to the right, and in the third to the left again. It is not 
entirely fair to examine one side of a basket without simultaneously 
presenting the other three sides, since the structure is a spiral coil 
and with the addition of each new coil the entire cu'cuit of the basket 
must be encompassed. In this way it is very easy for the artist to 
carry over from one face to another her problems and thought proc- 
esses almost mechanically, especially when there is so much to attend 
to, so that she frequently forgets to make the required changes neces- 
sary in a new situation. In the third and fourth tiers she failed to 
maintain her rhytluns of direction, and it is not possible to say 
what she had in mind, whether the left blocks show mistakes or an 
attempted change in scheme. At any rate the diagonals of the 
center blocks (not counting the fillers) do not alternate in direction 
with those on either side, although the right blocks in each tier are 
alike and the center ones are the same for the lower three rows of 
side a. It is interesting to notice the greater length of the top row of 
blocks, due to using one coil too many, and that the artist seemed to 
think it necessary to continue with her idea and start another diago- 
nal, which spoils the effect (see pi. 49, b). It would have been better 
had she left the last coil plain. 

With side h (fig. 77) the artist evidently had bad luck continually. 
It is almost impossible to reduce the diagonals to any sort of scheme. 
In the second and fourth tiers she made bad mistakes which would 
have been far less evident had she not changed the direction of the 
second diagonal. 

The woman who worked on the basket sketched in Figiire 78 
evidently tried many experiments to overcome her difiiculties. The 
worst of her troubles came from stripes which in some cases were 
too wide, but more often on account of additional stitches which 
were occasioned by narrower sewing splints and perhaps tighter 
sewing. These Uttle inaccuracies are very unimportant where the 
sewing is plain but make themselves felt at once as soon as each 
stitch is imbricated, since definite numbers of these affect the stepped 
designs so often used. In Figure 78 almost every stripe reveals a 
different difficulty, not least among wliich are the truncation of the 
triangles where the stripes are too narrow or too broad to admit of 
their proper completion. 







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Fig. 78. — Diagonal design Ulustrating difficulties encountered in the arrangement of 
diagonal lines. A.M.N.H. 16.1-473 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

Figure 79, a, gives an idea of the stepped diagonals on eight vertical 
stripes on a large basket, showing only the lower end of one. The 
stripes are all the same as far as number of stitches and height of the 
lines is concerned, but the details of the lines vary and the succession 
of colors is changed. 

"The interesting feature of these ornaments," writes Doctor 
Haeberlin, "is the difficulty into which the woman comes by starting 
the stripes with 12 stitches at the base. This accounts for the greater 
breadth of the black line in block 2 (fig. 79, a). She might have 
corrected this trouble in different ways. She chose to use one less 
stitch from the tenth coil up. Two other possibilities of solution 












































Jig. 79.— Diagonal design illustrating difficulties encountered in the arrangement of diagonal lines. 

A.M.N.n. 16-8835 

existed which are shown in Figure 79, 6, c." In a the twelve- 
colmnn arrangement requires a width of three stitches for the black 
diagonal, while in the upper eleven-column arrangement all the 
diagonals are two stitches wide. In h the central white diagonal 
is broken, while in c the diagonals lack the dark border. 

A similar problem is encountered in the basket sketched in Figures 
80 and 81. Note the regular circumference spacing of the stripes in 
Figure 80. In Figure 80, 6, the detail drawing shows the impos- 
sibility of exactly centering the zigzag owing to the number of stitches 
which make up the width of the stripe. Figure 81 shows the device 
resorted to, in order to avoid an interference on the part of the 
angle of the zigzag with the edge. 




If care is not taken to preserve the relative heights of different 
figures which make up the decoration of two kinds of vertical stripes 
on the same basket the frequent result is that the stripes which are 

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-Design illustrating difficulties encountered in the arrangement of diagonal lines. 
U.S.N.M. 217465 

ornamented with figures a little shorter or taller than those introduced 
in the majority have the appearance of being imfinished at the rim, 
since because of different spacing there is room at the 
last for only incomplete elements. This may be seen in 
Figure 82. 

Mistakes in imbrication made in the pattern itseK are 
sometimes responsible for a complete change in the deco- 
rative scheme and it is quite probable that in this way 
new ideas occasionally present themselves to the artist. 
In Figure 83 a mistake made in the eighth coil led to the 
substitution of a single colmnn of long rectangles for the 
divided rectangles of the lower coils. 

The error made in the first stripe in Figiu-e 84 has been 
rectified by the artist in succeeding stripes, showing that 
she had definite ideas, and that the omission of certain 
stitches in the fu-st stripe was detected. 

There are two kinds of vertical stripes on the long sides 
of the basket sketched in Figm"e 85. That lettered b de- 
termines the height of the basket. The shpped diagonals 
of a are adjusted to this. The basket was begun, as is 
usually the case, at one corner. The stripe shown in 
Figure 85, h, was the first one started and is at one end 
of the basket. After having completed her first diagonal on this 
end (f ) , on reaching the next stripe (a) , also a stripe with diagonal fines, 
she discovered that a line fom* coils in height was too high for the 

Fig. 81.— De- 
sign illustrat- 
ing difficul- 
ties encount- 
ered in the ar- 
rangement of 
diagonal lines 



(eTH. ANN. 41 

three-coil triangles of the next stripe (a) and so began her second 
diagonal Ime three coils high (c) instead of making it four coils high as 
she did on stripe a. But the most interesting question to answer is, 

Fig. 82.— Diagonal design illustrating difHculties 
encountered in the arrangement of diagonal lines 

Fig. 83. — Change of pattern of deco- 
ration. A.M.N.H. 16.1-547 

why, havmg made tliis adjustment between the patterns of the two 
stripes, did she go back to her original idea for the remainder of the 

' : 




















































Fig. St.— Errors in arrangements of diagonal patterns. A.M.N.H. 16.1-616 

basket walls? She may have thought three-coil diagonal lines too 
short. At any rate, she very cleverly came out even at the top with 
her two patterns of different heights, which redounds to her credit. 




On either side of the central figure of another basket is a band such 
as is sketched in Figure 86, and the diagonal lines in the stripes are 
synunetrically arranged as regards each other. Note the slight 

^ 77- V?,'77.77,^ 




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a b 

Fig. 85. — Errors in arrangements of diagonal patterns. AJM.N.H, 



errors in Figure 86. Being of exactly the same height as the central 

figure and decorated \vith lines the length of which was not estimated 

according to the proposed height of the basket, the stripes have an 

incomplete appearance because the 

top diagonals Iiave been cut short. 

The bottom diagonals of the stripe 

are four instead of three stitches 

wide. No doubt they were found 

to be too stubby, since a diagonal 

line is clearly what was wanted. 

The rhomboid, as has been said 

before, is a rare design element in 

Thompson art, imless we choose to 

call the attenuated figiu-e which 

more resembles a diagonal line by 

tills name. 

A certain rather regular relation 
exists between an entirely imbri- 
cated surface and a higli standard 
of perfection in the technical exe- 
cution of designs, the reason for which is not far to seek. It lias been 
stated that the women take much more care with the sewing splints 
which are to be used in connection with imbrication and likewise 
with the sewing; that is, the placing of each stitch. They realize 
53666°— 28 20 

Fig. 80. — Errors in arrangements of diagonal 



lETH. ANN. 41 

that slight variations in the width of the sphnt show up very quickly 
in the imbrication which overlies it, particularly if designs are to be 
evolved from grouped stitches of contrasting colors. Therefore, on an 
entirely imbricated basket, both for background and designs, the 
chances are always for better work all aroiuid, although ill-matched 

designs and other such troubles 
are often present on account of 
the shape of the basket to which 
an unadaptable design may be 

A beautiful example of an en- 
tirely imbricated storage basket 
is given in Figure 87 and Plate 
15, c. Sketch h of this figure 
gives a detail of the design. 
Doctor Haeberlin has taken the 
trouble to count the stitches at 
all points on the basket corre- 
sponding to those marked A and 
B in the figure, and the accom- 
panying table shows what re- 
markable uniformity has been 
found in the spacing. Even with 
such accurate work there is an 
asymmetrical grouping of the 
series of diamonds on a short end 
of the basket, owing to original poor subdivision of the circumference 

of the first coU. 

Side A 
Between stripes a and b 
A — 7. Between rows 1 and 2: B — 15. 
A — 7 and 8. Between rows 2 and 3: B — 17. 
A — 9. Between rows 3 and 4: B — 16. 
A— 8. 

Fig. 87. 

-Basket illustrating uniformity of design. 
A.M.N.U. 16-8838 

Row 1: 
Row 2: 
Row 3: 
Row 4: 

Row 1: 
Row 2: 
Row 3: 
Row 4: 

Row 1: 
Row 2: 
Row 3: 
Row 4: 

Row 1: 
Row 2: 
Row 3: 
Row 4: 

A— 7. 

A— 7. 
A— 7. 
A— 7. 

A— 7. 
A— 7. 
A— 7. 
A— 7. 

Between stripes b and c 
Between rows 1 and 2: B — 15. 
Between rows 2 and 3: B — 15. 
Between rows 3 and 4: B — 15. 

Betiveen stripes c and d 
Between rows 1 and 2: B — 15. 
Between rows 2 and 3: B — 15. 
Between rows 3 and 4: B — 15. 

Between stripes d and e 
Between rows 1 and 2: B — 17. 
Between rows 2 and 3: B — 17. 
Between rows 3 and 4: B — 17. 


Side B 

The grouping of the stripes on tlie surface of this side is asym- 
metrical, being sliifted over too far to the left. 

Between stripes a and b 

Between rows 1 and 2: B — 14. 
Between rows 2 and 3: B — 14. 
Between rows 3 and 4: B — 14. 

Between stripes b and c 

Between rows 1 and 2: B — 16. 
Between rows 2 and 3: B — 16. 
Between rows 3 and 4: B — 16. 

Side C 

Between stripes a and b 

Row 1: A — 7. Between rows 1 and 2: B — 15. 
Row 2: A — 7. Between rows 2 and 3: B — 15. 
Row 3: A — 7. Between rows 3 and 4: B — 15. 
Row 4: A— 7. 

Between stripes b and c 

Row 1: A — 7. Between rows 1 and 2: B — 15. 

Row 2: A — 7. Between rows 2 and 3: B — 15. 

Row 3: A — 7. Between rows 3 and 4: B — 15. 
Row 4: A— 7 

Row 1: 



Row 2: 



Row 3: 



Row 4: 



Row 1: 



Row 2: 



Row 3: 



Row 4: 



Between stripes c and d 

Row 1: A — 7. Between rows 1 and 2: B — 15. 
Row 2: A — 7. Between rows 2 and 3: B — 15. 
Row 3: A — 7. Between rows 3 and 4: B — 15. 
Row 4: A— 7. 

Between stripes d and e 

Row 1: A — 8. Between rows 1 and 2: B — 16. 
Row 2: A— 8. Between rows 2 and 3: B — 16. 
Row 3: A — 8. Between rows 3 and 4: B — 16. 
Row 4: A— 8. 

Side D 

The grouping of the stripes on the surface of this side is much 
closer to symmetry than that of side b. 

Between stripes a and b 

Row 1: A — 7. Between rows 1 and 2: B — 15. 
Row 2: A — 7. Between rows 2 and 3: B — 15. 
Row 3: A — 7. Between rows 3 and 4: B — 16. 

Row 4: A- 

Between stripes b and c 

Row 1: A — 7. Between rows 1 and 2: B — 15. 

Row 2: A — 7. Between rows 2 and 3: B — 15. 

Row 3: A — 7. Between rows 3 and 4: B — 15. 
Row 4: A— 7. 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

Lid Problems 

The lid problems, especially where the designs are carried over 
from the walls so as to make one complete whole, present some even 
more difficult situations. We can not but admire the artistic sense of 
a people who treat a basket as a whole, from the standpoint of design 
and wall structure, for it will be remembered with what care many of 
the modern specimens are constructed with flanges on the inside of 
the orifice to support lids whose edges turn down so as to meet exactly 
and lie in one plane with the wall coils. Plate 48, h, c, is a striking 
example of the ingenuity and craftsmanship as well as of artistic taste 
sometimes displayed. Figure 88^' is given here to show the meas- 
urements taken by Doctor Hacberlin which exliibit the great care 
exercised by the maker during the building of the entire structure. 
The number of stitches and measurements on the one side are given 
in Figure 88. On the opposite side the nimiber of stitches from left 
to right is 4 (1^ cm.), 16 (5 cm.), 14 (4 cm.), 16 {4^ cm.), 16 (4M 
cm.) , 16 (4J^ cm.) ,5(13^ cm.). Nevertheless, designs such as vertical 


II, it 

Fig. 88. 

Ilit )44t 

-Measurements of basket. 

/»«t(«rlW /44t 

U.S.N.M. 216420 

stripes, which are an excellent means of decorating baskets with 
trapezoidal faces, are not at all amenable to successful adjustment on 
oval lids. This is very evident from the basket seen in Plate 48, &, c. 
Viewed from the side, the handling of the design is admirable, but, 
owing to really very slight inaccuracies in circumference subdivision 
and the leftward lean of the vertical pattern, a difficulty from which 
the finest craftswoman can not extricate lierseK without a total change 
of technique, the fid is anything but satisfactory. We wonder that 
it appears as well as it does. This is one of the fids that is either 
worked from the circmnference toward the center or else coiled left- 
handedly. The latter is not probable, since the alignment of the 
design is so perfect where the lid edge meets the basket. 

Plate 48, a, is a photograph of a design executed with astonishing 
accuracy in the face of the almost overwhelming obstacles presented 
by the technique and with the type of ornamentation chosen. In 
Plate 35, e, we find a much happier selection of design and the product 
of a very able technician. 

" The three vertical bands indicate the space of the rectangular patterns on the long sides of the basket. 


Several women discussed in detail the construction of a lid similar 
to that shown on Plate 11 , &. They agreed that in the first place the 
structure of the lid was bad, and in consequence it was very difficult 
to apply the imbrication correctly. They declared that a lid of tliis 
shape was no more difficult to construct than any other and the 
problems it presented were certainly no worse than those encountered 
in building some sharp-cornered baskets. They considered the 
design rather inappropriate for a lid of this shape, as it would also 
be for a more circular flat surface, because it was very difficult to 
adjust. The maker was criticized as not having spaced her design 
properly in the beginning. Her imbrication points at different 
angles at the corners (i. e., not at an equal number of degrees at each 
corner), because the coil stitches have been permitted to vary in 
their relative positions. They did not believe that this had been 
caused by holding the lid in a 
different position from that usu- 
ally maintained by the average 
worker. They criticized that 
the coils had been stitched to- 
gether in the same way as when 
making a bottom; and that 
little care had been taken to 
place each stitch correctly at 
the corners, as must be done 
when making an imbricated lid. 
All these errors resulted in an 
asymmetrical design. They ex- 
plained that in turning a sharp 
corner the stitches must spread ^'■°- 89--Decorated lid 

at the outer edge of the coil and at the same time overlap on the 
imier edge, and evidently any carelessness in placing them would 
affect the position of the whole design. In bottoms which are not 
imbricated slight inaccuracies are not of such unportance. 

Other lids are given in Figm-e 89 and Plates 11, 12, 14, 35, 36, 41, 42, 
45, 48, 49, 50, and 51. It is only comparatively recently that the 
women have undertaken such difficult artistic and technical problems 
as those shown in the illustrations just discussed. The former deco- 
rations were largely beading, not only for the parallel-coiled lids 
shown here but for the watch-spring and elongated cods as well. 
Lids like that given in Plate 50, c, a ( = 56, a), wliile not presenting 
any comphcated artistic problem, display very well the technical 
genius of the builder, who by means of carefully graded parallel coils 
constructed a lid which in appearance is exactly like the hmnp tops 
of our old-fashioned trunks. The piece of imbricated work shown in 
Plate 50,/, is not a lid but the inside bottom of a tub-shaped basket, 


one of the rare examples found. It is unique in that it shows imbri- 
cation on parallel coils. Plate 51 gives some odd new shapes and two 
classic Lillooet forms, beautifully made, from wliich a Thompson 
form was evidently taken (pi. 51, m). 

Lastly, the trays in Plates 52, 53, and 54, presenting some of the 
problems encountered in oval elongated coiled hds, disclose the fact 
that a few women are not able to space properly even on shapes 
the whole surface of which may be seen at one glance, while others 
produce almost perfect specimens. 

The examples here discussed show tliat various ways of meeting 
the difficulties encountered in the adaptation of designs have been 
devised and that different degrees of aptitude are found not only 
among different women but often combined in the same person. 
An otherwise extremely accurate technician proves at fault in spacing 
her designs properly around the circumference of the coil (pi. 15, c; 
fig. 87). A woman with excellent artistic ideas who spaces very well 
indeed is often confused in the lesser design rhythms into which she 
subdivides her larger conceptions (fig. 81). Another one above the 
average in all these respects may be poor at regulating the size of her 
coils and aligning them with each other, so that her basket structure 
is bimipy even while her stitching and decoration are exceptional. 
Sometimes we find that those who have committed blunders have 
cleverly sought to cover them up or to turn them to their advantage 
in a way which was entirely unpremeditated. And now and then we 
find that satisfying person, the all-around genius, whose beautiful 
specimens of handiwork are perfect, both from a technical and 
artistic point of view. The most striking peculiarity of design ar- 
rangement consists in the lack of feehng for unity of motifs exhibited 
in the use of incongruous fillers. 


The individual woman plays no small part in the estabhshment of 
the basketry style of her tribe, especially if a certain degree of liberty 
is allowed her to follow her own inclinations, and this seems to be 
the case in the Thompson region. The women are not restricted 
in their selection of designs but make any number; most of them from 
time to time undertake patterns with which they have pre\nously 
been unacquainted; others invent variations of old elements which 
they have used before, and some do both. During a woman's life- 
time certain designs and variations may perhaps be considered to 
belong to her in a sense that they are her particular inventions, but 
knowledge concerning origins is soon lost by the majority, especially 
after the designs have been copied or changed by others. Only in 
the minds of a few people hke old Kalia, who once hved at Spu^zum, 


but has been dead for many years, are such Mstorical details cher- 
ished and remembered. She was a famous basket and blanket 
maker, who wrought many classic designs. The only variations she 
ever attempted were those which came to her ui dreams. She was an 
authority on designs, their names, and history. 

A new design or variation is readily copied, if easy to make, 
especially if it is attractive. Probably in this way many have become 
the common property of everyone, are made everywhere, and un- 
doubtedly are now quite old. With these are generally associated 
-the greatest number of variations since they are constantly being 
changed in some minor detail, but not enough to render them unrec- 
ognizable. This dynamic condition has probably always existed 
more or less. Occasionally it happens that they are so distorted or 
blended with foreign elements that their names, meanings, and 
origins have become uncertain, or are totally lost. On the other 
hand, some patterns are rare, having fallen almost completely into 
disuse because they have proved unsuitable or unpopular, whUe 
otbers are known only within limited areas. The young people 
have formed quite different tastes from their elders, and their atti- 
tude has had not a little bearing on the character of designs chosen. 
It is said they have conceived a dislike for certain forms of bead, 
dentalia, and tree patterns, which in consequence are rarely selected 
for decorative purposes at the present day. 

There are a few designs which are inherited, but not as property 
or because they were invented by ancestors. They are taught to 
the daughters by the mother or grandmother and thus handed down. 
In some cases an old design may be retained in one family without 
really belonging there, having been forgotten by others who once 
employed it, or having been brought from a distance. 

Occasionally a young woman will use an ancient design which 
has been taught her, but which her friends have never happened to 
see. Old women, however, will often recognize it at once as having 
been popular when they were young. There are probably many 
cases like that of two informants, Nos. 33 and 34,^^ who are good 
neighbors and friends and who copy each other's designs to a very 
considerable extent. They often agree to make the same pattern 
on baskets on which they happen to be working at the same time. 
They try to employ only the most striking figures because these 
always attract more attention and assist in a ready sale. They also 
work together in trying out new patterns or creating novel varia- 
tions of old ones, but usually they do not invent anything very 
original. Such an achievement is indeed rare. These two women 

»" See p. 453. 


have made baskets ever since their girlhood, a few each year. No. 
34 puts letters on her baskets, which she has learned from the whites, 
such as the initials of names, and to these she sometimes adds the 
date of the year in which the work was completed. 

Not many patterns have been the result of dreams, but those which 
are so regarded are claimed to have been clearly and accurately pre- 
sented in the dream. It is thought that they come from the super- 
natural powers. Usually a woman's friends do not copy her dream 
design, even if she gives her permission to do so, but if it is a nice 
design, sooner or later some one sees it on a basket, perhaps a stranger," 
and copies it, and after that it is soon taken up generally. The 
dreamer makes no effort to prevent her ideas being copied, but some 
old dream designs are never duplicated because of their peculiarity 
and failiu-e to appeal to the people. Even the woman who receives 
a vision of such a nature usually has the same opinion about it that 
her neighbors express, and seldom reproduces it. Old women some- 
times teach their dream designs to their daughters or grandchildren, 
who treat them as they would any other old design, and neighbors 
who know their origin and have hitherto refrained will then more 
readily copy them after the granddaughter or daughter has had the 
first opportunity. It was explained that this was because between 
the dreamer and her basket design an intimate supernatural relation 
existed which became weaker if members of the family formed 
connecting links. This was because the power, although belonging 
to the dreamer personally a,nd not connected with her relatives, was 
not as liable to do them such harm as might be brought upon an 

It was not known whether or not her husband's or male relatives' 
dreams were ever portrayed by a woman on her baskets, but it was 
stated that they were often painted on a girl's clothing or on tipis. 
Guardian spirits are all personal or individual, each differing from 
the other even though designated by the same name. There are no 
special guardians who are considered particularly potent where 
basketry designs are concerned. The designs themselves are all 
that are supposed to be seen in a dream and no two of those observed 
are alike. 

No. 25 offered a bit of information as to her personal experience 
in regard to dreams of this nature. She said that formerly they were 
very common, but the patterns so obtained were merely variations 
in form or arrangement of those already well known. She said that 
occasionally she had had very vivid impressions of designs in her 
dreams and that in every case she saw them on baskets in different 
stages of completion. Never but once were they associated with 
anything but baskets, and some, she thought, were very nice to look 
at; they either resembled those already known to her, or more rarely 



were quite new. In all cases they were very complicated, or difficult 
to execute (a good example of how the creative instinct was hampered 
by the technique). For this reason she never made any of them, 
although in some instances she remembered them for a long time. 
With these visions there was never any description, no one presented 
the designs, and no one spoke. Other women, however, sometimes 
had encounters in their dreams. No. 25 never expei-ienced this but 
once, when she saw the only design she ever dreamed about, which 
was not on a basket. In this case it was a blanket design shown her 
by a woman slie had known who had long been dead. The woman 
asked her if she could make it, and she responded that she might try 
if her eyesight were better. But the design was hard and she never 
attempted it,- although she often thought she would. Her eyes 
became worse and she had to abandon the plan. 

The objects seen in a dream are pictured more or less realistically 
and serve to commemorate or record the event. If the dream is very 
striking or unusual it is sometimes represented on the first basket 
which the woman makes afterwards. Such pictures are used only 
once. Generally they are not easy to produce, nor are they capable 
of being so adapted to the space offered as to be employed for design 
purposes, even were their significance of general interest. Wlien 
making baskets for shamans or other men, designs which are symbolic 
of their guardian spirits are frequently made according to directions 
given by the prospective owners, but the maker may be left free to 
exercise her choice of arrangement because it is conceded that slie is 
then better able to balance the figures after the fashion in vogue on 
ordinary baskets. If the exact details are left to the woman she 
usually produces a much superior piece of work. 

Each woman probably makes a large number of designs,^ and 
all the informants expressed opinions regarding their combination 
with one another, stating that some can be united more artistically 
than others. They are by no means agreed on this point in every 
case, although generally a pleasing combination is not a subject of 
much concern; on the contrary, patterns are often put together with- 
out much thought, except when they can not be made to fit. 

A number of women agreed that triangles or half arrowheads, mean- 
ing right-angled triangles, combined well with diamonds, especially 
if the former sm-rounded the latter so that their oblique sides were 
parallel (fig. 90, a), and that the equilateral or isosceles triangle 
called arrowhead might be artistically combined with two con- 
verging lines (fig. 90, b). Small crosses or stars, groups of short 
parallel lines, dots, small squares (rectangles?), triangles, and dia- 
monds were considered useful for combination with larger figm-es 
when forming designs where it seemed advisable to create centers 

83 See appendix, pp. 431 et seq., for lists of informants and the designs they have made. 


for large surfaces or fillers for undecorated spaces. Angles or chev- 
rons were especially attractive to them as outlines for parts of 
diamonds or triangles (fig. 90, c) and the T figure for filling in the 
space between two diamonds (fig. 90, d). They expressed a liking 
for barred effects on rectangles and scjuares and also for groups of 
lines arranged at right angles to each other (fig. 90, e). Diagonal 
lines as borders for step figures or horizontal lines inclosing zigzags 
or opposed triangles, and combinations of zigzags and triangles 
they considered very pleasing (fig. 91). Notches, checks, or smaU 
crosses as a means of subdividing the surfaces of large figirres were 
also very popular, as may be seen from a survey of the photographs. 

Fig. 90.— Combinations of designs 

The women also possessed quite pronoimced dislikes, especially 
in regard to color combinations, feeling that red and black spaces 
should be separated by a wliite line or by bare background. They 
disapproved of designs having a crowded appearance as well as of 
those which seemed too scattered and bare, their reasons being that 
in the fonner case the figures would not show to advantage, wliile in 
the latter the basket would look, as they expressed it, too weak. 

Two informants argued that the designs pictured in Sketches 49, 
50, 54, S4, 153, 154, 237, 348, 415, 419, 421, 512, 539-543, 582, 682, 
691, 740, 818, 821, 824, 834, 837, 838, and 842 were not suitable 
for baskets, some being too plain, others lacking good outlines. 


Fig. 91. — Combinations of designs 

Unfortunately Mr. Teit did not specify which faults belonged to 
which sketches or whether their lack of fitness apphed only to certain 
forms of baskets or to all of them. Any designs wliich appeared un- 
finished or were unsymmetrical were deemed imdesirable for basketry 


To return to purely geometric elements, the important question 
presents itself as to how these may be interpreted. Are there many 
very divergent ideas centered in and around the same geometric 
forms or are the meanings given more or less related? What are 
the forms, if any, wliich are given only one interpretation '! If many 
are associated with the figui-e, what is their range of variability and 




how is it influenced by the position of the figure, its arrangement 
in series, or its surface treatment ? These are some of the questions 
to which an answer will be attempted. 

The liorizontal line.^ — If the horizontal line is not continuous but 
composed of small dots, it is known as beads (sketches 1, 2, and 3). 
If single, continuous and plain, it may be called cloud extended 
or striped snake (sketches 4 and 5). When divided into very short 
sections by alternating colors generally forming small squares it is 
variously termed hair ribbon, spot design, string of beads, necklace, 
snakeskin, nose-rod, fly, flying bird or insect, simply because it 
calls to mind any of these objects (sketches 6 and 7). The conno- 
tation "fly" is not so readily apparent until it is understood that the 
Uta'mqt name any combination of smaU checks or squares '"flies." 
If the line is cut into long sections of alternating colors, it is called 




W/A W//X 








r •-..•-•) 








cloud extended, embroidery design — probably because such lines 
were produced in old embroidery work — necklace, string of beads, 
nose-rod, dentalium shells, flying bird or insect, hair ribbon, or 
dragon fly (sketches 8, 9, 10, and 11). Tliicker lines may be divided 
throughout their length horizontaUy (sketch 12), and are then known 
as clouds, dentalia or embroidery designs. If in addition to the hori- 
zontal division the line is cut vertically at intervals resulting in two 
rows of blocks of alternating colors beside the meanings given, we 
have rattlesnake, necklace and string of beads (sketches 13, 14, and 
15). The long blocks seem to be especially connected in the people's 
minds with dentalia which they use in great amounts for decorations 
of all kinds. Smaller blocks obtained by the same manner of sub- 
division are more frequently interpreted as snake, bullsnake, or 
rattlesnake, or they may represent the entirely unassociated hair 
ribbon (sketch 16). More than two horizontal "layers" necessitat- 
ing a quite thick and sometimes short line are termed hairy cater- 

" The following does not agree in all details with the explanations to Plates 78-94, but the differences 
are trifling. Mr. Teit collected the sketches at one time and wrote the explanations at another, so that 
neither list is quite complete. I have not made them uniform because the differences may in part be 
Intentional. — F. B. 



lETH. ANN. 41 

pillar, or dentalia (sketch 21). Three or more horizontal lines or 
layers are usually considered as the snake design (sketches 22, 23, 
and 24), although when lacking the subdivision into blocks they are 
sometimes called scratch, stripe (25), or legging (26), especially the 
latter if "beads" accompany them such as are represented in the 
sketch by the small checks. As soon as we touch upon horizontal 
lines which are combined in any way with other figures, complica- 
tions arise which make generahzing an extremely difficult matter. 
Horizontal lines with rectangles attached here and there (sketch 439) 
are, however, given the same type of interpretation, namely, necklace 
and snake, while those which are not strictly horizontal hues, yet 
which on account of the alternating arrangement of figures in series 
resemble them (sketches 452 and 453), are again foimd to be clouds, 
notches, caterpillar, and flpng geese. It will be seen that the 
horizontal line is named after only a smaU niunber of objects which 









J* ^ 





I I 


on account of their form and frec[uent appearance or use are con- 
stantly kept in mind and therefore readily suggest themselves. The 
group includes among natural phenomena low-lying, long clouds; 
among artificial objects, hair ribbons, necklaces, strings of beads, 
nose-rods, embroidery and legging designs, scratches, stripes; and 
among Jiving objects, insects, birds, and reptiles which by their 
shape are particularly suggestive. 

Tlxe diagonal line. — Diagonal lines usually appear in series. The 
single diagonal is very rare, because only one would give a very 
''bare" appearance to the basket wall, as the women would say. 
Dots or short vertical lines arranged in all-over, vertical, or diagonal 
order are known as rain (sketches 27 and 28). Plain diagonal lines 
are known as rainbow, stripe, scratch, leaning, lines extending out 
if they are of any length (skctclies 29 and 32). Very rarely tliey 
are known as little ladder when in pairs. This is a name given 




becausG of the resemblance they bear to small ladders constructed of 
two poles, which young boys use in climbing, twining then' legs 
around them and pulling themselves up by the hands. Occasionally 
they are called striped snake (sketch 33). Short parallel lines 
arranged in groups are called rain design (sketch 35). In a vertical 
colujan or in converging series they are xanaxa'm, an unidentified 
edible root (sketches 36 and 37). Wider diagonal lines divided 
lengthwise are called striped snake (sketch 38). Vertical stripes are 
also ornamented with the diagonal line (sketches 39 to 42). These 
are interpreted as "twisted," or dentalia, and sometimes as half 

For the diagonal line the list of meanings is confined to a few 
objects also. Among the natural phenomena suggested are the 
rainbow and rain, among artificial objects there are stripe, scratch, 
leaning lines extending out, and little ladder, while of living objects 
the snake is the only one represented, and that is comparatively rare. 

The vertical line. — The vertical line in dotted formation and in 
parallel series is called rain, spot or bead (sketches 43 and 44). The 
single continuous vertical line has practically the same interpreta- 
tions as the horizontal, namely woodworm, snake, caterpillar, or hair 
ribbon. The unnatural position of any of these objects as implied 
in the design does not seem to have occurred to the people, or at 
any rate to have made any difference. Series of verticals cut up 
into sections by changes in color are also known as rain, but again 
as beads, dentalia, spots, or necklaces. Sketch 46 illustrates these. 
Short double vertical lines are practically always interpreted as leg- 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

ging designs, no matter how they are arranged (sketches 47 to 52). 
Rarely, however, when capped by a horizontal line they are said to 
represent the small frame erected by adolescent girls on which to 
hang the miniature baskets and similar articles that they have made 
(sketch 50). Short triple lines are called false legging patterns 
(sketches 53 and 54) . All-over combinations of double or triple ver- 
tical and horizontal lines are known as dentalia and embroidery. 
Long treble verticals are aptly termed stripe, scratch, or lines ex- 
tending out. Wide lines divided lengthwise are again known as 
snakes, while those cut up crosswise into squares are snake, worm, 
caterpillar, hair ribbon, or wliite man's ladder (sketches 63 to 67). 
Checker vertical stripes, aside from being called flies, are snakes, 
beads, and necklaces. Those cut up in other ways are also given 
the same interpretation or are more rarely called rain (sketches 68 
to 76). Any other narrow vertical effect, such as is achieved by a 
vertical row of small triangles or diamonds (sketches 297, 302, pi. 84; 
524, pi. 88), seems to be considered in the same class as the vertical' 
line and is given a similar interpretation. 



I n 

48 49 50 

63 6-1 





It will be seen that all lines, horizontal, diagonal, and vertical, are 
interpreted as certain classes of objects according to their width, 
surface treatment, or combination with other Unas, and that on the 
whole the direction of the lines has little to do with their meaning, 
although horizontal lines are not interpreted as rain. Small isolated 
single lines are scratches; grouped lines are leggings and rain. Single 
broad hues elaborately subdivided are most frequently snakes, 
worms, or flies (if checker), although the hair ribbon, ladder, bead, 
and other mterpretations are given nearly as often. There is not a 
single interpretation offered that is not suggested by the resemblance 
of the Hues to objects noted all the time by the people in their every- 
day life. The variety of terms given merely emphasizes the fact 
that the lines are after all not pictures or reduced realistic art, but 
only suggest objects which in a general way they resemble. 




The zigzag. — As has previously beon intimated, there are two dis- 
tinct forms of zigzags, that composed of diagonal lines, arranged in 
horizontal or vertical series, and that composed of horizontal and 
vertical lines necessarily arranged diagonall}'. Of these the former 
are by far the most numerous. Horizontally arranged, especially 
when combined m some way with triangles, a single-line zigzag 
is most frequently called a necklace (sketch 77, pi. 79). Double or 
triple lines of this character are called snake, snake track, mountain 
tops, zigzag, caterpillar, or rarely the pack-strap design, since some 
form of this zigzag was usually taken for the decoration of the pack- 
strap. Sketches 79 and 80 show these figures. When double zigzags 
are arranged so that the inner points touch and the space between the 
lines is a series of diamonds they are regarded as more typical pack- 



f^f^ ^M 






strap designs, and are then described as having connected points or 
open middles. In addition to the usual interpretations of snake 
track, etc., such lines, particularly if there are many of them, are 
interpreted as "rainbow connected" and necklace (sketches 81 and 
82) . The wide zigzag line (sketches 83 and 84) , having a subdivided 
surface is usually called a snake design, occasionally necklace. A 
number of variants of this type of zigzag (85 to 88), in which some 
or all of the points are truncated, are given the following names: 
zigzag with flat points, haK circles connected, going back and forth 
in half circles, moimtain, cloud, rainbow, deer-fence, and embroidery. 
Only rarely are they termed snake tracks or part of a gravebox 
pattern. The exact name chosen for these figures on any particular 
occasion depends largely on the natm-e and disposition of accompany- 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

ing small figures, or on the color treatment of the intervening spaces. 
The combination of truncated with nontruncated zigzags usually 
receives the name mountains (sketches 89 and 90). The step fig- 
ures in squares seen in sketches 91 and 92 cause this pattern to 
be likened to a rainbow and clouds, clouds over moimtains, a neck- 
lace and pendants, or to embroidery. The forms shown in sketches 
93 and 94 are Nicola patterns, called clouds. The simple element, 
the trapezoid in various arrangements, is also designated in the same 


o o o o 



//A\ /A\\ 

-^ ^ 100 



.^^^\ '-' /^\ / 

105 106 

way (sketches 577 and 578, pi. 89) . Sketch 95, called ' ' deer fence with 
snares, "and sketch 96, designated as an Indian fortress, maybe placed 
with tliese zigzags or may belong to the class of highly conventional- 
ized realistic designs. With designs of this character, the composititm 
as well as interpretation of which is more or less complicated, it is 
difficult to make a distinction. Sketches 99 to 101 are parts of these 
zigzag designs and are interpreted like other zigzags. Sketches 102 
and 103 are often called arrow point designs because of the presence 
of the triangles. 




As in the case of straight hnes, the zigzags composed of short 
diagonals are given on tlie whole the same interpretations without 
regard to their vertical or horizontal position. A number of new 
names make their appearance with the vertical zigzag, however, which 
are not applied to horizontal forms. The terms for horizontal ar- 
rangements, but used also for those in vertical position, are snake 
and snake track, caterpillar — especially where broad single diagonal 
lines with subdivided surfaces are used — as well as trail, pack strap, 
and contracted middle. New terms for vertical arrangements are 
ascending zigzag (sketch 104), blanket, parfl^che, wave, lightning. 






and grasshopper or grasshopper leg, depending on the character of the 
lines. Sketch 105, giving the simplest form, is known by the last two 
names. The wave patterns classified by the Indians according to 
the number of angles in the line as of one, two, or three turns, etc., 
may be seen in sketches 106 to 110. The blanket pattern (sketch 
111), is always of several lines in close formation. The lightning 
is an irregular zigzag (sketches 112, 113), which is also known as 
grasshopper, or as woodworm borings. Sketches 114 to 121 are 
given terms similar to those applied to horizontal arrangements. All 
less exact forms of the vortical zigzag which it may be contended 
are attempts at realistic representation, such as 122 to 125, are called 
striped snake. Sketches 126 and 127 of zigzags composed of diagonal 
53666°— 28 21 



|ETH. ANN. 41 

and horizontal sections are very rare. No interpretation has been 
found for them. 

In spite of their different derivation, zigzags composed of vertical 
and horizontal sections, whether narrow or broad, are invariably 
given the common interpretations of snake track, wonn, grasshopper, 
or occasionally lightning (sketches 128 to 131). No name could be 
found for a zigzag of three lines in close formation, such as is shown 
in sketch 132. The pyramid zigzag (sketches 133, 134) is more often 
considered as a mountain or necklace pattern, but it may be called 
simply zigzag. Rarely it is thought to be a caterpillar. 

The chevron. — The chevron, point down, is called aiTowpoint, 
angle, or butterfly wing (sketches 135 to 137). The last figiu-e is 


136 138 139 







sometimes termed necklace or broken middle. In vertical arrange- 
ment inclosed by parallel luies, whether turning up or down, whether 
broad or narrow, plain or accompanied by an enlargement at the 
apex into a "knob" figure, the mterpretation given is arrowpoint 
or arrowhead. Sketches 138 to 143 illustrate these designs. Chev- 
rons connected by a vertical Ime passing through their points when 
turned upward are naturally known as trees or branches (sketches 
144, 145). Lying sidewise they become wave or simply angle, or 
part of the zigzag; in series they are waves of one turn, bent leg, 
broken back, grasshopper, or ribs, and as such may be facing all one 
way or in two series, away from each other (sketches 146 to 148). 
Facing each other (sketch 149) they have been mterpreted as angles 
or arrowpoints. Connected by horizontal lines passing through 




their points they form the fish-backbone pattern as it is sometimes 
made around Spuzzum. This is a fairly common design in general 
art but appears very rarely on baskets (sketch 150). Chevrons, in 
concentric formation (shown in sketch 151), tm'ned sidewise or up- 
ward, are called butterflies or butterfly wings. There is a peculiar 
arrangement of chevrons that may be described as "slipped past" 
(sketch 152). This is given a great variety of names, such as broken 
back, bent leg, fishhook, hook, hooked end, cross, head, and root- 
digger. The last three are undoubtedly bestowed because of the 
recognition of the T form, which is treated under the section imme- 
diately following dealing with the right angle with one long side. 
The derivation of this figure is doubtful. It is an excellent represen- 
tation of the braided rim as it appears on some baskets and it is very 
odd that it docs not seem to have been so considered. Possibly this 

n J J jijjjT 
r J 



jjjj ni' 
m [[ 

f jf 

















< II 



has been due to the fact that braided rims are not common except 
among the Kfickitat, and to the circumstance that the women who 
were familiar with such rims may not have been consulted as to the 
meaning of the pattern. Broad chevrons divided lengthwise are 
usually called bent back, leg, or middle, although the names rainbow 
haii or striped snake are sometimes applied (sketches 153, 154). 

The right am/le with one long side. — The right angle, and occasion- 
aUy the obtuse angle, with one long side, is almost universally known 
as the leg or foot design, although in serial or all-over arrangement 
it sometimes becomes bent back, caterpillar, grasshopper, or hook. 
Very little distinction seems to be made between the simple right 
angle and the Z figure, except that the former is more often termed 
foot, and the latter bent knee or leg (sketches 155 to 163). The 
result of the junction of the two Z figures gives the beginnmg of the 
meander as seen in sketches 167 and 168, although for these no 
interpretation has been noted. Standing upright they are probably 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

regarded as two legs. The key design in sketch 166 is very interest- 
ing (cf. sketches 197 and 198, p. 316). The foot elements, facing in 
opposite directions, as in sketch 169, are called hooks, feet, or grass- 
hoppers, and from this arrangement may be traced very clearly the 
relation to sketch 170, whicli is also a typical Khckitat and California 
pattern. Sketches 171 and 172 to 175 give different arrangements. 
The last is especially interesting because it is the well-lcnown swastika. 
Its explanation here as caterpillars crossed is instructive as illus- 
trating the often hmnble interpretation of lugUy artistic motifs for 
which a deep symbohc significance is claimed. In sketch 176 the 
central shaft is thickened. The name caterpillar stiU remains. 
Sketches 177 to 179 show the broadening of the whole figure which 
retains the old interpretations, but in 179 the whole has become so 
broad that it is sometimes known as a duck. There may be other 
derivations of this figure, as indeed there probably are for a great 

niunber which have only been discussed from one point of view 
(sketches 471 and 501, pi. 87). 

For want of a better classification the T figm-e shown in sketch 
180 may be considered as belonging to the group of right angles with 
one long side. Formally, it is either a doubling of this figure or an 
entirely different motif. It is certainly given somewhat different 
interpretations. Root digger and cross are the two most usual, since 
it closely resembles both of these objects. It is called head very 
frequently because it is used so often to represent the heads of men 
and birds, being one of the nearest approaches to realism in repre- 
senting this part of the body that is possible in coarse basketry 
tecluiique. It is also rarely called fislihook, but there is some doubt 
about the propriety of so designating it. Sketch 181 shows its use 
in ornamenting a vertical stripe. The elaborate and highly artistic 
design shown m sketch 182 is known as the leg or foot pattern, 



probably merely because of the hooked ends of the lines. In sketch 
183 there are "leaning foot" elements which are given the same 
interpretation as those placed m an erect position, but with the added 
qualificatory term "leaning." Sketch 184, although the angles of the 
elements are obtuse, is still called by the terms bent and broken 
back, leg, or grasshopper, but the name "hook" is not applied, being 
reserved for figures like sketch 185, where the angle is acute. These 
two figures do not properly belong to this group on accoimt of their 
different angles, but since they so closely resemble the right-angled 
figures and receive practically the same names, and since they are 
not very common, they have been treated here for convenience sake. 
Sketch 186 gives an odd trident form called fish spear or bird's foot. 
There is no doubt that, from the character of interpretations given 
the chevron and the right angle with one long side, such as grass- 
hopper, broken back, or bent middle, the people sense a vague re- 
semblance between the two. Nevertheless they are more often 
distinguished by their names than confused, especially since with the 
latter the one side of the angle is so much shorter than the other. 
As with all other groups, the variety of names have this in common, 
that they refer to long, narrow, bent objects or those whicli are 
distinguished by such featm-es. The wave is no exception, because 
its thin broken crest is one of its conspicuous features. 

The mealier. — The meander or simple key figure is generally called 
mouth or notch; no distinction is made for its horizontal or vortical 
arrangement (sketches 187, 188). It is also termed snake or snake 
track. Even in a more elaborate form, as shown in sketches 189 and 
190, or doubled, as in 191, it is always the mouth pattern to those 
who know design names well. When the inner square figure is en- 
tirely closed, as in sketch 192, some people call the resulting pat- 
tern a variation of the grave box. A good aU-over arrangement is 
shown in sketch 193. Sketches 194 to 196 (p. 316), showing the 
meander with a facing along one edge, which consists of a straight 
line, are aptly given the additional interpretation caterpillar, and 
more closely resemble the creattires than do most of the other figiu-es 
so named. Sketches 197 and 198 (p. 316) may be considered as 
belonging either with this group or with the right-angle group so 
often called leg or root digger (sketches 172, 180, and 181). They 
are named caterpillar, snaU, and head patterns. Sketch 197 is some- 
times specially termed duck's head. 

Properly speaking, sketches 199 and 200 (p. 316) show meanders of 
larger conception, which are also related to step and ladder as well as 
to checker figures and to the zigzag composed of vertical and horizon- 
tal sections. They are designated as zigzags or steps, and are also 
given the fanciful appellations of moimtains, clouds, necklaces, and 
stepped half circles on account of then- shape. Probably because of 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

their derivation tliey are also called embroidery designs. Sketches 
201 to 205 are elaborations of this form. Sketch 206 shows the motif 
used as a closed unit. This figure is called star, frequently with the 
added descriptive phrases "notched," "stepped," or "gnawed all 
aroimd." Elaborations of this occur in sketches 207 and 208. Two 
figures wMch do not properly belong to any of these groups, nor to 
ladder and step designs, and wliich are placed here as a matter of 
convenience, are shown in sketches 209 and 210. They are usually 
called cloud designs, on account of their general shape; sometimes 
also mountain. Sketch 209 has been named necklace, and all are 
considered as embroidery patterns. 



Crossed lines may be purely geometric or they may have a realistic 
significance, if, as is sometimes the case, they are copies of the Chris- 
tian cross. They are then quite frankly named Christian cross; 
therefore, although constructed on the same principle as geometric 
crosses, they have been placed with the realistic designs. 

The purely geometric crosses have very few interpretations. They 
are always known as stars when simple in construction and small, 
and the arms are usually of equal length. The two plain little 
crosses shown in sketches 211 and 212 are also given the name of 
"flying bird" or "insect," and rarely they are called "flies." That 
shown in sketch 214 is given a secondary interpretation of "fish-line 
reel," since it resembles the object fauly closely. The elaborated 
forms of sketches 215 to 217 are more often particularly designated 




as ''big" or "morning" stars. It seems as if the outlined form 
(sketch 218) has been derived from 217. Thus simply presented it 
is known as "star," but the elaborated figure shown in sketch 219 
is called "leaf" in the neighborhood of Spuzzum. Sketches 220 and 
221 are forms of crosses, but the pronounced center at the intersec- 
tion of the lines and the radiating effect produced by the supple- 
mentary treatment are responsible for their interpretation as repre- 
sentations of the sun. They are quite unusual and are not seen 
except on cu'cular lids, but they are often painted on pieces of skin. 


AU triangular forms, regardless of the type, are known over the 
entire region as arrowheads. They may be plain or subdivided into 
colored sections, and occur singly or in combination with other 
figures. Although this is the general name in the application of which 
one could hardly err much, others are often bestowed on designs in 
which the triangles are subdivided in a peculiar fashion or where 

their combination is sufTiciently striking to suggest a different con- 
notation. The fact that the triangle is called arrowhead over 
practically the whole extent of North America may be due to the 
circumstance that in the world of natural or artificial objects as they 
appear to the Indian triangular forms are comparatively rare. The 
arrowhead is an implement of almost world-wide distribution. Its 
age and its important position in the material culture of the people 
would be sufficient to connect it with the geometric figure which 
offers such a striking resemblance to it and to account for the adoption 
by the Thompson of its name. 

Among the most common secondary names referring to natural or 
artificial objects, insects, plants, etc., are "wing" (either that of a 
bird or that of an insect, especially the butterfly wing), mountains, 
clouds, leaves, teeth, snares, and beads. A name which owes its 
existence solely to the vertical, diagonal, or more rare horizontal 
arrangement of triangles, or to the diagonal alignment of squares 
by which figures with stepped or serrated outlines may be secured, is 
ladder. In this case the element is of no importance except as it 
lends the stepped outline to the whole design. There are a few 


arrangements which are called parfleclie patterns. Trees, shrubs, 
and mushrooms are also considered as prototypes for a few designs, 
and so realistic are these, even while purely geometric, that it is 
difficiilt to decide whether they should not be considered as repre- 
sentative forms. They are shown in sketches 234, 235, and 236. 

It does not seem necessary to discuss in detail the various numbered 
sketches of designs in which the triangle is the conspicuous element 
and to treat in the same fashion all the patterns in which other 
simple geometric forms occur. 

Triangles which are given the name arrowhead are generally 
plain or surrounded by a broad outline. Further subdivision does 
occur, however, and in these cases there is no general rule governing 
the identities of arrowheads and butterflies, for instance, except that 
the latter are usually more elaborately treated or the subdivision is 
along the lines of a chevron. Sketches 222 to 225 (pi. 83) , 249 and 250 
are good examples of the simple arrowhead. The term as applied to 
those arranged in vertical series pointing up or down or m horizontal 
succession is usually qualified by proper descriptive phrases such as 

A I A ^>>, ±±_ 

228 jl 23'iT^ J^ /^ ^ ,3^ 

A g k 4^ ^ ^ A' 

229 U 3 233 Mm. 
230 i 


"arrowheads touching bases" or "arrowheads entering each other." 
(See p. 400.) 

As a wing the figure is usually more elaborately treated (see 
sketches 239, 261, 271, 272), although m such patterns as 237 the 
term butterfly seems to depend upon the arrangement of the ele- 
ments, or what is stUl more likely, upon the whim of the interpreter. 
In sketch 237 the stem and crosspiece of what appears to be an 
inverted tree represents the head and eyes of the butterfly. Triangles 
in horizontal series or occurring in connection with horizontal zigzags 
are usually mountain tops, while in all-over arrangement, as in 
sketch 244, they are occasionally called clouds. A more frequent 
interpretation is "arrowheads joined all over." Large triangular 
masses of design made up of small elements are apt to be interpreted 
as clouds. Triangles called leaves or teeth are usually distributed 
along both sides of horizontal lines. Sketches 262-267 are examples 
of patterns which are likely to receive either of these meanings. Ele- 
ments representing snares do not differ much from those interpreted 
as moimtains, except that the apices of the triangles are usually 
turned down. Triangles which are appended to the points of zigzags, 




or angles of these zigzags which are filled in in color so that they 
appear to be triangles, are always termed beads in connection with 
the zigzag wliich is interpreted as the necldace. 

The ladder designs as evolved from combinations of triangles are 
of two general types. The one type is composed of single or double 
vertical or horizontal series of right-angled triangles (see sketches 
278-280; 287-296, p. 320); the other is the result of building right- 
angled triangles along an oblique hne so that the hypothenuse of each 






figure is one with the line (see sketch 316, pi. 84). The former type of 
ladder was probably so called from its resemblance to the notched 
logs used for this purpose. No distinction is made if the whole 
design lies in a horizontal direction or is inverted. The right-angled 
triangle, whether single or in series, is also practically always called 
half-arrowhead. As a simple element it does not appear to be 
recognized as a triangle in itself, but always as half of a fuller figure, 
such as an isosceles or obtuse angled triangle. The single right- 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

angled triangle occurs rather infrequently. Sketch 305 (pi. 84) is one 
of a few examples. Here, on account of the treatment of the surface, 
the figure is known as a butterfly wing. The usual arrangement is 
that of a vertical series in which all the triangles are facing in one 
direction with the longer cathetus forming a straight line. From 
these circumstances it seems probable that the derivation of the 
half-arrowhead may have originated in either of two ways, or that 
both may have been in part responsible. One was the splitting of 
the vertical series of fuH arrowheads lengthwise, as may be seen in 
sketch 278 (p. 319), the other the automatic production of half- 
arrowhead series as reverse patterns for series of full triangles on a 
vertical strip, as may be noted in sketch 257 (p. 319). 

There is even a third possibility which is illustrated in sketch 303. 
Here the same variety of arrowheads is produced as the reverse 
pattern for the series of rhomboids in a vertical stripe. The series 

289 U''' i 


290 291 292 

298 294 296 

297 298 



J 324 

301 802 




on either side of the stripe point in opposite directions, however. 
This does not happen in reverses of triangles. Although rhomboids 
on the whole are rather imconmion, it is advisable to consider them 
as the main design here since they occupy the center of the strip. 
That half-arrowhead series are not necessarily used in pairs may be 
seen in the sketches 287-293. The relation of 293 to 292 shows how 
the presence of vertical outlines at once produces a reverse. Sketches 
294-297 give some rarer forms which are interpreted as tree ladders, 
with notches or short limbs all arovmd the log. Such a ladder was 
used for scaling cliffs and was probably placed upright. There are 
a number of odd arrangements such as are shown in sketches 298-302. 
ParflSche patterns are shown in sketches 322-325. It is not improb- 
able that the whole idea of placing triangles on top of each other in 
this manner was taken over by the Thompson from Plains art, 
although they seem to have preferred using triangles which are all of 



one size. Such designs as sketch 259 (p. 319) and such obtuse 
triangles as those in sketch 260 (p. 319) are unusual in Salish art. 
Some undoubted parfleche derivations are numbers 270 (p. 319) and 
323-325; and 326, 327 on Plate 84. One characteristic Plains feature 
is the junction of the apices of two opposed triangles imtil the figure 
has become a full or half hourglass. 

In summing up the position of the triangle in Salish art it may be 
said that it is perhaps the most common figure, if we except the check, 
which can hardly be called a square. It differs from the other geo- 
metric figures so far discussed in possessing one general name, to- 
gether with comparatively few secondary terms which, while quite 
unrelated in regard to one another as representing a variety of objects, 
are fairly definitely controlled by one of three conditions — serial 
position, surface treatment, or supplementary combinations; and 
are apparently a Uttle less open to whimsical interpretation than 
lines and angles. Considering its comparatively rare appearance as 
an isolated complete element, this fact is very striking. 

In regard to the general term arrowhead, it can not be argued that 
the figure is always considered as a representation of the object 
for which it is named. Rather the contrary, for the people them- 
selves say it is merely a general designation. The presence of 
secondary names associated so clearly with quite definite treatment 
of the element confirms this statement. Other connotations than 
those given above sometimes occur, especially in connection with 
triangles in vertical stripes. These are hair ribbon, snake, cater- 
pillar, etc., and seem to refer entirely to the broad bands elaborately 
subdivided rather than to the conspicuous element which decorates 
them. There are a number of triangles with more or less supple- 
mentary treatment. It is difficult to decide whether they should be 
assigned to geometric or realistic art. Such are sketches 322 and 
338-341 (pi. 85). Certainly their likeness to the objects for which 
they are named is very striking, yet on accoimt of the lack of inter- 
mediary series sho^vuig the process of conventionalization they have 
been perforce included with the purely geometric forms. 

The Square and Rectangle 

If the check were properly included among the squares and rec- 
tangles as a design element it might be said that it is the most com- 
mon one of the simple geometric figures, for designs in checker are 
exceedingly numerous. It is, however, simply one stitch as a rule and 
its square form is merely incidental. To just what extent the people 
recognize its shape as being the same as that of larger squares is not 
known. There are some instances of square checks composed of two 
stitches, either of which alone is a rectangle, indicating at least that 
the women are accustomed to square checks, and try to keep them 
uniform in shape; but occasionally oblong checks are used through- 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

out, instead of squares. There are also small squares composed of 
four checks, two on one coil and two on another, but these are not 

The checks are always interpreted in the aggregate by the Uta'mqt 
as clusters of flies, by the Nicola as clusters of stars, and by most of 
the other bands as the Indian rice root if the checks form a large 
diamond or triangle, and sometimes in the latter case as a cloud. 
They frequently receive similar interpretations when arranged in 
droppers or bands, although the most usual are the popular ones 
already given for designs of this general shape which are cut up into 
small figures. 

No general name was given by Mr. Teit for the square or 
rectangle, as in the case of triangles. In fact, for many squares as 
they appear on the newer baskets no names are given at all. Yet it 
seems impossible that the figure is not recognized by the people 
sufficiently for them to possess a term for it. Perhaps the most fre- 

a n 1.1 ir 





II.,. n ifl 


B\ <ycyaA ^ 





416 418 




—(I .—. 

I ^1 ^1 1 




t^t ion "-■ 

quent interpretation of squares and rectangles, especially if they are 
cut up into layers, is bead. This name is applied with equal free- 
dom both to large and small figures. There seems to be some other 
underlying idea such as necklace or headband, beaded edge, or 
string of beads, for the arrangement of these elements in series, in 
rows on horizontal stripes, or joined by a single line thi'ough the 
middle (see sketches 354, 358, 359), is never entu-ely overlooked. 
Arrangements of this type are very frequent. Three squares or rec- 
tangles (sketches 369-371) arranged pyramid fashion are sometimes 
called a notch or a cloud. Aligned to form a V, as in sketch 372, they 
obtain the additional names of "butterfly" or "flying bird." If the 
V points sidewise, as in sketches 373 and 374, the new term caterpillar 
appears. In diagonal series if the corners of the figures touch each 
other, the design is generally called ' ' step " or " ladder, ' ' although ' ' big 
bead" and "caterpillar" are terms that also cling. Forming a cross, 
which usually requires five figures, the design is very commonly called 
"star," although such interpretations as "buttercup" and "owl's 


face" are given by individual bands, tlie Nicola using the former, the 
Lytton the latter. The large elaborately subdivided squares (see 
sketches 417 and 418) are recent introductions and have been called 
"stars." That shown in sketch 416, however, is given an entirely 
different set of meanings, the most significant of wliich is "parfleche." 
The others are "contracted middle," "arrowhead," and "cloud." 
Many designs composed of checks or squares are also called em- 
broidery patterns, in addition to the other interpretations offered, 
indicating that they may have had their origin in quill embroidery. 

Single rectangular figures are slightly more common than squares 
and so, also, are their interpretations as stars (see sketch 424), 
beads (sketches 423, 424, and 514, p. 325), or moss cakes (sketch 
420, pi. 85). Rectangles subdivided into stripes crosswise are often 
called caterpillars and dentalia. The various combinations of rec- 
tangles follow rather closely those of squares, and the interpretations 
given in most cases are practically the same. 

Intersecting lines forming squares in an all-over pattern are some- 
times called net design, as in sketch 362, where small diamonds have 
been introduced at the intersections to represent knots. When 
rectangles are the result of such crossed lines (sketches 435, 436), 
the design is frequently called "patch." Notched rectangles such as 
those pictured in sketches 505-507 do not properly belong to the 
group but are placed here because they do not fit in elsewhere unless 
it is with the right angles with one long side, from which it is quite 
possible that they were derived. Sketches 505 and 506 are called 
"hand pointing" and "head design" or "duck's head," respectively. 
The latter name particularly recalls the right angle. The notch in 
sketch 507 is ignored in the interpretations given, which seem to 
depend solely on the arrangement of the element. It is called 
necklace, design on dress, flying bird, or beads. 

On the whole, it is quite apparent that the square and rectangle 
play subordinate parts whenever they occur in basketry designs, 
unless they are checks. In the minds of the artists, if anything can 
be inferred from the character of the names or interpretations ap- 
plied to these figures, the surface treatment or the arrangement 
controls the characterization. "VVTiile the square and rectangle 
are recognized separately as beads, dentalia, stars, etc., according' 
to their subdivision, their combination into different groups, fonn- 
ing bands or "necklaces" or "clusters," is the important factor 
when several are concerned. It does not seem that any clear 
distinction is drawn between the square and rectangle as elements, 
either in the names employed or in the treatment of the figures in 
designs. For nearly every design constructed with squares there is a 
coiTesponding one composed of rectangles, interpreted in prac- 
tically the same way. 


The Dlamond 

Judging from the types of interpretations given to diamonds which 
are the result of entwined or opposed zigzags, or intersecting diagonal 
lines and those given to the separate figures, it seems that more 
range of fancy is allowed in the former case than in the latter, but 
that as usual the general design or the arrangement of the elements 
composing it is largely responsible for the choice of name which has 
been made. 

Large detached diamonds are interpreted according to their siu"- 
face treatment, or their alignment with one another, but in either case 
there are several possibilities in the way of names, the selection of 
which must depend more or less upon the whim of the basket maker. 
Outlined or plain solid figures receive such names as spearhead, lake, 
leaf, snare, and mesh. Of these the first two are seldom noted when 
the figure occurs in combination with other geometric elements and 
it seems, therefore, that they may be considered more properly as 
general terms. Another cjuite rare interpretation is wasp's nest 
(sketch 509). The diamonds thus named are perhaps broader than 
usual. If the diamond is composed of checks the general name is 
Indian rice root. The Uta'mqt, however, apply their favorite name 
for checkerwork, "clusters of flies," and the Nicola "clusters of stars" 
(sketches 510 and 399-402). 

For the frequent diamonds with double outline, or surface sub- 
divided into a number of diamonds one within the other, the most 
frequent terms are " eye " or "star," although " snare " and "mesh" are 
also given (sketches 511, 512). Sketches 513-515 show very common 
forms called "star." It seems that any cross, square, or diamond- 
shaped figure, if small enough and about equal in both diameters, 
is known as a "star," especially if the surface treatment is at all 
elaborate. Although single diamonds are called leaves or meshes, 
the former name is more properly applied, perhaps, to a series which 
are arranged along a horizontal line, as in sketches 516 and 517, 
while a mesh figure is properly part of a net design such as is shown 
either in 518 or 519 and 520. The diamond called "snare" seems 
rightfully to be a part of a more complicated pattern in which the 
zigzag occurs, either actually or as an idea carried out in the ar- 
rangement of the diamonds (sketches 521, 559, 566; 567, p. 326). 

There are a great number of patterns composed of these elements 
arranged in a vertical series, connected at the upper and lower 
points, and a variety of interpretations accompany them which do 
not appear to conform to any general rule. The old familiar names, 
caterpillar, woodworm, and snake, are encountered, wliich do much 
to strengthen the suspicion that these are applied purely on account 
of the arrangements which remind the people of these creatures and 
have little or notliing to do with the elements themselves. On the 




other hand there is a new set of names introduced which owe their 
apphcation entirely to the nature of the element. These are "eye 
contracting," "big head," "arrowhead," and "snake." A study of 
sketches 522 to 535, together with their accompanying interpreta- 
tions, will make this point clear. In the series 536-538 the first and 
thii'd are called bear's foot, although tliis is only one of three names 
for sketch 536. Sketch 537, however, has four names, necklace, em- 
broidery, snake, and net, but necklace is the only term it shares with 
sketch 536. It is instructive to compare these with sketches 631 
and 632, whose names are "bear's foot" and "comb." Evidently 

* #^ A A ♦ ^ f MM 

'^ tT TT^ \7 V 513 514 515 516 

399 401 ^W^ y sio 

\%^^y ^ 621 ^ 













the triangles and the checks along the horizontal line are the deter- 
mining factor here in the assignment of meanings, but even so, there 
is no general rule; rather, vague resemblances often influence the in- 
terpreter to reach conclusions which others would regard as unsatis- 
factory. Distorted or truncated concentric diamonds such as those 
pictured in sketches 540 to 546 (p. 326) are flowers or stars. To 
trimcated forms in general are ascribed a great variety of meanings, 
chief among which are arrowhead and leaf. The crosshatching in 
sketch 549 (pi. 89) is responsible for this figure being known as a 
beaver's tail. 



[eTH. ANN. 41 

The Rhomboid 

As a separate figure, the rhomboid is not especially common. 
Sketches 568 and 569 show its ordinary arrangement, and its surface 
treatment which causes it to be called a "big bead," "dentalium," 
"hau-y caterpillar," or even a "spot." Sketches 303 (p. 320), 570, 
and 571 are most commonly called "arrowhead" and "dentalia. " 
Evidently the name arrowhead refers to the half arrowheads along 
the edge, and dentalia to the rhomboids. Other names such as 
"necklace" and "embroidery" refer to the pattern as a whole. The 
name "xanaxa'in" is applied to both. Occasionally the rhomboid 
is called a "spearhead," probably because of its acute angles. 


The Trapezoid 

Trapezoidal figures, not necessarily to be regarded as truncated 
triangles or imperfect scjuares, are very rare and have been designated 
chiefly as representations of the moss cake {tsEiieka), and teeth or 
butterfly wings. Their assignment either to realistic or geometric 
art seems quite arbitrary, in spite of their likeness to the objects 
whose names they bear, inasmuch as they are lacking in the usual 
embellishments which distinguish realistic work, and are likewise 
perfectly geometric in their composition. (Sketches 572-575.) 

The derivation of the designs seen in sketches 577 and 578, in- 
terpreted as "clouds," is known to have developed from those 
given in sketches 93 and 94 (p. 310). 


The trapezoids in Sketch 580 may have arisen from a mistake in 
the creation of the lowest one, or from a miscalculation in the draw- 
ing of a pattern of triangles, the oblique lines not slanting sharply- 
enough for the width of the stripe. Such speculation is only per- 
missible when the rare occurrence of the figure is considered together 
with its appearance in such an unusual position. The design is 
called "bead," "beaded edge," or "caterpillar," the first two on 
account of the elements involved, the third because of the general 
arrangement. The trapezoids in Sketch 576 are unusual. On account 
of their subdivision into layers, they are named "dentalia, " but the 
whole pattern is a ladder because of the diagonal alignment of the 
elements and the stepped edge. Design 581 is known as one of 
several varieties of snake. Its roughly trapezoidal form is un- 
doubtedly the result of radiating lines, therefore it is probably not 
intended to be a real trapezoid. Its assignment to this group is 
merely for convenience. 

The Hexagon and Octagon 

The hexagon and the octagon are comparatively rare figures. ^^ 
Hexagons are occasionally noted as the second or thh'd outlines of 
diamonds forming meshes of net patterns and may even be seen 
surrounding single figures (see Sketches 541 and 542). There is 
little doubt that they are related to truncated diamonds. It is 
quite probable that their historic development in this region came 
from this direction, for solid hexagons or those indicated by a single 
outline are never seen, at least on basketry, although their delinea- 
tion is as feasible as that of the other figures habitually used. The 
hexagons appearing in series doubly outlined and connected are 
sho-WTi in Sketches 582 and 583. They are commonly known as 
grave-box patterns, although a number of informants have stated 
that the octagon is the real gi-ave-box design {htJcaist) and that 
hexagons and squares employed for this purpose are merely varia- 
tions or "false designs." To the figure shown in Sketch 582 is attrib- 
uted several other interpretations, such as snare and circle; oddly 
enough, it is also described as being half of design 584. 

The octagonal forms 584 to 587 are all called grave-box patterns, 
but owing to the connection of the figures in 586, not by actual 
contact of the sides, but by the double line serving as a string, it is 
sometimes called "big bead" or "necklace," while the central dots 
in the figures shown in 587 may account for the name "eye" which 
is sometimes heard. The large single octagons shown in 588 and 
589 are interpreted primarily as the full moon, but it can easity be 
seen why such terms as "circle," "snare," and "part of grave box" 
are given to the former, although just how such a description as 
"liaK horizontal of a zigzag or meander" came to be associated with 
it is not clear. 

" Sketches 582-589, pi. 89. 

53666°— 28 22 


Remarks on Interpretations of Geometric Designs 

Before leaving the subject of design interpretations it may be well 
to summarize briefly the results obtained from the study and to 
compare these with the data which have been obtained from the 
people themselves on this point. 

It has been found that there are no geometric figures which possess 
only one interpretation, although most of them are more generally 
known by one rather widely used name wliich seems to have been 
given partly because of the general shape of the element, partly because 
of some rather common form of subdivision, or exclusively for one or 
the other of these reasons. Combinations of figures, including small 
designs, vertical stripes, and horizontal bands, are also variously 
designated, even when identical in composition. Their names depend 
upon their general form, surface pattern, or arrangement as parts of 
larger groups. 

The most interesting geometric figure is the triangle, with its com- 
mon name arrowhead. A frequent interpretation for the square or 
rectangle is big bead, if the figure is large, or fly if it is small and 
considered in the aggregate. The rectangle is also very commonly 
called a dentalium. The hexagon and the octagon are known as 
the grave box, while the cross with arms and stem of equal length 
is usually interpreted as a star. Lines are given many interpreta- 
tions which apparently cover many divergent ideas. Nevertheless 
all are connected with long, slender objects, the choice of name in 
the case of wide bands being controlled less by the general shape of 
the band as a whole than by the particular character of tlie subsidiary 
treatment of the surface. And in a general way this is true of all the 

As an example we find associated with lines such apparently diverse 
objects as snakes, hair ribbons, rain, necklaces, and beads; a little 
reflection, however, enlightens us and we see that the first fom- objects 
present in common tlie striking feature of exaggerated length com- 
pared to width, while in the last instance the subdivision into blocks 
suggests the form of beads used in necklaces or embroidery. So the 
qualified names rattlesnake and garter snake are prompted by certain 
brilliantly contrasted and clearly defined subdivisions of the band, 
which suggest the markings of these two snakes. Tlius the association 
of designs with different objects and the expression of the association 
by bestowing on them the name of the object which each is thought to 
resemble goes back to two causes, the suggestion of resemblance due to 
general shape and that due to the elements in composition. Either 
of these may at times be entirely overlooked in favor of the other, 
depending upon which makes its appeal most strongly to the individual 
rendering the decision, or both may be taken into consideration. 


If a woman's attention is called to the fact that several interpreta- 
tions have been given to a design by others, and she is well informed 
on basketry in general, she frequently answers that the other names are 
also applicable, but that she knows the design chiefly by the name 
she has given it. According to Mr. Teit, there are a number of 
families among the upper Thompson who know only a few designs 
by name. When discussing others, they describe them in common 
geometrical terms. 

Of the two conditions, general shape, or surface treatment, the 
former is more frequently the determining factor in the perception of 
resemblances. It accounts for the general character of associations, 
and hence for the majority of names chosen. The surface treatment 
is more largely responsible for determining the names of particular 
surface patterns, regardless of the form of the design. 

The Thompson possess a general term for basketry designs: 
.ntcotcitdisttEn, "thing worked on the surface." {.n, on; ten thing. 
In compounds the suffix variously written -dist, -dst or -est sukface 
is employed in the sense of "pattern." Tcotcu' or tcetcu' means 
"worked," "variegated," and "ornamented," and is applied to em- 
broidery or any similar decoration on almost any object, especially if 
it is wrought in colors.) 

Nicola informants say that they have two sorts of names for de- 
signs, the one applying to designs as a whole and the other to the 
parts which compose them. In addition a third term is applied to 
indicate the arrangement of the design on the basket. All of these 
may be used and indeed it is sometimes necessary for the sake of 
clearness that the three be given together. For example, a pattern 
may be called a star, because of its four-sided symmetrical form, but 
it may also be called spot, bead, or arrowhead because of the little fig- 
ures composing it. If several " stars " appear on the basket, the quali- 
fying phrase "connected up and down" may be required to indicate 
the method of arrangement. 

There are very many of these descriptive phrases. For instance, 
Sketch 402 is called "Indian rice (mula) design three around;" 
Sketches 399 and 400 are "Indian rice design two around," referring 
to the nimiber of rows around the central check. If the checks are 
larger or smaller than the average they are called big or little, while 
if they are not true squares they are described as "wide," "narrow," 
"high," etc. The list of Indian terms for design arrangements with 
the equivalent English expressions will serve to indicate how definite 
the people are in then' characterizations. (See p. 400.) 

The cjuestion has been asked, "How definite an impression can 
one woman give to another of the exact pattern she intends to place 
upon her basket by means of the terminology at her command?" 
In answer to tliis it may be said that in the first place there are cer- 


[ETH. ANN. 41 

tain names for designs of general character which are at least for any 
given region well understood by all the people, probably men in- 
cluded. Everyone knows what a snake, mouth, hammer, or any other 
such pattern is, if the individual be at all informed about the art of 
basketry. As has been explained before, the general term may be 
modified by any number of descriptive phrases and terms, by 
means of which a perfectly definite impression may be gained. 
There are probably some designs the mere names of which settle the 
character of the arrangement at once, but these are probably not 
numerous. So many variations have been introduced from time to 
time that now such old, well-knowTi names as snake, necklace, bead, 
dentalia, fly, etc., suggest many possibilities in the way of minor 
diff'erences which must be specified by the addition of descriptive 
terms, and these the people are perfectly M'ell able to supply in 
almost infinite quantity and shades of meaning; in fact, so many 
are they that no attempt has been made to collect all of them. 


In glancing over the sketches of figures which have been classified 
as strongly conventionalized and probably originally rcahstic, 
621 to 784 (pi. 90-93), the reader will note several which are practi- 
cally duplicated in the table of geometric patterns. In these cases 
the derivation is extremely doubtful and it seemed best to represent 
the same forms in both classes. It can not safely be contended that 
because in each case the pattern bears a name identical with a term 
for a realistic figure which these designs closely resemble, the more 
conventionalized forms are necessarily modified realistic representa- 
tions. The resemblance between a purely geometric pattern and the 
accurate picture of an object may at times be sufficiently noticeable 
to evoke the same response from every individual to whom it may be 
shown, and thus account for a general term being prevalent over the 
entire region where such an object is known. 

The same conditions control the application of names to conven- 
tionalized patterns as with the geometric figures. Probably general 
shape is here more important, since, if it were ignored, even a similar 
smiace appearance would in most instances be insufficient to suggest 
the objects. 

A study of. the sketches will make more intelligible the difference in 
character between the two sets. 


The realistic designs speak for themselves. They are rarely given 
more than one interpretation and when this occurs the second term is 
usually merely an elaboration of the first, perhaps making the expla- 
nation a little clearer. They are nothing more than pictures. 



Wliile the outline is here all important it does not mean that the 
figures are necessarily executed merely in outline. It may seem that 
some of the sketches belong more properly with the strongly con- 
ventionalized group, or at least that there are as good arguments for 
this classification as for the one which has been made. It must be 
admitted that this is true, but at the same time it must be remembered 
that even realistic patterns are necessarily stiff and angular in bas- 
ketry work, a fact which detracts from their realistic character. 
These sketches, 785 to 859, are as near realistic representations as 
are to be found in all the designs. Not aU that are made are shown 
in this group; a number of others appear to good advantage in the 
photographs. Others may occur, for realistic designs are never 
standardized and probal)ly seldom exactly duplicated; therefore they 
are not often generally known to the basket makers as a whole. 


Having discussed the geometric figure and its interpretation as a 
representation of various objects it is highly interesting and instruc- 
tive to look at the matter from the opposite point of view, namely, to 
study the representation of the object by means of different geometric 
forms. This frequently occiu-s where objects bearing the same name 
may be of quite different shapes, such as beads, clouds, designs for 
dresses, or embroidery patterns, flowers, houses, leaves, necklaces, 
and parfleche patterns which have been copied in basketry. But 
there are also other objects which in their general outline do not vary 
among individuals of the class, but wliich are nevertheless repre- 
sented by means of entirely different geometric forms. The alpha- 
betical hst on pages 463 to 472 contains a large number of design 
names with reference to the illustrations on Plates 78 to 94 and to 
the photographic reproductions of baskets. A comparison of the 
representations proves the lack of a fixed relation between design 
name and form. Such a comparison strengthens the conclusions 
already drawn, that in addition to mere shape the important con- 
sideration of sm-face treatment frequently becomes the determining 
factor in giving the design its name. Objects represented by only a 
few similar forms are not included in this series. 


It has been intimated several times in the course of this book that 
the people who live around Lytton are particularly ingenious and 
gifted basket makers. They have originated a number of unusual 
shapes and seem to have evolved a few designs which are peculiar to 
themselves, although some of them certainly give evidence of foreign 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

Figure 92 gives a few which may have been taken from Plains 
art but which have been used for many years at Lytton. Regarding 
the "hourglass" figure in a, which was seen on a Lytton basket, the 
maker, who was about 76 years of age, said it was a tsEne'ka design. 
She said her mother had always given it this name and that the pat- 
tern was very old. Figure 92, 6, is a variation of a and most of the 
people call it an arrowhead design, but really it is a tsEne'ka according 
to the same authority, who sometimes uses it on her baskets. She 
stated that the points which break the inner triangles were frequently 


Fig. 92. — Basket designs from Lytton 

made longer and sometimes pointed; c is still another variation of 
the same pattern, and it is said that there are others, but these have 
not been obtained. 

The Thompson "leg leaning" design (fig. 92, d) was also made 
by this old woman, who did not know its name, although she was 
aware that it was very old. The name she had given it was " leaning 
hook," but she thought it might be part of a necklace pattern, since 


Fig. 93.— Basket designs from Lytton 

she had heard some Thompson women give this name to similar 

Another Lytton basket was decorated spirally in all-over fashion 
with the design shown in Figure 93, a. The maker was an elderly 
woman who did not know the name of the design, although she had 
used it several times on baskets, changing the colors as she liked. 
She thought some people called the pattern a variation of the bead 
design. Her mother and grandmother had used it and the grand- 
mother had said it was a very common old pattern. It was not, 




therefore, confined to the family but was made by a number of old 
women, all of whom agreed with the informant that it was common 
and old and frequently associated with bead designs. The same in- 
formant stated that the fish-backbone pattern (see Sketch 150, pi. 81) 
was used long ago on basketry but had gone out of fashion. 

aZXZS - DC -i 










— i 




^', ■? 

,,,,,.. ... 






|a \ 

-r "■;:■. ;<a 

..... v^^ 

,.,,... p 





r— I 

















1 v^my^^m 






FiG._94. — Basket designs from Lytton 

The patterns &, c, d, also in Figure 93, were old Lytton designs, but 
d is not used nowadays. 

Another old woman gave the necklace patterns shown in Figure 
94. Now they are sometimes called " chain-and-notch " designs. 
They were employed not only in basketry but also for embroidery 
in beads or quills, and the choice of colors was not confined to any 
definite order. 

Fig. 95.— Basket designs from Lytton 

Of the designs given in Figure 95, a-e, a and c were on a "nut- 
shaped" basket the maker of which said they were called stars 
when large and flies when small. Some women omit the large figure 
at the top. 

Those remaming, which are variations of the leg design, were very 
old embroidery patterns, the meaning of which is unknown to the 
present generation at least. The variations given here were seen on 
Lytton baskets and were joined in large connected patterns or, 
broken into fragments, were scattered over the surface (fig 95, f-lc). 



Some interesting varieties of the flying-bird design are shown in 
Figure 96, a, b, c. These were used on baskets in vertical rows. 
Another basket about 30 years old was profusely decorated with 
nine different designs in vertical rows. These included b and c and 
the remaimng seven patterns seen in Figure 96. 

In Figure 97 are a number of patterns, some of which are used else- 
where than at Lytton, but in some cases the interpretations given 


Fig, 96. — Basket designs from Lytton 

to them by the Lytton woman were different from those offered 
by informants from other localities. They are not the only designs 
which she made. They are given here because her interpretations 
seem confined to Lytton. 

A bit of information about former styles in the application of 
designs to burden baskets in tliis region was obtained from this 

TsenB'ka Graveyard 
with cross 

Butterfly Bushes 

Fig. 97. — Basket designs from Lytton 

woman. About half a century ago, aroimd 1870, when she was a 
young woman, there was a fasliion still in vogue of not imbricating 
the lower portion of the basket walls, but a space about the width 
of the hand was left bare above the beaded line which defines the 
limits of the bottom. This type of arrangement had been much 
more popular at an earher date. (See pp. 230 et seq.) 

The earth-lodge designs in Figm-e 98 are also from Lytton. 






In order to obtain a clear idea of the setting of Thompson imbricated 
coiled basketry in that of the whole group who manufactured this 
ware, as well as to know more definitely of what the group consists, 
it is necessary to glance at the work of the other tribes. First it is 
essential to take up a little more specifically the work of the Lillooet 
(Salishan) and Chilcotin (Athapascan), whose burden baskets, aside 
from being their most common shapes, approach more nearly the 
Thompson forms than do the typical baskets of the other tribes. 

It will be remembered that frecjuent reference has been made to 
the technique and designs of both of these peoples, but for the sake 


-Basket designs from Lytton 

of clearness a biief recapitidation of their outstanding peculiarities 
will be given. 

Lillooet Basketry 

The Lillooet burden basket is more nearly square than that of the 
Thompson and probably its angularity was established at a much 
earlier date than that of the Thompson burden basket, if indeed it 
was not invented there. The comers are quite sharp, the waUs per- 
fectly straight and usually much more flaring tlian those of the 
Thompson basket, while tlie comparatively smaller bases give the 
effect of much less stability. In many cases the coil structure aver- 
ages about the same as the Thompson; both tribes are .excellent 
builders, whose work could not be improved upon. In a number of 
forms of baskets and sometimes in the burden types, however, the 
Lillooet use a broader, flatter coil which is sewed with coarser withes, 
a feature which the Thompson have not adopted. (PL 55, b, d.) 
They also are accustomed to make a considerable amount of slat work, 
especially in baby carriers. While many of their baskets, particularly 
the long narrow tnmk and storage baskets, of which they manufacture 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

a great number and which the Thompson may have learned to make 
from them, are adorned with designs apphcd to the walls in vertical 
stripes, the ordinary method of application, especially on burden 
baskets, is in horizontal zones, generally two. The upper of these is 
entirely imbricated both for background and designs, while the lower 
contains only short vertical stripes which extend part way into it from 
the upper field. Occasionally the imbricated field is replaced by one 
decorated solely with beading, which, however, does not necessarily 
encircle the four walls of the basket, for the Lillooet are not much 
disturbed by lack of symmetry. (Pis. 55, a, c, $r; 57, f , 17.) They some- 
times adorn three sides and leave the fourth bare, or place upon it 
totally unrelated figures. Or they may treat opposite faces similarly 
but choose for the pau-s designs whicli have no artistic relationship. 
Wliile they recognize the 
value of the filler and 
make use of it to some ex- 
tent, they are evidently not 
as impressed with its desir- 
abihty as the Thompson. 
Plate 55, li, shows the 
introduction of two fillers, 
one of which comes ex- 
actly on the corner, the 
other on the face. It is 
possible that these are 
parts of the design proper. 
Plate 56, h, shows a very unusual Lillooet specimen with fillers in 
both upper corners. The peculiar feature of this basket is the 
bifurcated stitch which is carrried throughout as a means of 
decoration. The Lillooet rarely treat their stitches in this way, 
a device characteristic of Cliilcotin and Shuswap basketry. Al- 
though the bifurcation is so carefully done, it has not resulted 
in more vertical designs, as is the case frequently with the Chilcotin, 
because the individual stitches show a pronounced leftward 
lean. Other specimens with fillers are shown m Figure 99 and 
Plates 55, e, and 57, e. It is worthy of note that Lillooet fillers are 
practically always in keeping with some part of the main design, 
while the Thompson sometimes use totally unrelated elements. 
Another evidence of a more refined artistic sense is to be found in 
the more graceful forms. The Lillooet burden basket, although 
more angular in many cases, with its tapering form and extremely 
narrow base, is greatly admired by the Thompson women, who strive 
to imitate it. Some of the other forms shown in Figure 100 and 
Plates 56, a, and 57, /j are also very good. The Lillooet do not have 
as much trouble with the corners as do the Thompson, because they 

Fig. 99.— Lillooet basket 




are less apt to turn them prematurely. On most specimens there 
is only a slight leftward twist of the walls, wliich is hardly noticeable. 
That some Lillooet women have as much trouble as their Thompson 
neighbors in seeming proper cu'cumference spacing is evident in 
Plates 55, a, and 56, d, in the droppers in the lower fields. 

On the whole the designs are remarkably well arranged, so tliat 
one feels that perhaps the division of the decorative field is a little 
more perfect than among the Thompson. No doubt the unproved 
manipidation of the coils when turning the corners is an influential 
factor as well as tlie large, rectangxilar patterns wliich are so typically 
Lillooet. Here the women have secured an excellent type of decora- 
tion for the form of basket used. These designs practically fill the 
field and are very satisfying in their symmetry and form. They are 
probably also much easier to place than a nmnber of vertical stripes 
or small figm'es, since they require merely a single division of the 

^^^^k^ field into two equal 

utJk :ri.i % iP »i ■ 

I] .Tfrtntr . 





Fig. 100— Lillooet basket 

parts. Miscalcula- 
tion in circumfer- 
ence spacing is 
cliiefly evident in 
vertical stripes or 
in the "droppers" 
which occupy the 
lower field; and 
when they do not 
come in approxi- 
mately the right 
places in relation to the large rectangular designs the effect is even 
more noticeable than the incongruity of Thompson fillers. Plates 
31, /■ and 57, b, d, h, show the almost perfect adjustment of the large 
figures to the upper field, and also the miscalculations in placing 
the droppers. Doctor Haeberlin has made sketches of one of these 
baskets in wliich the upper field is merely beadwork on three of the 
faces, while on the fourth the "droppers" run to the rim of the basket. 
(See fig. 101 and note how the woman has begun her beading in the 
upper corner of the first side as pictured in sketch c, in order to fill 
the gap left by crowding the droppers too far to one side.) 

It wUl be seen that the Lillooet women have not succeeded even 
as well as most of the Thompson in solving the difficulty of the 
leftward leaning vertical. They are more successful in horizontal 
diagonals and flying bird designs or in meanders. (Pis. 55, /; 56, c; 
and 57, c.) 

An interesting example of a Lillooet woman 's struggles with the 
placing of vertical stripes is shown in Plate 43, c, d. As was the case 
in one or two Thompson specimens, some of the stripes were widened 
to fill the gap occasioned by wrong spacing. 



H\iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiniiniiiiiimiiiiiiini iiiiiiiiiiiiiniiiiimTTTmi^ 

CC nof imtncafei 


Fig. 101— LUlooet basket. U.S.N.M. 219881 


Figure 102 shows an interesting struggle with the corner in placing 
a zigzag design. 

No doubt many smaller mistakes such as are made by the Thomp- 
son in filling vertical stripes with smaller designs occur in Lillooet 

Plates 56, e; 57, /; and 5S, J, show typical Lillooet forms, storage 
baskets with lids, and another type of household hamper. The 
storage baskets are constructed of flat, broad coils and are especially 
noteworthy for their perfect rectangular forms and beautiful orna- 
mentation. On the first of these the maker saw that her two outer 
vertical stripes would be too wide on the end photographed here, and 
rather than spoil the whole efl'ect chose what was to her the lesser of 
two e\nls and abruptlj' reduced their width. If the choice had been 
left to us, it is safe to state that in all probability we should have 
carried the stripes to the top with their original width. 

Views of two baby carriers are given in Plates 42, i, and 43, a, h. 

A number of sketches of designs and their interpretations are given 
in Figures 103 to 105, the first two of wliich were taken from Mr. 
Teit's book on the Lillooet Indians,^* the last composed of sketches 
wliich he has since made. ^__^_^__^_^_^ 
The striking feature of these Ti\^n\^n\^'T\W 
designs is the number of 
large rectangular patterns 
and the numerous variations 
of fly designs. That the Lil- 
looet share some designs Fia- 102.-LUlooet basket. Peabody Museum 57202 

with the Thompson is to be expected. Mr. Teit says that probably 
some other designs exist than those given here but that they must be 
rare, such as dream designs, realistic figures, or personal marks. A 
dream design is given on Plate 37, f," which may be compared with 
Sketches 692, Plate 91, and 771, Plate 93, of tliis volume. Its inter- 
pretation is unknown. It is said to have been used only by the 
woman who dreamed it. 

Realistic figures are seldom used by the Lillooet, and when they 
do appear they are small and are enclosed by some such geometric 
design as Figure 103, s. The eagle, man, dog, deer, horse, and bow 
and arrow are the only objects wliich have been noted in representa- 
tions of this character. Personal marks are rare. Generally they 
are the initials of names or copies of horse brands and therefore 
modern. It is doubtful whether some other kinds of marks were 
used before these were adopted. The only ones seen by Mr. Teit 
are the letters N and L, but the Thompson use a number of initials. 

M J. A. Teit, The Lillooet Indians, Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 2, p. 207. The specimens from 
which these designs were taken are enumerated in the place referred to. 

" The same basket is shown in Livingston Farrand, Basketry Designs of the Salish Indians, Jesup North 
Pacific Expedition, Vol. I, Part IV, pi. 23, flg. 11. 








— ■ — . 





Fig. 103.— Lillooet designs, a. Fly; b-d, arrowhead; e, stripe; /, lightning; g-h, circle; i, ladder; ;, deer 
hoof; h-71, entrails; o, p, tooth; g, head; r. net; s. arrow; /, u, modern patterns, copied from fabrics 

a i 





Fig. 101.— LiUooet designs. Fly patterns 




A brief discussion of the typical arrangements of these few Lillooet 
patterns may not be out of place here, especially when comparing 
them with the Thompson. 

1. There is a very small check known as the spot or fly pattern 
which is executed in beading or in small imbrications on the margins 
of baskets in several ways similar to the designs seen in the Thompson 
Sketches 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7.^* That like 3 occurs in vertical as well as 
in horizontal rows. The LUlooet Sketches 3 and 4, Figure 105, 
may be compared with the Thompson 469, 470, and 699. 

2. The fly designs are extremely common, especially in vertical 
stripes and droppers. A number of common variations are given 

g p^ 

ss ^ 

// 34 ▼ 26 ▼ 

A A A A 

a _-_-_-_-_- 


Fig. 105. — Lillooet designs 

Figure 104. Other varieties seen since the publication of the 
volume on the LiUooet are comparable to the following Thompson 
sketches: 393 but small and in disconnected arrangement; 393 con- 
nected in vertical rows, with an arrangement similar to that shown 
in d, Figure 104; 347, 425, and 212(?), only considerably smaller. 
In addition to these there are other variations of the figures given 
here. Sketch 8, Figm-e 105, is seen also in coimected vertical series. 
Sketches 5, 6, and 7 of the same figme are also used as detached 
elements. Arrow designs which are executed in checker are some- 
times called fly designs on account of their surface treatment which 
is considered more important than the general outline of the pat- 
tern. Again the term used is equivalent to fly designs in arrow- 
head arrangement. 

" The Thompson sketches refer to Plates 78-94. 


3. Butterfly and flying bird designs are not clearly distinguished, at 
the present time at least, for in many only the idea of motion or pose 
has been perpetuated in the design. Sketches 9-15 and 37, Figure 
105, are types of these. No. 13 occurs in single figures or in connected 
single, double, or triple horizontal lines. If in triple formation its 
butterfly significance is lost to the minds of some individuals who 
then give it such names as half circle or zigzag (cf. 87, Thompson 
sketches). No. 14 usually occurs singly. No. 15, in much smaller 
size, is always arranged in vertical series and is otherwise known 
as the goose design. (Cf. Thompson Sketches 86, 99, 714, 715, and 
fig. 103, Jc. Also cf. Nos. 10, 11, 12, fig. 105, with Thompson 690 
and No. 12 especially with Thompson 169, 170, and 182.) 

4. The circle design, Sketch 16, Figure 105, always horizontal, may 
be compared with Thompson Sketches 582-584 and 587. 

5. Another circle design also designated as half circle has many 
variations, some of which are shown in sketches f/ and h, Figure 103, 
and 17, Figure 105. These are nearly always in vertical arrange- 
ment, although they do occur singly (cf. Thompson Sketches 187-192 
and 360). No. 18, Figure 105, frequently is given this name, es- 
pecially when the two halves are widely separated or occur in detached 
figures, but when close together they are generally called mouth or 
head patterns. 

6. Apart from the last design just discussed under 5, which is called 
"mouth" or "head" pattern, there are two mouth designs (o and p) 
in Figure 103. If small points occur around the margin the name 
"tooth" is frequently substituted. (See also 38, fig. 105.) This design 
should be compared with the Thompson mouth design, Plate 50, d. 

7. A typical "head" design is that of q, Figure 103. Although 
it is said that there are variations of this, none have been noted, nor 
is it clear whether the head is that of an animal or a human being. 

8. Figure 103, I and n, are variations of the "entrail" design, 
but not I" and ?n,^' for I' is a "connected zigzag," while m is a "circle" 
pattern; I, however, sometimes is called a "mouth" or "half circle" 

9. There is a difference of opinion about the ram's horn design 
(19, fig. 105), since it also is known as the "mouth" or "half circle." 
It occurs in detached figures (cf. Thompson 167, 168). The reason 
for its various names is that almost any figure characterized bysc^uare 
or rectangular indentations may be called a ' ' half circle " or " mouth " 
pattern (see 36, fig. 105, the interpretation of which is not given). 

10. No. 20, Figure 105, is called a white man's design by many 
because they claim that it has been copied from border designs on 
textile fabrics secured from the white men. Others declare that it 
is an old pattern and simply a variatiofi of the head and mouth 
designs, which names they give to it. The arrangement is practically 
always vertical. As seen in No. 20 it is said to be the full figure. 

" This is in contradiction to other information given also by Mr. Teit. 


No. 21 is a half form fcf. '/, fig. 103, and Thompson Sketches 197 
and 198). 

11. There is another design (slvetch ^ fig. 103) which is also called 
a white man's design and is always large. Other people declare 
that it is an old Indian pattern and merely a double arrangement 
of the ram's horn design or a variation of the white man's design 
(No. 10, fig. 10.5). Occasionally it is seen without the central rec- 
tangle. (Cf. Thompson Sketches 182 and 63.5-640.) 

12. The Thompson net designs 518-520 are similar to one used by 
theLillooet (r, fig. 103). 

13. The zigzag sometimes appears in detached figures as in sketches 
22, 23, 24, Figure 105, which are like those seen in Thompson Sketches 
506 and 096-699. Sketch 24, Figure 105, also resembles the Thomp- 
son 126. 

14. Connected or crossing, in single, double, or triple formation 
as in Ic, Figure 103, we have a zigzag which compares with the Thomp- 
son 86 and 87. Some are sharp pointed throughout like the Thomp- 
son 79 and 80. The Lillooet also have it in the form of the Thompson 
132, and some lean to the right, others to the left. A vertical ar- 
rangement which occasionally receives the name snake track is like 
the Thompson Sketch 111. 

15. The "stepped zigzag," "necklace," or "flying bird" design is 
more rarely named lightning (fig. 103, /, and the Thompson Sketch 
134). A second form is the Thompson 497 and a third is given in 
Sketch 25, Figure 105. Also compare the Lillooet form 26, Figure 
105, with the Thompson 78, and the Lillooet 27 with the Thompson 
329 and 330. All of the Lillooet patterns except 26 are considered 
to be merely variations of the butterfly or flying bird patterns. 

16. The "notch" or "deer hoof" design is represented by the 
Lillooet (sketch /, fig. 103), and the Thompson 673. 

17. Two varieties of "ladder" figures exist, the first, Figure 103, 
i, and the second which is identical with the Thompson 281. Here 
it is known as a double ladder. 

18. There are a number of varieties of the "arrowhead" pattern 
which are found among both tribes. They are — 

Lillooet Thompson 
Fig. 103, c 246 

Fig. 10.5, No. 28 252 

Fig. 103, d (or filled in with checks) 522, 527 

Fig. 105, No. 29 135, 136, 139, 140,261,272,274,275 

Sketch 29, Figure 105, Lillooet, occurs in small detached figures. 
In spite of its apparent dissimilarity the design .?, Figure 103, is 
named an arrowhead design. 

19. The most common form of the "half arrowhead" design 
among the Lillooet is that shown in h, Figure 103, for a comparison 

53666°— 28 23 



lETH. ANN. 41 

of which with the Thompson see Sketch 303. Another variety is 
tlie same as the Thompson 286, only it is occasionally filled in with 
checks, and is found in scattered or detached arrangement. There 
is also a connected form, 30, Figm-e 105, which is comparable to 
the Thompson 294, 295. 

20. One variety of "stripe," Figure 103, e, is found in groups of 
twos and threes, sometimes connected with a horizontal central bar. 
Another variety is shown in No. 31, Figure 105, or may even be 
further reduced to only one horizontal layer. Compare these with 
the Thompson 47-53. A diagonal arrangement has no lines appear- 
ing at right angles to the "stripes." It is like the Thompson 34, 
but longer. This variety is occasionally called lightning. 

21. For examples of tooth designs, see No. 33, Figure 105, and 
compare them with the Thompson 26.5-267 and 353. These patterns 
arc always small and arranged horizontally. 

22. The fish bone pattern is given in 34, 35, Figure 105, as well as 
t, Figure 103(?), which is sometimes called "double." 

23. The chain or rope design is generally a simple horizontal 
band which is occasionally repeated so frequently over the surface 
of the basket as to almost completely cover it. Sketches 39 and 40, 
Figure 105, are varieties of this pattern, which bear a close resem- 
blance to some of the fly figures and likewise to the Thompson 
Sketch 462. 

The following table will give some idea of the comparative popu- 
larity of these patterns as they have been noted by Mr. Teit between 
1895 and 1910. 

No. of design. Fig. 105 

.nf times 

No. of design, Fig. 105 

of times 

., fin dots _ - _ _ 







1 jother arrangements. _ 









16 -- . - - 



17 .- .. ....... 


6 . 




19 . 

20 .. .. 


8 _- ... . 


9 - - 







23 -. . 


Chilcotin Basketry 

The typical Chilcotin burden basket is somewhat smaller than 
that of the Thompson and a little longer in proportion to its width, 
which gives it a deeper appearance than either Thompson or Lillooet 
types. The rim is usually much higher at the ends of the basket 


than on the long sides, where it dips gradually toward the center 
and imparts to the upper section of the structure the outlines of a 
boat. The corners are quite rounded. On the outside some dis- 
tance below the rim is a thick rod which encircles the basket and 
is fastened to it by means of thongs. This rod serves at once as 
a handle to which to tie the carrying straps and by which to lift 
the basket when loaded, as well as a general support. There is not 
as much flare to the walls as is seen on the usual Thompson speci- 
men, a fact which renders the tying of the tump line around the 
basket impracticable. The graceful curve in the walls occurs in 
the lower haK of the structure, whereas the Thompson curve is seen 
in the upper half. There is apparently almost no trace of pre- 
maturely turned corners, so that the shapes are as symmetrical as 
those of the Lillooet. 

The Chilcotin coil, as has been indicated before, is smaller than 
that of the Lillooet or Thompson and much less even. The walls 
lack the smoothness which characterizes the work of the other 
two tribes, while the bifurcation of the stitches on the outside is 
accomplished with such beautiful regularity as to form a decorative 
feature which is almost never attempted by either the Thompson 
or the Lillooet, but which was often used by the Shuswap to the 
east. A slight difference exists in the technique of sewing, since the 
sewing splint Ues over the face of the coil a little more vertically, 
thus enabling the artist to approach true vertical lines somewhat 
more successfully. The presence of a number of examples in which 
the lean is fairly noticeable, however, shows that this improvement 
is not universal in the tribe. The bottoms are constructed in the 
same ways that the Thompson use. (Pis. 7, h; 8, a; 58, c-h; 59-62.) 

Other striking differences between Chilcotin work and that of 
the tribes to the south and east are also very apparent. Almost 
without exception the arrangement of the designs is in four horizontal 
zones or fields, three of which are about equal in width and are 
located below the rod, while the fourth is much narrower and com- 
prises the space between the rod and the rim. Mr. Teit says in a 
note that in late years he has seen only five specimens which differed 
in this respect. All were entirely imbricated, although the usual 
custom is to leave the middle of the three fields below the rim bare 
except for the designs wliich cross it at intervals and connect the 
fields lying on either side of it. Of the five exceptions four had two 
design fields, the narrow one above the rod and a second comprising 
the remainder of the basket walls. The fifth lacked the rod and had 
only one field. Some other variations appear along this line, how- 
ever, especially as shown in Plates 58, e, g; 59, c, h; 60, e. 

The great majority of burden baskets are ornamented with designs 
well adapted to the shape of the basket, both from an artistic stand- 


point and from the point of view of the minimum number of difficul- 
ties involved in their execution. The typical styles are the horizontal 
band of continuous designs, many of which are zigzags or meanders, 
and the slightly separated smaller elements which are sometimes seen 
in aU-over arrangement. These types are illustrated in Plates 58-62. 
A great many designs are executed only in outline, with here and 
there triangles or scpares worked in solid black by way of contrast. 
The background is always Ught. 

In contrast to these there are a few decorated with vertical series 
of figures, which at once seem to give rise to the same difficulties 
experienced by the other tribes using them. Plate 59, d, is a very 
interesting specimen. The leftward lean of the stripes is much more 
pronounced than usual, although the basket has been very carefully 
made. Not only was the circumference spacing unsatisfactory but 
other difficulties have arisen which were practically unavoidable. 
Owing to the rapid increase in the waU circumference in the region 
of the bottom, it was almost impossible to adjust the triangles, so 
that near either corner a confused arrangement results which obvi- 
ously was not intended. The central field presents difficulties due 
almost wholly to miscalculation on the part of the maker who made 
the compromise solution seen at the left edge. The break in the 
stripe on the right, however, is due to the fact that a constantly in- 
creasing coil circumference requires more stitches to sew it with each 
succeeding round. It is quite evident that in this instance the con- 
stantly increasing number of stitches and the fact that each was 
imbricated made it necessary to follow exactly the straight rows which 
were then more emphasized. At this particular place on the basket 
where it was expedient to place the triple stripe, one or the other of 
the lines necessarily fell where it could not be carried out by consecu- 
tive stitches, hence the break which is the more apparent because each 
imbricated background stitch is set off from its neighbor by its un- 
compromising square form. The maker had much better luck with 
her two top zones, for the triangles and zigzags are almost perfectly 
spaced even at the break which is visible in the upper left corner. 
Plate 59, A, shows another attempt at vertical decoration which was 
unsuccessful from the point of view of circumference spacing. 

Plate 59, 6, is a rare specimen and presumably modern. Its square 
corners and solidly worked designs are foreign to the earlier Chilcotin 
style. The circumference spacing of the elements is imusually excel- 
lent, although a slight discrepancy occurs in the central of the three 
zones below the rod. The imbrication of the background of this zone, 
while not conforming to the old Chilcotin style, is not unusual at the 
present time. 

The filler, on account of the prevailing styles of decoration, is ex- 
tremely rare; in fact not a specimen studied can boast of one. The 


treatment of corners is accomplished entirely by the processes of 
augmentation and diminution of elements or background as the 
case may be. Frequently, however, the designs come out with 
amazing accuracy at the break, without very noticeable variations 
in the size of the figures encii-cling the basket. Plate 58, c, is a 
striking exception ; the tops of the meanders differ considerably from 
one another, that at the extreme right on the long side and the 
central section of the one on the corner being elongated out of all 
proportion to the other parts. The treatment of the crossing diag- 
onals in the lower field is evidence of the maker's struggle against the 
leftward lean of her stitches and consequently the flattened left- 
ward running diagonals. Other baskets illustrating tliis method of 
treating corners are shown in Plates 58, e, g; 59, e,f; and 60, c. Often 
the Cliilcotin secure a remarkably good correspondence between the 
designs of the lower and upper of the thi'ee fiekls below the rod in the 
matter of alignment. This is due to the fact that they bifurcate 
their stitches as far as is possible, producing perfectly straight rows 
between which, when necessary, other straight rows are incorporated, 
just as additional warps are introduced in twined basketry. By 
means of these straight lines they are enabled to follow up the edges 
of the designs in the lower field and to adjust proportionately those 
of the upper zone. The alignment depends somewhat on the char- 
acter of the design as well as upon the watchfulness of the artist. 
Continuous designs can not be adjusted in this manner, nor figures 
between wliich it is absolutely necessary to maintain a fixed distance. 
The checker design in Plate 58, /, is of this character, as are all 
horizontal zigzags or meanders. In Plate 60, c, the maker secm-ed 
her alignment at the cost of the increased size in figures at the 
corners, as well as greater distance betv/een them, but to our eyes 
the result is unusually satisfactory. A remarkable specimen from 
the pomt of view of alignment, which otherwise appears very crude, 
is shown in Plate 58, It. So perfect is this that practically the same 
distances are maintained throughout between the figures which are 
the same for the three fields — all this basket has. The break at the 
extreme left is especially noteworthy. 

Another particularly fine specimen is that given in Plate 62, c. 
The alignment of the meanders is almost perfect; their leftward lean, 
which seems especially pronounced in the right half of the basket, is 
in part accomated for by the incurve of the walls. 

In a number of cases the utterly different decorations given to 
the upper and lower of the three fields minimize the number of 
difficulties usually encoimtered, since no attempt is made to correlate 
the elements of the two zones. (PI. 60, h.) Here the corners are 
almost entirely disregarded, or at least the maker has not succeeded 
in even approaching symmetry, but it is interesting to notice how she 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

adjusted the two central zigzags of the third zone to admit of placing 
the flattened one where it belonged. 

The corner of the basket (pi. 60, e) tells the tale of the struggle 
the maker experienced in attempting to align her zigzags. If the 
reader wQl examine the plates carefully a number of what have been 
called smaller errore in stitching and imbricating may also be located. 
These do not require special comment, particularly since so much has 
already been said along this line. 

The remaining plates (pis. 60, a; &l,g,j; 62, h) present some realistic 
decorations of more recent origin, showng that among the Chilcotin, 
as among the Thompson, a new departure in basketry ornamentation 

"." ^^E w W 



-OOi^^Til- la 

? «« ^ 

HH'<I I M 28 4.^ 

Fig. 106.— Chilcotin designs 

is in progi'ess. Among the Chilcotin representative work is not badly 
done and approaches the realistic to a greater extent than that of the 

Considering the intercourse that aU of these tribes have had 
with one another, directly or indirectly, it is to be expected that 
similarities in the matter of designs should frequently be encountered. 
But the Chilcotin are more indi-vidual in this respect than their 
neighbors, as Figures 106 and 107 and the plates show. The major- 
ity of patterns are noticeably rectangular, a feature which is more 
common among the Lillooet than among the Thompson, but in nei- 
ther of these localities is the trait so marked as it is here. 

Sketches Nos. 1-6, Figure 106, are variations of t, Figure 107, 
although it is doubtfiil if they would aU be given the same inter- 
pretations, namely, ribs of mammals. They are arranged either 




as short lines at equal distances depending from the rim or in groups, 
particularly in twos. They are separated into two fields, an upper 
and lower, or all over one large field or in long lines in groups of 
three extending the full length of a single field. Pattern No. 7, 
Figure 106, represents the large checks used in all-over fashion to 




S 3 S S '' 





Fig. 107. — Chilcotin designs 

cover one field. The triangular design elements, S, are variations 
of those given in Figure 107, g, which are known as "arrowheads." 
They occur mostly in opposed rows to fill a horizontal zone, but 9 
and g" are of course vertical series. The designs 10 are probably 
meant to represent a beaver, stream, and trap. No interpretations 
have been secured for 9 and 18. Nos. 28, 29, and 30 are known as 



lETH. ANN. 41 

"beavers' tails. " Compare 11, Figure 106, with p, Figure 107. The 
latter is called mountains or snakes. Both usually occur at equi- 
distant points all around the circuinference. Sketch 12, Figure 106, 
or d, Figure 107, are often seen in pairs. The last of these is called 
fish ribs. Sketch 13, Figure 106, is undoubtedly related to sketch 
c. Figure 107, as we have noted elsewhere. Both are called net 

The designs 14 and 15, Figure 106, seem to be related to 16 of 
the same figure, as far as structure goes, and also to w, Figure 107, 
but the interpretations are different. Sketch 14, Figure 106, is 
known as flies, while for 15 no name has been secured. There is a 
suggestion that 16 is a tree design, as are w and cc in Figure 107; 
w, however, is also known as the backbone of a fish. 

Sketches 17, Figure 106, and e, Figure 107, are "ribs" and are 
used in horizontal bands. 

Not more than one row of such figures as 18', 18", Figure 106, occur 
in a field. These may be related to such patterns as 15, or </, Figure 
107. The latter sketch is the curious figure which so frequently 
appears on Tlingit basketry in many different colors. 

The trapezoidal figure, sketch 19, Figure 106, is known among 
the Chilcotin as a bear's foot pattern. 

Nothing is given about the arrangements of 20 and 23, Figure 
106. The little design 22 is used in a narrow horizontal band at the 
top. (See pi. 58, e.) Sketches 24 and 25 show patterns which occur 
near the rims. The latter is thought to be part of a net design. 
The points on the hourglass figures, Sketch 26, vary, but the average 
is about five. 

The following table refers the reader to similar figures among the 
Thompson and Lillooet, where these exist. 




a a', Fig. 107. 
6,1 Fig. 107... 

c,2 Fig. 107; 13, Fig. 


d, Fig. 107 

c, Fig. 107; 25, Fig. 


}? Fig. 107 

ff,' Fig. 107; 8, 9, 

Fig. 106. 

h. Fig. 107 

i, Fig. 107 

79-82, 86, 87 

522, 523, 527, 528, 536, 537, 

557, 563, 567. 

112, 116-118- 
84, 135 

144, 145, 150 

225, 244, 245, 254, 271. 

16, 68, 581. _. 
356, 440, 451. 

k, Fig. 103. 
d, Fig. 103. 

T, Fig. 103. 

29, Fig. 105. 

35, Fig. 105. 
28, Fig. 105. 

a, Fig. 103 and Fig. 104. 
a. Fig. 103 and Fig. 104. 

' The diamond is a very common element here, as it is with the Thompson, but the arrangements are a 
little different. 
3 The flattened diamond also occurs in all three tribes. 
3 The Thompson have inlaid designs on pipes exactly like /and /'. 
* All the variations are found among the Thompson and most of them among the Lillooet. 







j, Fig. 107. 

k, Fig. 107 

m and n, Fig. 107 _ 
and p, Fig. 107; 

11, and 12,5 Fig. 


q, Fig. 107 

7-, Fig. 107 

s, Fig. 107 

t, Fig. 107; 5, Fig. 


u, Fig. 107 

V, Fig. 107 

w, Fig. 107 

X, Fig. 107 

y, Fig. 107; 4, Fig. 


z, Fig. 107 

aa, Fig. 107 

cc, Fig. 107 

1, Fig. 106 

2, Fig. 106 

3, Fig. 106 

6, Fig. 106 

7, Fig. 106 

8, Fig. 106 

9, Fig. 

13, Fig, 

14, Fig, 

15, Fig, 

16, Fig 

17, Fig 

18, Fig, 

19, Fig 

20, 21, 

22, Fig 

23, Fig 

25, Fig 

26, Fig 

27, Fig 

28, 29 
30, Fig, 


. 106 

. 106 

. 106 

, 106 

. 106 

. 106 

. 106 

Fig. 106_ 

. 106 

. 106 

. 106 

. 106 

. 106 

Fig. 106 _ 
. 106 

Only as checlcs in patterns, 
not as simple element. 

156, 169-171, 173, 174 

506, 696-698 

111, 12S-130, 132, 501 

167, 168, 187-191. 

192, 360 

583, 584 

51, 60 

4, 22, 23- 





435 _ 

47, 48_ 



4 22 

382, ica^mWWmiWll 

Very common (see Thomp- 
son triangles). 




191, 192 


146, 147 







320, 322 

373, 374 ■ 

522, 523 


Only as checks in patterns, 
not as simple element. 

22, 23, 24, Fig. 105. 
See Lillooet zigzag designs 
all sorts. 

g and I, Fig. 103, 19, Fig. 105. 
q, Fig. 103. 
16, Fig. 105. 
Stripe designs. 

Fly designs. Fig. 104. 
m, Fig. 103; 2, Fig. 105. 

35, Fig. 105. 

31, Fig. 105. 
31, Fig. 105. 

s, Fig. 104. 
Very common. 

m, Fig. 103; 2, Fig. 105. 
h, Fig. 103; 17, 18, Fig. 105. 

See zigzags. 

< Common with both Lillooet and Thompson. 

Shuswap Basketry 

It is unfortunate that so little information can now be obtained 
from the Shuswap concerning the imbricated basketry which they 
are known to have manufactured formerly. Without any detailed 
knowledge of their ancient designs it is impossible to determine what 
were all of the influences plajdng upon the Chilcotin, just how much 
they owed to the Thompson and Lillooet, and whence their square 
designs came. 

Informants state that Shuswap burden baskets varied in size but 
were all similar in shape; a few were like the modern Chilcotin and 
all had rounded corners. Some were a little longer and narrower 


than others and there was some latitude in the degree of wall flare, 
but on the whole their contours were alike. There were also circular 
baskets like the Thompson kettles which were used for cooking, 
round baskets and bowls, as well as nut shapes of various sizes which 
when small were used to hold trinkets or tools, or if large, for storage 
purposes. The informants were doubtful about the existence of 
coiled cups and trays, but said these were certainly made of birch 
bark. They were not sure whether any of the trunk-shaped {.stlulc) 
baskets were manufactured in their tribe. 

Other informants said that flat coils were not used, but that the 
round coils were constructed like the Thompson of splints of cedar or 
spruce root. The bottoms were of the watch-spring and elongated 
types. The people are doubtful if the other varieties were made. 
The rims were plain and often made of thicker coil than the basket 
walls, in order to increase their durability. It is thought that fancy 
baskets were not made, but that the Shuswap in some parts of the 
country produced small round workbaskets like the Thompson nut 

For imbrication they behave the same kind of grass was employed 
that was used by the Thompson and Chilcotin. It was generally 
left in its natiu-al white color, but sometimes was dyed red and 
yellow. The bark used for imbricating they say was like that 
used by the other tribes. As for quills being employed for em- 
broidery on baskets, they were very uncertain, but remembered that 
they were sewed on the rims of some birch bark specimens. Beading 
and imbrication were both common and the amount of decoration 
ranged from surfaces entirely covered to those which were totally 
bare, relying for their attractiveness on the bifurcated stitches.'" It 
is claimed that some bifurcating was executed in bands which en- 
hanced the decorative effect, but on this point again the people are 
very uncertain. 

Relation of Imbricated Basketry to Other Forms 

We shall now turn to a consideration of the relation between the 
imbricated basketry of the Thompson, Lillooet, and other north- 
western tribes and compare the art with that of the Californian 
basket-making tribes and that of the Tlingit of Alaska. We shall 
also note what may have been the influence of the Plains, where, 
although baskets are not made, a colorful and striking art prevails, 
which finds expression in exquisite beadwork and the gaily painted 
leather parfleches. It must have made a profound impression 
wherever it was encoimtered. 

60 See James A. Teit. The Shuswap, Publications of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Vol. II. fig. 217. 

boasl basketry of neighbors of the thompson 353 

Yakima and Klickitat Basketry 

The following account of Yakima and Klickitat basketry is by 
Mr. Teit, who completed his study during the summer of 1909. 

He says : "I visited the people on Yakima Reservation last summer 
to obtain interpretations of their basketry designs, particidarly those 
represented in the basketry collection of the American Museum. I 
did not make minute inquirj^ on any other subject. As I was provided 
by the Museum with very good photographs of aU specimens of 
baskets and bags, identification and interpretation of the designs 
was effected without much difficulty by showing the photographs to 
various women who were considered to be authorities on the subject. 
From these women and others I also gained in the time available as 
much infoi'mation as possible regarding the material used and data 
of value relating to basketry and other industries. I was successful 
in obtaining interpretations of nearly aU the designs occurring on 
the Museum baskets. In this I was aided by Peter McGuff,^' who 
was with Doctor Sapir as interpreter. He speaks both the Wishram 
and Yakima languages. I obtained the following information mostly 
from the Klickitat, who are the principal basket makers on the 

Bark haskets. — According to the Klickitat no birch-bark baskets 
were made by them, and very few, if any, by the Yakima, Wishram, 
and other tribes near by. However, cedar-bark baskets were manu- 
factured by both the Klickitat and Yakima, and were much used by 
them for gathering blueberries on the mountains. Most of them 
were of kettle shape. They were of various sizes, and roughly made 
out of a single piece of bark. They were generally designed for 
temporary use, and were seldom kept around the home. They 
had no ornamentation of any kind, and were generally stitched to- 
gether with spht root. I did not see any specimens. 

Woven baskets. — Several kinds of woven baskets were made by 
the Klickitat. One variety was plaited (in some cases they appear 
to have been twilled) and had a braided rim. The material con- 
sisted of narrow strips of maple bark from the part lying next to 
the sapwood. In some, different shades of bark were so arranged as 
to produce a decorative scheme, but the majority were ornamented 
with elk grass in three colors, with designs of similar character to 
those on other basketry. Elk grass, in its natural color, gave white; 
dyed with wolf moss or root of Oregon grape, a pale yellow; and 
stained by smoking, a dull black. These baskets were flexible, 
had a somewhat rounded bottom, were all of one shape, and did not 
vary much in size. At the present day very few of them are made, 
owing, it is said, to the difficulty of procuring the materials near 

61 Peter McGuff, a man of remarkable intelligence, died in 1928. 


at hand. Many women declare that even in former times when the 
range of the tribe was much greater many lOickitat famihes did not 
make them, and some think their manufacture has been learned from 
tribes west of the Cascades. They were not produced by any of 
the Yakima or eastern tribes, but were woven by the Cowlitz and 
other western groups. These baskets are called waxxo'mExom, and 
Plate 63, a and c, appear to be examples of them. 

A second kind of basket is called wa'pas (J).^^ It appears to be of 
exactly the same type as the flexible baskets of the Nez Perce de- 
scribed by Spinden ^' in his account of the Nez Perce. They were 
woven of Indian hemp twine, or of willow bark, both warp and woof, 
although occasionally the warp was of the one material and the woof 
of the other. The majority were of willow bark tlu'oughout. Orna- 
mentation in false embroidery was effected with willow bark dyed 
black (generally by burying in black earth or mud) , and with tule in 
natural greenish and whitish colors, or with elk grass. The Klickitat 
made a great many of these and still make them, but the Yakima 
now have discontinued the art almost altogether. Large numbers 
were and are still made by the Wasco, Wishram, and Cowlitz. Speci- 
mens of these may be seen in Plate 66, except i, j, o-r. 

Woven hags. — These are called wawExpa' (J) and are the same as 
the flat wallets made by the Nez Perce and some Salish tribes, wliich 
have been described by Spinden *' and others. They were woven of 
Indian hemp string, and ornamented with tule in its natural green, 
yellow, and white colors. Willow bark in brovra and black was also 
sometimes resorted to long ago. In later days corn leaf and colored 
yarn were substituted for the tule and are now the only materials em- 
ployed for designs. The bags were all of the same shape but varied 
considerably in size. Very few were made by the Klickitat. It is 
said that the art of weaving them was probably learned from the 
Yakima, with whom, together with other eastern tribes, this work 
is supposed to have been indigenous. None were manufactured by 
tribes living west of the Cascades. Formerly the Yakima developed 
quite an industry, but it has now dwindled to practically nothing, 
while the Klickitat apparently have ceasedmaking them (pis. 63, h, d-h; 

Woven caps. — Fez-shaped caps of the Nez Perc^ type (such as de- 
scribed by Spinden) were made by the Klickitat and according to 
them were worn by the women of all the surrounding tribes, includ- 
ing the Cowlitz, Wishram, Wasco, Tenaino, Umatilla, Wallawalla, 
Nez Perce, Yakima, Wenatchi, and Spokane, and also the Klamath 
and several southern tribes. They were woven of Indian hemp 
twine, ornamented with elk grass, white or dyed yellow, or with 

•> We are obliged to Mr. Melville Jacobs tor a revision of the Klickitat terms marked with a follow- 
ing (J). 
•= H. J. Spinden, The Nez PercS Indians, Mem. Amer. Anthr. Assc, vol. 2, pt. 3; pi. 4, <v flgs. 4, a, 11. 


natiu'al or black willow bark. Occasionally elk grass was dyed red 
with a decoction of alder bark. (See pi. 66, o-r.) 

\Y(yoen hlanl-efs. — Many old Klickitat people remember the weaving 
of goat-hair blankets. The thread was spun on spindles resembling 
those of the coast Indians. Dog's hair was never used, but strips of 
the skin of rabbits, deer, fawn, or beavers made excellent blankets. 
The manufacture of these was discontinued at a much earlier date 
than that of goat-hair blankets. Square looms were used in the weav- 
ing of all kinds of blankets and their products were formerly sold in 
considerable numbers to the Yakima, Wallawalla, and other eastern 
tribes. The Cowlitz and some of the Snakes living near the Nez 
Perc6 are also reported to have made woven blankets of various kinds. 

Mats. — I did not try to gain much information about matting. 
The sewed tule mat was very largely used by the Klickitat and 
Yakima for covering lodges, and probably other kinds of mats were 

Shin wallets. — Various kinds of buckskin wallets, bags, and pouches 
were made. Ornamentation on these was formerly in quill em- 
broidery, but beads have been so long in use that quillwork is now 
almost forgotten. Beaded pouches are still sometimes made, and 
silk embroidery is used to a slight extent. 

Coiled baskets. — The ordinary coiled type of basket was used exten- 
sively, the coil consisting of the pliable roots of the cedar split into 
very fine strips and bunched together. The sewing was of the same 
material, but selected for length and regularity of width. The long 
traihng roots of the cedar were sought, those near the trunk being too 
brittle. Sapwood was never used for the coil. At the present time 
the roots are gathered in the Cascade Mountains when the Indians go 
to pick huckleberries, as no cedar is found on the reservation. Roots 
of spruce and other trees are considered inferior for basket making 
and were never used by these tribes. So far as the materials and 
manner of manufacture are concerned, there appears to be little differ- 
ence between the Klickitat and the Thompson Indians. The Khckitat 
and Cowhtz, however, seem to finish the rim coil invariably with a 
false braid, while among the Thompson people this is practically 
never done. The ornamentation for this type was imbrication in 
wliite, brown, black, and yellow. The materials were elk gi-ass and 
willow bark. The former was gathered in the mountains to the west, 
where it grows about two feet tall, and was used in its natural white 
color, or dyed yellow with woK moss and the roots of the Oregon 
grape. Willow bark was left its natural brown color or dyed black 
by burying in dark mud. It seems that cherry bark, tule, or corn 
leaves were never used. Coiled baskets are named according to their 
shape and size. I failed to obtain a general name fur the technique, 
although one probably exists. 


By far the most common shape is hke an inverted truncated cone. 
The bottom is about half the diameter of the mouth and the height 
is greater than the width. When of large size it is called .ctlcap; 
when medium inlcsei; and when small size, tuhseihiksei. It was used 
for all kinds of purposes, such as carrying loads, packing on horses, 
and root gathering. Such shapes had no foot, and none were made 
with square mouths (as in those of the Lillooet, for instance). No 
rods were used on the bottom (like some Shuswap examples), nor 
around the rim (as among the Chilcotin). A wider mouthed variety, 
shallower in proportion to its width, was formerly made and used as 
kettles. In some of these the bottom was as wide as the mouth. 
These varieties are now rarely seen. (Pis. 67-69. PI. 68, i, is a 
slightly different shape formerly common, and Plate 68, d, is one of 
the kettle type.) 

Another form very similar to the nut-shaped baskets of the 
Thompson is called IfM'I (J), in which the aperture was just large 
enough to admit the hand. They were of various sizes, the larger 
serving as water jars in the house. Plate 68, d, h, are specimens of 
these. A second variety with a neck called by the same name was 
used for caiTying water (pi. 68, a, b). An oblong form called .Jce'pa'i 
resembled the .stluk or trunk baskets of the Lower Thompson. It 
was called EzXE'pi'n by the Wishram who formerly bought it in large 
quantities from the Khckitat. It was used particularly when travel- 
ing with horses, for carrying feathers and other things which might 
become crushed or broken. The larger sizes were generally used in 
the house, and in them were stored the best clothes and other valu- 
ables. The small ones which sometimes were made with Uds often 
served as work baskets. Plate 67, Ic, o, are specimens of these; also 
possibly Plate 71, d. Cu-cular forms are not known as .Ice'pa'i bas- 
kets. iMa'i (J) and .Ice'pa'i are seldom made nowadays. 

The Indians say that there has been no change in their method 
of making coiled basketry from the earliest times, nor in the character 
of the materials used. All the shapes formerly used are still made, 
although the output in some cases may now be greater or less. Prac- 
tically no new shapes have come into vogue. Some people neverthe- 
less think the common xtEka'p basket has been somewhat altered 
in shape within the last 30 or 40 years, and is now generally made wnth 
rather less width in proportion to height. The Klickitat flunk that 
some of the Shoshoni and Nez Perce formerly made some coiled ware, 
but it was not imoricated. The Klickitat still make great munbers 
of baskets. Formerly certain families confined themselves mostly 
to weaving flexible pieces (wa'pas [J]). All the shapes of baskets 
known to the Klickitat were also made by the Cowlitz and neighbor- 
ing tribes west of the mountains, and as far as the informants are 


aware these were the only common shapes in use. The Cowlitz 
made fewer of the oblong baskets {.M'pa'i) than the tribes imme- 
diately north of them and toward the sound. Probably not all the 
tribes west of the Cascades made coiled basketry. 

Parjieches. — Parfleches were of the same shape as those obtained 
from other interior tribes and came into vogue after the introduction 
of the horse. Tribes to the north and east were using them long 
before the Klickitat. Later the Klickitat procured many from the 
Yakima and a few from the Wallawalla, but seldom manufactured their 
own and when they did they left them unpainted. The Yakima were 
merely traders, however, acquiring their stock from the tribes 
east of the Columbia, although occasionally they made and painted a 
few. Buffalo and horse hide, and in later days cowhide, were the 
materials used by all the tribes. 

Basketry designs. — The designs on soft and hard baskets were of the 
same character, some having numerous variations. The pattern 
generally covered the whole field, arranged in horizontal, diagonal, 
or perpendicular bands. Zigzags were common. A few coiled 
baskets were unimbricated, others were ornamented only with 
beading, and the appearance of more than one pattern on the same 
basket was rare. The designs used by the Klickitat and Yakima 
were almost entu-ely geometrical and the names given them were the 
same. Cowlitz designs were practically identical with those em- 
ployed by the Klickitat, but those used by the Wishram and Wasco 
were of quite a different character, consisting of quite realistic animal 
figm-es with names such as "people," "man," "woman," "deer," 
"buck deer," "dog," "horse," "salmon," "butterfly," "head," and 
"face (human)." Among the few geometric designs made by the 
Wishram and Wasco were the Klickitat "arrowhead" and "eye" and 
simple lines generally horizontal but occasionally perpendicular. 
The Tenaino employed realistic, animal, and geometric designs in 
about equal proportion. The Indians say that there has been little 
or no change in Klickitat basketry designs since the earliest times, 
that very few patterns have been introduced, and that white men's 
designs are not copied, excepting in cases where whites may give a 
special order for a basket to be made with a certain design, such as 
the American eagle. These never become tribal designs and are 
seldom reproduced. Most of the common Klickitat designs and 
variations are represented in the collection of the American Museum 
of Natm-al History. 


Design Names 

[ETH. ANN. 41 

Klickitat name 

Meaning in 

Plate numbeis 

1. O'xwl't.. 

2. Ppa'u (J)_ 

3. Wuxa' (J) 

4. Tca'wEna. 


Leg or foot_ 

5. KEshwi'kwEza. 

Zigzag - 

6. TEteni'kan. 


7. Tso'umtsoum 

8. Wati'ke (J) 

9. A-sa' (J). 

Also called 
a'tcac. (J) 
10. Waxtl'c 

11. Cwa't'ac (J).-. 

12. PEtxtt'nox 

13. Ptzplz 

14. EtE't (J) 

Contracted '_ 

Finger-nail . . 

Arrowhead - 

Bar or line ■ 

1 Contracted so as to be smaller in the middle or at some other part. 

2 Likened to the splicing of a rope, or a kink or tangled knot in a long rope. 
5 Any horizontal mark of some length. 

63, a, c; 65, a, c. 

63, /, h; 64, c; 66, 6; 67, d; 68, e, f, j; 74, j, n. 

63, d, e; 66, n; 67, k; 74, g, m, are said to 
be variations arising from the combina- 
tion of "leg" and "gill" elements. 
Those on 74, g, were called "gill " by one 
woman and "leg" or "foot" byanother, 
while a third said that they were des- 
ignated by both terms. 67, k, is said to 
be a variation of the "gill." It appears 
that some variations of the "leg" and 
"gill" designs have become merged so 
it is often difficult to decide which name 
to applj'. 

68, k; 70, o, are examples; 65, a, is given 
the same interpretation; 74, i, is a vari- 
ation; 74,/, is called "zigzag connecting 
Jip and down"; 67, k, is said to be the 
"leg" design combined with the "zig- 
zag." The element of this i)attern is 
the simple zigzag. Other designs such 
as "step," "leg," and "gill," form zig- 
zags, but these are called "zigzag step" 
design, and are not considered as the 
real "zigzag." 

70, w; one woman called 63, b, "spiral." 
The others distinguished it as "spiral 
zigzag short turn" ("short turn" ap- 
pears to be applied where one line in the 
zigzag is shorter than the other). The 
design element is evidently a simple line 
running spirally around the basket. 

Zigzags which nearly meet are sometimes 
called by this name. 

This is shown in 66, p, g, v; 74, 6, I. Of 
these the first is considered to be the 
"true step" design, but 66, k, is a com- 
bination of "foot" or "gill" with the 

67, m, n; No. 6, the upper design on 67, h^ 
and the fiUer on 67, g. 

On the last one the eve is combined with 

67, j, I, p; 74, c, and the lower design on 
67, o. 

67, i; 68, i. This name is also often ap- 
plied to common beading. 




Klickitat name 

Meaning in 

Plate numbers 

15. Tin (J; 

16. Wa'laqwalaq(J). 

17. Wa'iwai (J) 

18. Tu'ktltuk 

19. Pweikiki 

20- - 



False (foot)... 

Imprint of 


67, h; 74, d, e, k. 

66, a. 

A variety of the "foot" or "false foot" 
may be seen on the upper figure, PI. 91, 
Mason.* The other design on the same 
basket is "finger-nail" or "eye." 

There is no photograph of this. The de- 
sign is said also to have occurred on 
coiled basketry. 

I did not see any baskets with this de- 
sign. One woman called the design on 
68, g, "zigzag scratch." 

I heard of another design called "feath- 
ers," "narrow feathers," but did not see 
any examples. It was used on both 
baskets and bags. 

' Mason's design shows the "foot," while in the "false foot" on Mr. Sargent's basket the "foot" is 
s Same as marks left on a soft substance after having been struck by a stick. 

Women and girls made all the woven baskets and bags, but hide 
bags were sometimes made hy men. It seems the simplest form of 
the design element is called a "true" design. In some cases the most 
common but not necessarily the simplest or original "false" design, 
seems to be that variation of the pattern wliich is most curtailed or 
conventionalized. It is thus generally furthest removed from the 
"true" design, but at the same time becomes a recognized standard 
pattern. Designs regarded as a whole, apart from the element, are 
designated by compoujid descriptive terms; for example, the ele- 
ment may be called "zigzag," but the name of the design itself may 
be "spiral zigzag short turn," or "zigzag connecting up and down." 
There are many such terms quahfied as "true," "false," "not true," 
"short turn," "double," "large," "small," "connecting," "con- 
necting up and down," or "above and below," "perpendicular," 
"zigzag," "diagonal," "sharp point," "close together," "detached." 
I did not try to list these, but merely noted some of those I heard. 

Designs on wallets. — The Klickitat admit that they know very 
little regarding designs on bags and that the interpretations of 
the designs by the people who made them may be in some cases differ- 
ent from theirs. Those on the small bags formerly made by them 
were copied from the Yakima who they think probably made the 
bags shown in Plates 64 and 65, although it is possible that they are 
of Nez Perce or Umatilla manufacture. As pattern names were 
mentioned "spiral" and "arrowhead." I could obtain no explana- 
tion of any of those given in Farrand's book. Bag designs made at 
the present day are the same in character as those produced many 
53666°— 28 24 


years ago. On the whole the figures used on bags differed from those 
apphed to basketry, but occasionally identical patterns of the same 
name occurred on both. Usually both sides of the bag were alike, 
at least long ago among the Yakima, but a few specimens bore a 
different design on each side, and others were ornamented on one 
face. There were also plain bags of the same material and weave. 
I did not meet any Yakima who could furnish more information on 
bas designs than I obtained from the Klickitat. 

Designs on caps. — Designs on caps among the Ivlickitat and nearest 
tribes were usually composed of zigzags of various descriptions, 
one design to a cap, but occasionally a very small secondary pattern 
appeared in the band around the margin, usually an "arrowhead.' 
Examples are Plate 66, o-r. A plain zigzag was common (pi. 66, o) 
while "zigzag gill" and "zigzag leg" were frequently seen," as well 
as "contracted" and "arrowhead" arranged in zigzags. 

Designs on hlankets. — The goat-hair blankets formerly woven by 
the KJickitat are said to have been decorated, but I could learn very 
little regarding them. They say many of the designs were similar to 
those used on basketry, evidently entirely geometric. Spirals and 
zigzags were common. However, I did not make extended inquiry 
into the subject. 

Designs on jnatting. — I did not inquire much about this question, 
but was told by one woman that no ornamentation was applied 
to mats. 

Designs on sliin bags. — Although seeking little information on this 
subject, I learned that designs were abundant in quiUwork and 
beadwork. Little is now remembered about quiUwork, the designs 
of which are said to have been entirely geometric. Solid beadwork 
covering one or both sides of a bag was not uncommon, blue and 
white in about equal proportion being used as background. Most 
of the designs were floral, some copies of flowers growing in the 
mountains, othera geometric, representing many elements, including 
the "contracted" design and the "arrowhead." Realistic figures, 
representing people and animals, occurred on a very few bags. 

Designs on parjleches. — The Klickitat seem to know nothing of the 
meaning of these. The designs as formerly painted by them and 
the Yakima were all copies of those used by the tribes of the interior 
to the north and east. 


Throughout the area occupied by the Salish tribes and in the 
country of the Chilcotin and Klickitat it has been seen that cedar is 
the preferred material for coiled baskets, for which spruce is substi- 
tuted only when cedar is not obtainable. There are a few local 

" See Spinden, op. cit., flg. 15, pi. 6, for these varieties of the "gill" and "leg" patterns. 
« By Helen H. Roberts. 



differences in the grasses and barks chosen for imbricating, but 
on the whole Phragmites 'phragmiies and cherry bark are in most 
general use. 

Coiling is the prevailing teclmique of the entire region. The 
larger baskets are all coiled, and on account of their number and 
constant requisition in the household are very conspicuous. There 
are, however, other kinds of technique employed. The Thompson, 
and doubtless most of the other tribes, plait mats of rushes and twine 
caps and bags from spruce root. The direction of coihng for all 
tribes is anticlockwise, except in the case of left-handed workers, 
who have produced a number of specimens now in museum collec- 
tions. In essentials the technique of coiling is the same with all 
the tribes. There are local and even individual variations in the 
types of bottoms manufactured and in the size of coil used. There 
are also slight differences in stitching, for some tribes employ furca- 
tion to a considerable extent while with others it is only a matter of 
accident and scarcely noticeable except on the wrong side of the 
work. The teclmique of beading and that of imbrication are iden- 
tical everywhere. From available data it appears that the great 
center of the coiled basketry industry lay formerly and stDlis located 
in the Cascade region of British Columbia, where it seems also that 
imbrication had its beginning, whence it spread in all directions. 

At some early time round baskets not unlike the present forms 
produced by the Klickitat were the prevailing types over the whole 
area and were used for transporting burdens on the backs of men or 
horses as well as for kettles and tubs. In the course of time, how- 
ever, a change occurred. Wliether the idea came from the coast where 
square wooden boxes were made or was evolved in the immediate 
region as a result of remedying what proved to be a faulty form when 
used for transportation on horseback, is not clear. But at least in 
the Thompson and Lillooet localities the baskets gradually became 
more oval, finally leading to the present-day types, the Thompson 
still oval with corners clearly discernible in the upper portion of the 
structure, the Lillooet decidedly rectangular from base to rim. The 
ChUcotin have long produced an oval form which is narrow in pro- 
portion to its length. A number of their new specimens are quite 
angular. The Shuswap also adopted an elongated type. The Klicki- 
tat, .however, have never modified their old round shapes, and in 
many other particulars show that they have been subject quite as 
much to influences from other directions as from the Salish area. 
Considering their location and history, this may well have been 
expected. Although they practice imbrication, it is true, their work 
is coarser than that of the other tribes. They are masters in mak- 
ing twined bags, a technique which is imdoubtedly older with them 
than imbrication. They finish their basket rims with the same braid 


stitch SO common among the Ute and other Shoshoni, who were their 
neighbors, and make frequent use of the looped coil, which has only 
comparatively recently been adopted by the Thompson for finishing 
the rims of fancy baskets not intended for hard use. 

The burden baskets of the Thompson and Lillooet, while differing 
from each other quite noticeably in shape, and among themselves 
in size, show a remarkable conformity to local standards of proportion. 
While the people are not able to formulate their ideas on proper pro- 
portions with entire unanimity of opinion, an objective study shows 
that there is a set of fairly constant proportions followed among the 
Thompson and another among the Lillooet. 

Thompson burden baskets are about three-fourths as wide as 
they are long, while the height is about equal to the width of the 
mouth, or a little less. The area of the bottom is about one-fourth 
that of the mouth, although more variation exists here than in any 
other part of the structure. 

Lillooet baskets are more nearly square at the mouth, the width be- 
ing a little more than three-fourths of the length. The height, too, is 
usually less than the width of the mouth by at least 10 per cent. The 
bottoms are of two kinds, of which one is wider than the other, and 
the whole shape is decidedly rectangular, with a very small base and 
flaring mouth, accentuated by straight rather than by incurving 
walls which the Thompson employ. 

The baskets are ornamented solely by means of beading or imbri- 
cation. So many and varied are the styles of decoration, so unmis- 
takably are they alhcd with types of art which appear conspicuously 
in all the surrounding regions through the medium of entirely different 
forms of weaving or even outside of the textile industry, so unique 
and peculiar is imbrication and so singular has the history of its devel- 
opment evidently been, that the student is irresistibly led to endeavor 
to reconstruct if possible from the scattered threads discernible here 
and there the rich fabric of its story and the art which through its 
means has for many years flourished almost like a desert bloom in 
the far-away valleys of the northern Cascade Range. 

We have seen that the earliest birch-bark baskets of the Shuswap ** 
were ornamented on the rim by strips of beading. These ran over 
and under the stitches of varying lengths which bound the bark to 
the rod of the rim and formed simple yet effective patterns. • The 
birch-bark baskets of other regions were decorated in a similar fashion, 
as early collections show. Along the Skeena River, where imbrica- 
tion was not used, in addition to the bark teclmique the people plaited 
baskets of narrow strips of cedar bark and also made twined bags.*' 
In order to create designs in the latter two weaves they used overlay 

M J. A. Teit, The Shuswap, op. cit., pp. 202 et seq. 

*^This according to Teit. I have seen no specimens of this kind. — F. B. 




strips of bark which had been dyed black in a manner probably 
similar to the dyeing processes known over all the region. In the 
plaited work, wherever designs were desired, the 'tliin strip of black 
was laid over the strands, which were woven, and was carried along 
with the warp or woof. The end of the overlay was caught be- 
neath a crossing clement and thus was both hidden and secured. In 
such work, although checker patterns or such designs as might be 
created in beading are usually the artistic limits, it is also possible to 
obtain solid color effects because the plaiting elements and conse- 
quently the overlay run in two directions. The same overlay process 
is pursued in the twined work. The fine black strip is placed on top 

Fig. 108.— Quill work, Alaska. A.M.N.H. 

of the element to be twined and is carried along with it. If only one 
of the twining elements is so covered the resulting design will show 
only every other stitch black, but if both are covered continuous 
lines of color are achieved and quite elaborate designs may be worked 
out. Perhaps it is superfluous to remark that no trace of the designs 
may be seen on the wrong side of the work. On the twined specimens 
the finished appearance resembles the Tlingit false embroidery. But 
there is an important teclmical difference, since in false embroidery 
the bark is whipped around the twining element only when it appears 
on the outside of the fabric; that is, in front of the warps. In the 
overlay work the bark follows the twining element throughout its 
passage. The individual stitch in false embroidery has a more verti- 
cal trend than that in overlay. The false embroidery stitch is akin 
to that used in coil sewing, since it wraps around the element, whUe 
the overlay stitch is a straight running process exactly like beading. 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

It was through wide acquaintance with and interest in all forms 
of art practiced by these northern tribes and particularly in the 
ornamental designs wrought on skin clothing by means of the ancient 
porcupine-quill embroidery that Dr. Franz Boas first noted points of 
similarity between these and some of the patterns applied to basketry. 
He at once sensed the connection, but it was not until recently that 
a number of very old skin garments from the Northwest were again 
imearthed at the American Museum of Natural History for purposes 
of comparison. Although the quillwork was falling to pieces and in 
places entirely gone, so that accurate reproductions of the designs 
were in many cases rendered hopeless, 'it was possible to see that a 
great number of so-called "fly" patterns had been employed which 
were practically the same as those used on basketry. Since most of 
the quUlwork is in horizontal bands on these garments, the patterns 
so arranged on the baskets are most nearly like them. The few that 
were capable of reproduction are given in Figure 108. Some others 



'[ i 



— ~^^Z— u — 





c e 

Fig. 109. — Quillwork and basket embroidery from Tlingit, Alaska. Field Museum 

from the Field Museum may be seen in Figure 109. Designs of 
Figure 108 and 6, c, of 109 are especially common on baskets. It 
will be remembered that many old basket patterns of the Thompson 
given in the list of sketches were interpreted as embroidery designs. 
Thinking that these might offer a clue, they were for convenience 
collected by the writer in Figures 110 and 111. The results were 
very interesting, for the checker and fly patterns predominate and 
in general character are quite similar to the old quillwork patterns. 

The question of technique, however, is more interesting and en- 
lightening than the designs themselves. The Koryak of Siberia cut 
slits in the edges of their fur or skin robes and decorate them as 
described by Jochelson,** who says: "A series of narrow slits are 
made in the black skin wliich is to be decorated (fig. 112). A strip 
of white dogskin of the same width as the slits is laid imder the line 
of the slits and a small loop of this skin is pushed from underneath 

S8 Jochelson, The Koryak, Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 6, pt. 2, p. 679. 




up through the sUts, where it is caught by a sinew thread which 
lies on the surface of the skin and is passed through the loops 
wliich are then drawn tight." 

Wliilo it is not meant to convey the idea here that the Indians of 
the coast of Alaska learned to do porcupine-quill work or beading 
from the Koryak, certainly it is very interesting that a technique 
which is fundamentally so similar to one type of quillwork about to 
be described should exist in a not distant region and that, so far as 
is known, it is not employed elsewhere in the world. 


7zm vmk t/m . mm mm %„„„r''""^,...l ^ 

Fig. 110. — Embroidery designs from Thompson baskets 

A number of types of porcupine-quill technique are in use, all of 
which have been fully described by William C. Orchard.*' That 
which is most like the skin work of the Koryak is strangely enough 
the finest and most delicate of them all. It has been made from 
Alaska to the Great Lakes, and even among the Iroquois. It is 
woven on a loom. The technique is described as foUows: 

The process of weaving consists first of making the warp strands of either sinew 
or vegetal fiber, which are stretched side by side their entire length on a bow, 
much as a bowstring would be strung. To keep the warp strands spread apart 
the desired width two pieces of thick, leather}' Ijirch bark are perforated with a 
straight row of small holes corresponding in number with the number of strands 
to be used and the distance between the perforations corresponding with the 
width of a flattened porcupine quill. A piece of bark so prepared is placed at 

8" William C. Ort'hard, The Technique of Porcupine-Quill Decoration among the North American In- 
dians, Museum of the American Indian, Ileye Foundation, New York. vol. 4, No. 1. 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

each extremity of the warp elements with a strand running through each perfora- 
tion; ... a strand which may be included among the weft elements is 
attached to the outside warp strand and then made to pass alternately over and 
under the warp to the opposite side, where it turns and crosses over again, passing 
under those strands which it crossed over during the previous movement. 

The piece examined by Doctor Boas and the WTiter differed from 
this in that there was no interweaving of warp and weft. The weft 
simply lay on top of the warps all the way across, then turned and 
lay under them, then above, etc. The particular bit of embroidery 
examined was made by the Tlingit Indians of the Alaskan coast. 
With this exception, Mr. Orchard's description fits the case exactly. 
He goes on to say: 

This operation is repeated to completion. Meanwhile, porcupine quills have 
been woven in between the warp strands over and under the crossing elements. 
As the work proceeds the quills are crowded together, so much so that the crossing 
strands are hidden between the corrugations; in fact, the only strands showing 

Fig. 111.— Embroidery designs from Thompson baskets 

in a finished piece of work are the two on the outer edges and the loops of the 
crossing strands which together form a selvage edge. As the length of a quill 
becomes exhausted the end is allowed to protrude at the back of the work; another 
quill is inserted with its end in the same position, then the crossing cord is driven 
tight against the two ends and the weaving is continued. The quills are used in a 
moistened, pliable condition; when they become dry they are stiff and hard and 
do not break away from such a fastening. After the work is finished the pro- 
truding ends are cut off close to the weave. 

Figure 113 has been taken from Mr. Orchard's book. It does not 
fit his description of the relative positions of warp and weft, but 
the one the writer has just given. The Tlingit specimen, when 
folded, reveals along the fold the intersections of the wrapping weft 
with the warp between the strips of cjuill, although the work is 
very close. An examination of successive intersections along one 
line of weft proves that the weft and warps do not interweave. 
Although the figure shows only two strips of quill, there are usually 
about 20 on a strip which is only a little more than an inch wide. 




Fig. 112.— Slit embroidery, Koryak, Siberia 

A moment's consideration will make it clear that with the non- 
interweaving of the weft with the warp strands, as in the Tlingit 
specimen, the work is fundamentally the same as the Koryak skin 
work but achieved in a slightly different manner. The warp when it 
lies on top of the quills takes the place of the skin between the slits, 
while the weft which runs iinder the quills, and consequently under 
the warp, acts in the same capacit}^ as the thread which runs beneath 
the loops of white dogskin. The skin work woidd be more nearly 
like the quillwork if the 
thread really did lie on the 
surface and the dogskin were 
passed up over it and down 
on the other side than if 
the thread were threaded 
through the loop. The quill- 
work is even more like the beading on basketry. In fact the tech- 
nique is identical. Substituting the coil for the warp strands, the 
sewing splint for the encircling weft, and the bark ribbon for the 
quill, we have exactly the same idea. 

The only point of difference lies in the fact that the qiiillwork may 
be shoved up close, because the weft is not fixed. In basketry work 
the weft becomes stationary as soon as it sews the coil. It seems to 
the writer that it was because of a realization of this difficulty that 
the basket weaver developed inabrication. Undoubtedlj^ the object 

of imbrication is to cover 
all the coil stitches rather 
than only alternate 
stitches, which is all that 
beading can accomplish. 
It being impossible to 
shove the work together 
as in quiU embroidery so 
as to conceal the weft 
element lying on top of the ribbon, other means had to be devised. 
It would be most unsatisfactory to allow loops of the bark ribbon to 
fold back over the exposed stitches as the quills fold over the weft, 
for it would be extremely difficidt to make the folds lie flat, and 
also, if they did not lie flat, they would soon wear off. It seems 
very plausible that in trying to conceal the exposed stitch by folding 
the ribbon back upon it, since they could not shove their work close 
enough to liide it the women may have hit upon the expedient of 
catching the fold beneath a second stitch to hold it flat in place. 
They may have discovered at the same time that the bark ribbon 
would then as a consequence conceal the stitch just made and that 
the continued process would leave none of them exposed. This, 

Fig. 113. — Porcupine quill embroidery, .\Iaska 


however, is only a theory on the part of the writer. Other ex- 
planations for the origin of the technique might be found which would 
be as acceptable. 

There is another kind of porcupine-quill work described by Mr. 
Orchard which is identical with coil sewing in all its essential features. 
That is the spot-stitch work desciibed by him on pages 11 and 15. 
Here the thread acts in place of the foundation, the quill as the serving 

At times a strip of rawhide or other padding is placed on top of 
the skin which is being embroidered and runs along between the 
two threads. The quill winds about this strip along with the threads 
during the process of sewing the padding to the skin, and in all 
essentials the actual method is very like binding the coU. 

Another observation which strengthens our suspicion that there 

has been some historical connection between the ornamentation of 

clothing in these instances and imbricated basketry was recently 

made by Mr. Teit,™ who says : 

I notice two or three points whicli may have some connection with the question 
of droppers. First, lines dropping from other lines or from other designs at 
regular intervals are found in emljroidery and painting on the bodies and skirts of 
women's dresses. Secondly, in fringes of garments, particularly along the bottoms 
of women's dresses, there are often uncut pieces of fringing at intervals. These 
pieces are often painted with dots and designs or ornamented with punctures 
and pinkings. The Indians say that these pieces were sometimes embroidered with 
quills or beads. I notice the Tahltan and Kaska also have fringing of this kind 
on both bags and clothes. The Tlingit, Taku, etc., of the interior had the same, 
but the uncut pieces were usually unornamented. Thirdly, there are long or short 
flaps of embroidered skin, or, in their place, embroidered bands or stripes which 
extend from the shoulders of men's shirts and coats. There are generally two in 
front and two behind, and they often connect with an embroidered or ornamented 
area on the shoulders. 

The sketches of such fringing sent in by Mr. Teit are given in 
Figure 114. A few of them, for instance, Nos. 1, 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 14, 
15, 16, and 17, bear in the decorated uncut part of the fringe a marked 
resemblance in design to the vertical stripes and droppers which are 
frecjuently used on Lillooet baskets. Knowing that old bu'ch-bark 
baskets were formerly covered with skin which was bound around 
the rim, and that to the present day the Apache of our Southwest 
ornament their burden baskets mth fringe of rawhide around the rim 
and the circimaference of the bottom,- a theory might be advanced 
that the skin on the old birchbark baskets was also fringed and that 
natirrally the form of decoration woidd be taken over from skin gar- 
ments treated in a similar manner. Wliile this may have been so, it 
is cjuite possible, as in the case of the development of imbrication, 
that other explanations might be offered which would be ecjuaUy 
plausible. At least with the present scant amount of real knowledge 

"** Correspondence. 




of the subject we are not justified in formulating a dogmatic state- 
ment. Certainly a "dropper" form of decoration is sufficiently 
unusual and independent of the necessities of construction of the 
design as well as striking to the eye to account for its direct trans- 
ference to basketry designs without the medium of skin fringes as 
applied to baskets. 

A still more plausible explanation was offered by one of the inform- 
ants who had received thorough instruction from her mother and 




• • 


1^ ^ 




¥ V V 



4afe«i*sa 1^ 





ll/i^,JJUI//lf>/l/)JI f/l 


^ - ■^ 








"^^-' '"' ^ T-/^" 

iiiiiiiiiii r™nff 


Fig. 114.— Fringes 


grandmother. She took an intelligent interest in the art for its own 
sake, engendered, no doubt, by the common interest of a family of 
craf tswomen. All this lends to her opinions more than usual weight. 
She always called the droppers on Lillooet baskets tsEne'ka (or hair- 
flap ornament), and explained her use of this term as follows: She 
had heard that the droppers were representations of the embroidered 
flaps of skin which were fastened to the braids of hair on either side 
of the head on a level with or just below the ears. These flaps were 
often provided with pendants. 


The strength of her argument hes in the fact that so many Lillooet 
patterns are "head" or ''mouth" designs, and that it is with these 
particular devices that the "ch-oppers" are most frequently used. If 
she is correct the droppers occupy nearly the proper position that 
tsEne'ka designs would in relation to the head. 

The idea of droppers having once been adopted in some fashion 
or other, designs from other objects of similar form, similarly em- 
broidered, would rapidly be seized upon from which to borrow new 
conceptions for basketry decoration. 

In all these cases the remarks are more applicable to the Lillooet than 
to the Thompson. The Lillooet are quite as fond of "fly" patterns 
as the Thompson. Lillooet and Tlingit basketry designs have many 
points in common, especially the "droppers," which the Thompson 
do not use at all. But whether the Lillooet or some other tribe 
originated imbrication and transferred to their baskets numerous 
designs from clothing, and particularly from quillwork, is not so im- 
portant as the apparent fact that it was done somewhere in this 
region, and that whoever first effected the transfer, the Thompson 
have given the art its liighest development. In regard to the assump- 
tion that the transfer of technique and art was from quillwork and 
clothing to basketry rather than vice versa, it may be remarked that 
quillwork is known to be very ancient, and that these particular 
types of teclinique which have just been discussed are found from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific. On the other hand the imbrication of 
basketry is confined to a very small area, comparatively speaking. 
We know that the embroidery of clothing is more ancient than that 
of baskets, that beadwork superseded quillwork, that many Indian 
patterns are avowed representations of beads, and many others are 
frankly named old embroidery designs. 

While absolute dependence may not be placed on the assertions of 
the people themselves in regard to old-time customs, since memory, 
which is all that can be relied upon, fails sometimes even under the 
best conditions, it is interesting to compare the quillwork patterns 
with those employed on basketry which are called bead or embroidery 
designs. It is also instructive to study those which are thought to 
be ancient and which now are practically obsolete, or at least not in 
common use. It must be remembered that even work considered old 
by people with only tradition to rely upon may not be so very ancient. 

It wiU be noted that many of these old patterns (fig. 115) are pic- 
tures and are mostly executed in single outlines. Practically all of 
the obsolete ones are of this character. This does not mean to imply 
that these were the only ancient patterns used. Many others are still 
as popular as ever, in fact form the majority of designs still employed, 
and are purely geometric. The people say that the standard designs 
of the tribe are all old and include such patterns as "arrowhead," 




"arrowpoint," "haK arrowhead," "bead," "butterfly," "coil" (hori- 
zontal encircling line), "dentalia," "embroidery," "fly," "grave- 
box," "ladder," "leg," "mouth," "Indian rice," "necklace," "net," 
"snake," "spot," "standing-points," "star," "step," and "zigzags." 
But those now classed as obsolete and rare indicate the modern 
trend of popular taste, which according to European standards is 
very gratifying. Among the rare old designs (fig. 116) may be noted 





■■■,,'.•■•>,"•' 628 629 




^^ ^ \[/7e2 V nI/ 761 \ 

J^\/^^ ikA 631 

\/ 760 \| 

J L 785J-L n. 


8461^ \J 847" 

Fig. 115. — Obsolete basket designs, Thompson 

three which resemble a part of an old quill pattern (cf . Nos. 683-685 , 
fig. 116, and e, fig. lOS). Plate 81, Sketch 116, is also interesting as 
undoubtedly copied from the braided rim of a basket. By no means 
all of the designs, however, were taken from porcupine-quiU embroid- 
ery, as we shall see. 

It has been indicated that each tribe manufacturing imbricated 
baskets possesses a more or less typical style of ornamentation, 
although with the exception of the Klickitat, the burden baskets 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

of all are somewhat similar in shape. Yet the Salish among them- 
selves have several different types of decoration, most of which are 
used to some extent by the Thompson, particularly aU-over distri- 
butions of small designs and the vertical stripe with small figures. 
These are accompanied by unimbricatcd backgrounds. The third 
popular arrangement is of large designs on a single field, ■w'ith or 
without imbricated backgrounds. In fact, the Thompson use the 
single field very commonly. 

The Lillooet are distinguished chiefly by two field arrangements 
and large rectilinear designs, as well as by numerous "droppers." 

Ill mJ^ 


^^^^ f p w 


Fig. 116.— Ancient basket designs, Thompson 

The Chilcotin, on the other hand, use three fields, the upper and 
lower of which are alike, the center being unimbricatcd. Above the 
rod which encircles the basket near the rim is a fourth narrow field. 

The Klickitat are inclined to single-field decoration, and the 
designs are distributed along horizontal zigzags which extend from 
base to rim. The zigzags al-e as compressed as it is possible to 
make them, an effect which increases the apparent height of the 

The Thompson are accustomed to the use of practically all the 
simple geometric elements and many complicated ones. The Lillooet 
confine themselves chiefly to rectiUnear designs and triangles. Both 


are particularly fond of fly or checker patterns. Neither employs 
the square to any great extent outside of these designs. On the 
other hand, Chilcotin art is conspicuous for the squares and tri- 
angles M'hich compose the simple but effective patterns. Klickitat 
work is the most florid and rich of any. The horizontal zigzag with 
its variety of depending smaller designs is particularly well adapted 
to the round shape of the basket. The art style is here more uniform 
than -with the other tribes and probably on that account far less 
interesting, but at least one does not encounter such glaring defects 
as on the elongated shapes from the other regions, which are due, 
not so much to carelessness on the part of the artist as to the great 
number of problems and difficulties which arise to confront her on 
account of the irreconcilable features of technique, shape, and style 
of designs. 

Before discussing the other sources from which the Thompson may 
have obtained ideas for their highly diversified decorations, it seems 
expedient to consider the relationships in art and technique which 
exist between the tribes which surround them and their more distant 

The various centers where imbrication and decorative art through 
its means have attained a high degree of development, although 
similar culturally, are represented by three linguistic families, and 
historically different settings. The Thompson and Lillooet are 
Salishan; the Klickitat, Shahaptian; and the Chilcotin, Athapascan. 

The Lillooet, living west of the Thompson, are a little nearer the 
sea. They have been in contact more or less with the coast Sahsh 
and probably from them copied in basketry the rectangular boxes 
.which the coast tribes made of wood. In the matters of the general 
shape of the baskets, the two-field division of the wall, the droppers, 
and the lavish use of beading, as well as the peculiar trait of orna- 
menting three sides and leaving a fourth bare, the Lillooet differ from 
the Thompson and in some respects show affiliation with the coast 
tribes. Their large rectangular designs, however, are no longer unique 
with them, since the Thompson have taken them over to a consider- 
able extent. Those composed of two complementary sections divided 
by a narrow vertical stripe resemble nothing so much as painted de- 
signs of the western plains. The droppers used in the decoration of 
Tlingit baskets," while not duplicated exactly by the Lillooet on their 
burden shapes, are sufficiently like them to be worthy of note, 
especially since only these two tribes have apparently adopted the 
idea. One design which the Lillooet share with the Tlingit is that 
given in Figure 105, Sketch 18. (Cf. Thompson design in Fig. 115, 
Sketch 165.) 

'> G. T. Emmons. Basketry of the Tlingit. Memoirs Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., Vol. HI, pt. 2, New York, 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

The mouth and head devices and various forms of meanders or 
notches are very common with many of the tribes of the interior of 
British Columbia and of tlie coast. The meander seems in its double 
vertical arrangement to be allied to the old porcupine-cjuill work 
pattern. Figure 117 is a design taken from a coast Salish basket in 
twined weave, which was worked in overlay as was described on 
page 362 for Skeena River baskets. It is interesting to compare this 
with Figure 108, e; Figure 116, Sketch 6S5; and Figure 105, Sketch 17, 
as well as with the Chilcotin designs in Figure 106, Sketch 15, and 
Figure 107, Sketch r, where the pattern is horizontal. 

The Chilcotin have a number of designs which are related to those 
of the Tlingit who live northwest of them across the mountains, par- 
ticularly those given in Figure 106, Sketches 31, 32, and Figure 107, 
Sketches l-c[. On the other hand, they possess many which resemble 
those so popular among the Thompson and Lillooet. These are 

sketches 8, 22, 26, Figure 106, and g, 
Figure 107, which may be compared with 
the analogous sketches in the Thompson 
table. Such designs are found with com- 
parative frequency on California basketry 
and in the ' ' droppers ' ' of the Tlingit. But 
they evidently date back farther than bas- 
ketry, for they appear on the painted or 
porcupine quill embroidered fringes of 
skin garments (fig. 114) and in great num- 
bers and infinite variety on the painted 
parfleches and beadwork of the Plains. 
A comparison of the designs just men- 
tioned with those given by Doctor Wissler 
in "The Decorative Art of the Sioux Indians" '^ and by Doctor 
Ki'oeber in his paper on the Arapaho "^ will reveal striking simi- 
larities. When it is remembered how the Plains tribes traveled, 
often far to the west, especially after adopting the horse as a 
means of conveyance, and that the pai-fleches which always accom- 
panied these nomads as trunks, fastened to the saddle, were 
brightly painted in bold designs and the garments similarly em- 
broidered with multicolored beads, it would be indeed surprising 
if the western peoples were not attracted by these gay bits of color 
and failed to be impressed with designs which stood out so sharply on 
contrasting backgrounds. Thus it seems that the basket weavers of 
the west owe many of the patterns composed of series and various 
arrangements of triangles to their Plains brethren to the east. 

Fig, 117 

-Designs from coast Salish 

" Clark Wissler. The Decorative Art of the Sioux Indians. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., Vol. XVni, 
pp. 231-277. 
'5 A. L. Kroeber. The Arapaho. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., Vol. XVIII, pp. 36-150. 


The Klickitat have preserved a remarkable conservatism in their 
art. Originally, they probably did not lie in the path of these cur- 
rents and countercurrents of travel, since they dwelt far to the south. 
They were not always occupied with coil work or imbrication, but 
learned the latter technique undoubtedly after their migration north- 
ward. Formerly they were in contact with Californian tribes, or at 
least with their products, as shown by the designs which, except on 
some of their twined bags, are almost entirely diagonal and in char- 
acter closely akin to Californian types of decoration. Coast influence 
is felt in a still diS'erent type of bag, namely, that plaited of strips 
of cedar bark. 

A comparison of the Klickitat twined work with that of California, 
and of Klickitat imbrication with that of the Salish tribes, proves 
beyond a doubt their former connections, even were these supposi- 
tions unsubstantiated by tradition. Klickitat twining is on a par 
with that of Californian and coast origin, but Klickitat imbrication 
is noticeably coarser and more uneven than that produced by the 
majority of Salishan tribes, while a comparison of the two types of 
technique as produced by the KJickitat alone shows plainly that im- 
brication is with them the newer. As in technique, so in decorative 
art, the Klickitat have di-awn from three sources, but the conditions 
under which the different styles appear are very peculiar. The Cali- 
fornia designs and arrangements predominate on both imbricated 
baskets and twined bags, but the latter show a queer mixture of 
Californian and Plains influence. Considering the former location 
of the tribe, this is not altogether unexpected and at the same time 
extremely interesting because of the way in wliich it manifests itself. 
For the sake of clearness the bags will be discussed first separately. 

Some of these are illustrated in Plates 63-65. In the matter of 
design arrangement, horizontal bands suggest California styles while 
a vertical distribution, as in Plates 64, li, and 65, /, are rather a north- 
ern feature. Plains design elements, however, in addition to their 
ordinary vertical ahgmnent, are placed in horizontal zones on some 
bags, after the California method. (PI. 65, h.) On the other hand, 
California elements and consecjuently patterns retain their individu- 
ality chiefly because element and pattern seem to belong together in 
particular groupings, especially along diagonal lines or in horizontal 
zones, and do not lend themselves reacUly to vertical treatment, 
although theoretically it would be possible to break some of them up 
and rearrange them in vertical order. In spite of their widespread 
adoption of Plains designs, and their rearrangement of these according 
to their own styles of distribution, the Klickitat seem never to have 
attempted to combine them on the same bag vnih. their own designs. 
On the contrary the two styles are quite distinct. The plaited bags 
are an almost negligible quantity and thek designs are neither essen- 
53666°— 28 25 


lETIl. ANN. 41 

tially Klickitat or Californian, nor yet of the Plains, but seem to 
have been carried along with the technique, as they resemble the 
patterns on coast bags of similar weave. There are three shapes of 
Klickitat bags, those square and flat (pis. 64, a, b, e,f, g, h; 65, a-d), 
those with rounding creased bottoms (pis. 63, b, d-h; 64, d, e; 65, e,f; 
66, c, d), and round bags with flat round bottoms, which approach 
a basket form. (PI. 66, I, m, n.) 

On their imbricated specimens the Klickitat have adhered almost 
entirely to Californian diagonal effects and designs with more artistic 
good sense than many other tribes of weavers manifest. The pre- 
dominating design of the Klickitat is that called "leg" or "foot" 
among the Thom]>son. In California it is sometimes known as the 
"quail plume," or often, when ranged along the diagonal sides of 
a zigzag or triangle, the whole pattern may be called "pine cone." 
Tliis the Klickitat have developed with every conceivable variation 
as well as another pattern which consists of a zigzag band, one edge 
of which is straight, the other serrated. Thus it is that Klickitat 
art possesses a homogeneity almost unsurpassed by the other basket- 
making tribes. Even though two stj^les of art come together in 
their twined bags, they are never combined on the same piece of 
work after the fashion of the Thompson. Like many other tribes, 
the Klickitat are introducing realistic figures into their more modern 
specimens in a way wliich is quite their own. A very interesting 
study could be made of the realistic basketry designs of the different 
tribes, for each has its characteristic ideas on these points. Plates 
63-75 give some other Klickitat baskets and also work of the Salishan 
Skokomish and Chimakuan Quileute which offer a good opportunity 
for comparing the twined and imbricated specimens, decorated with 
similar designs. 

Having thus attempted to outline roughly the relations which the 
tribes surrounding the Thompson had with each other in regard to 
their art development, it is now perhaps a httle less difficult to dis- 
cuss the Thompson themselves. We have seen that in order to gain 
a proper perspective of their work and to obtain an idea, however 
vague, of the history of its decoration, it is not sufficient to compare 
the Thompson technique and designs with those of other tribes who 
also imbricate, but it is necessary rather to go much farther and to 
compare them with the decorative art of peoples far afield, who have 
woven baskets in entirely different types of technique or who possibly 
did not manufacture baskets at all, but painted or burned their designs 
on leather, or embroidered them by means of quills or beads on skin 

In a comparison of this sort the student is struck by the great 
wealth of the Thompson art, not only in regard to methods of ar- 
rangement, but also as to various fonns of elements, together with 



their varied surface treatment by means of alternations in color. 
Considering the great variety of patterns produced by the Thomp- 
son, it is a surjirising fact that so few relationships between then- art 
and the typical work of the other centers where imbrication is de- 
veloped are evident. We have seen that the Klickitat, who possess 
typical Californian designs, execute tliem most conspicuously in the 
Salish technique, but the Salish have not adopted any of the Ivlickitat 
styles, although their twined bags resemble those of the Klickitat 
which are ornamented with Plains designs. We have seen that the 
LiUooet, who with the Thompson may be considered as the chief 
exponents of imbrication, have many ideas of decoration in common 
with the Tlingit. They execute false embroidery patterns in mibri- 
cation, and they have even to a very hmited extent attempted to 
make false embroidery themselves. Again, Skeena Kiver ( ?) designs 
in overlay are found elsewhere in several other types of technique. 

The Thompson and LiUooet possess many patterns in common. 
Some of these are presumably of LiUooet origin, but they are not the 
same as those common to the LiUooet and Tlingit. The ChUcotin 
and TUngit also use patterns which are more or less alike, although, 
as in the case of the LUlooet and Tlingit, executed m different 
styles of technique. 

While the C'hUcotin and Thompson employ some similar decorative 
devices the Thompson use practically no designs which the Chilcotin 
seem to have in common with the typical Tlingit patterns, nor yet 
those styles which the Chilcotin have developed and which are 
characteristic of them. 

The lesser Salishan tribes making imbricated baskets, of whom it 
will be rememberetl there are a great number, probably have many 
designs in common with the Thompson which were no doubt devel- 
oped in the region and many purely local features are common to the 
LUlooet and Thompson. Outside of this, in most respects, the 
Thompson seem to have occupied the place of the eddy in the whirl- 
pool of travel and intercourse, and to have erected their art on the 
foundation of old Plains designs. Now and then a stray pattern 
from some region on the outside has come in, such as the "leg" 
design, which while very popular in both Salish and California 
regions has received entirely different treatment at the hands of the 
two sets of artists. 

Among themselves the Thompson have developed their art to an 
astonishing degree. AU the styles of arrangement which prevail 
elsewhere are found here also, but it would seem that this fact must 
be ascribed to the ingenuity and inventiveness of the people them- 
selves rather than to borrowed ideas, since the design elements wliich 
would naturally accompany a typical arrangement from another 
tribe would scarcely faU to appear at least occasionally if borrowhig 


had occurred. It will be remembered that the women of the Uta'mqt 
and Lyttou bands are particularly fine craftswomen and unusually 
clever inventors, among whom there exists a constant endeavor to 
effect new combinations. To them probably is due the endless 
variety of patterns which prevail at the present time, mostly based 
on the old strata of designs. In addition, many new and utterly 
different ideas are continually being carried out. Of late years new 
realistic designs, elaborately wrought and striking in their realism, 
are occasionally seen. Notable among them are the beautiful but- 
terfly patterns. Articles of wliite manufacture, such as oilcloth, 
borders of printed handkerchiefs, calico, etc., are eagerly seized as 
affording new conceptions for patterns. The weavers have even 
gone so far as to adopt the outlines of the white man's window and 
door. But all the while there seems to be still an infiltration of 
patterns from the Plains. Figures 118 and 119 are collections from 
the sketches of designs which have been described as new by the 
informants. Among them will be noted many which show Plains 
affiliation, such as 416-419, 599-603, others which are of native 
origin, such as 690, and some taken from oilcloth or other articles 
introduced by the white man. It will be noted that some of these 
designs also figured among those elsewhere declared to be old, so that 
differences of opinion and uncertainty of knowledge undoubtedly 
exist to a considerable degree among the people themselves. But 
on the whole the divisions into old and new are probably correct, 
even though they include by no mearts all of the designs which could 
be so classified. 

The richness of Thompson imagination and inventive genius is 
manifested also in the variety and character of the interpretations 
applied to the designs, often, indeed, to the same figure, and m the 
ways in which the same form may be treated with color or surface 
subdivision. The technical exactness and powers of observation 
possessed by the people are made evident by the almost unlimited 
number of descriptive terms applied to variations of designs, minute 
differences in structure and surface treatment. 

It is rather interesting to compare the character of Thompson 
interpretations with those noted by Barrett and Kroeber as in use in 
California m order to see if among the Thompson a prevailing tend- 
ency exists toward representing particular objects or classes of objects 
and whether it corresponds to those tendencies found elsewhere. 

According to this point of view, the Thompson designs fall into 
six groups. These are: I, Natural phenomena; II, Natural objects; 
III, Artificial objects; IV, Plants; V, Animals, birds, and their 
parts; VI, Geometric or descriptive. Disregarding the descriptive 
names applied to designs, such as "scattered," "leaning," "en- 
circling," etc., which are almost legion and are applied rather on 
account of the position or arrangement of the design than because of 




what it is considered to represent, the animal and bird patterns are 
by far the most numerous. The majority of these are geometric in 
form or highly conventionalized. It is interesting that most of the hfe 
forms which occur, such as birds and butterflies, are depicted both 
in realistic and in purely geometric or conventionalized patterns. 

136 175 /" / / / / / 


701 700 ^ 792 

Fig. 118. — New basket designs, Thompsoa 

793 844 

The different birds represented are quite clearly distinguishable, 
either in realistic or conventional art, by some peculiarity such as 
long wings (flying goose), exaggerated tail (swallow), short tliick 
body (crow), or spread wings and tail (eagle). The varieties of 
snakes are less clearly differentiated, except the bull snake and striped 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

snake. The former is always characterized by broad black and white 
bands or checks encircling the body, the latter by lengthwise stripes. 
The rattlesnake is elaborately marked but the difference between it 
and the bull snake is not always evident. 

There are two varieties of caterpillars noted, the ordinary type and 
a hairy species, but no constant difference in the method of repre- 
sentation is observable. 

The facts that many animals which are portrayed by reahstic 
sketches are also represented by conventional and even purely 
geometric forms, that a number of others appear in both realistic 
and conventional settings, while a still larger number of animals, 
and particularly their parts, are associated only with geometric 
figures, do not necessarily prove that the tendency of representative 
art is to change from the realistic toward the geometric. On the 
contrary, the numerous unrelated interpretations given to geometric 

Fig. 119.— New basket designs, Thompson 

figures, together with the fact that realistic art is the highest and 
therefore necessarily latest development in basketry decoration be- 
cause it is the most difficult, would argue for the other direction in 
development. It does not seem safe, however, to assume either 
tendency as general. Geometric forms are suggestive, and once a 
resemblance becomes apparent, are often, no doubt, elaborated into 
more realistic representations, as fancy dictates; on the other hand, 
realistic art, used for purposes of decoration, does tend to become 
conventional and even geometric. 

The animal forms commonly appearing in Thompson art are 
those with wliich the people are most familiar, the beaver, otter, deer, 
dog, horse, panther, fish, lizard, snake, and human beings. The bird 
forms are eagle, swallow, goose, grouse, owl, duck and crow; the 
insects — butterflies, flies, dragonfly, beetle, grasshopper, spider, 
caterpillar, and woodworm. The people are fond of depicting only 
parts of some creatures. For instance, the bear is never portrayed 
as an entire figure but is indicated merely by the foot or teeth. The 

boas) summary and CONCLUSION 381 

beaver and otter arc usually represented only by their stretched 
pelts, the panther by its head, the mountain sheep by its horns, the 
fish by its backbone, the grouse by its tracks, the deer not only as 
an entire figui-e, sometimes caught in a net, but also by its hoof, 
track, ears, head or horns. Birds, butterflies, and other insects are 
represented frequently only by the wings, but on account of the 
surface treatment of the triangular figures wliich usually serve in tliis 
connection, it is generally possible to recognize them. The grass- 
hopper is more often indicated by its leg or elbow than as an entire 
form. A number of parts of animals and human beings appear 
which apparently have no connection with any particular object, 
such as simply head, eye, tooth, mouth, heart, hand, finger, hand 
pointing, leg, foot, bent leg, bent back, broken back, rib, etc. There 
is a strong tendency to create diminutive designs of animals which are 
called "little dog," "little deer," "little beaver," etc. These are 
simply tlEe'ka designs wMch have become standardized and arranged 
so that they are classed as real designs. 

Artificial objects are second in popularity and variety as sugges- 
tions for designs. The majority are purely geometric, whatever may 
be the actual shape of the object. In a few cases the general out- 
lines resemble certain objects, such as the triangle the arrowhead, 
the scjuare or rectangle the bead, the series of triangles notched 
ladder poles. In some cases it is difficult to decide whether the 
design is a realistic sketch of a geometrically formed object, such 
as the root digger T, fishhook, Figure 122 (1), hammer, Figure 122 (2), 
or an instance of reading in a meaning which has been generally 
selected because of marked resemblance to a given object. In most 
cases the hkeness is purely superficial and rather obscure, and the 
number of interpretations of utterly unrelated character often appUed 
to the same designs strengthen the impression that the figures them- 
selves never have been more realistic than at present. 

The list of these artificial objects shows a rather peculiar selection, 
but on the whole comprises thos^ which enter most vitally into the 
life of the people. 

The plants occupy the third place in nxmiber of kinds represented, 
as well, perhaps, as in frequency of occiu-rence, and comprise trees 
and shrubs (not differentiated), leaves, several varieties of edible 
roots, an edible cactus, berries, and five varieties of flowers. The 
pine cone also figures as a very old design. Practically all of the 
patterns are geometric or purely conventional and many of them 
have only one interpretation. The maple leaf and edible cactus, 
however, appear as almost realistic delineations. The newer baskets 
are occasionally decorated with very beautifully executed floral 
designs. (PI. 40, c, e.) 


Geometric design names, if we except the descriptive terms, 
are few in number but of rather frequent occurrence. Such terms 
as circle, half circle, coil, spiral, points, notch, stripe, scratch, zigzag, 
and cross are all that appear. Modified by descriptive terms, these 
design names become the most numerous of any. The list of modifying 
terms and their Salish equivalents as given in the appendix will illus- 
trate how exactly these patterns may be described (see p. 400 et scrj.). 

Very few natural objects and natural phenomena appear as designs 
and they are aU purely geometric figures. The cloud and star pat- 
terns and their numerous variations are very popular. Sun, moon, 
hail, snow, lightning, and rainbow are rather rare. Mountains, 
lakes, waves, and trails are the only natural objects which figure 
as designs on baskets, but they are much used. Probably mountain 
patterns are as well liked and as frequently employed as any in the 
entire category. 

In addition to these six classes of designs there are a number of 
general patterns composed of combinations of elements or small 
designs. The names applied in such cases are practically identical 
with the geometric descriptive terms. Usually they are given to 
any combinations which they fitly describe, but some individuals 
have a tendency to restrict their use to particular arrangements with 
which they are most familiar. 

It has already been stated that disregarding the descriptive names 
for designs, animal patterns are the most numerous of any, while 
plants are comparatively rare. This seems to be the c£ise in the 
art of the majority of very primitive tribes as well as of many which 
have progressed to much higher levels of cidture. It can not be said 
that the reason for this as intimated by Grosse'* is always that 
primitive man is first of all a hunter and food gatherer, and therefore 
interested primarily in animal life, or that it is not until people adopt 
agriculture that their attention is awakened to the importance of 
plant life, wliich then begins to influence their thoughts and there- 
fore their art. Nevertheless, it is a very suggestive idea which might 
be substantiated by moi'e detailed investigation. 

A glance at the lists of design names employed by the Thompson 
and by the California tribes reveals one peculiar parallel. This 
is the use of the term "grasshopper elbow," but the designs 
used are not the same, except that they present sharp angles. 
There are a few other terms conunon to both regions, but they 
are used over practically the same region where the common 
strata of designs occurs. One, "bear foot," however, is represented 
by different designs in the two areas. Each tribe reflects in its art 
sometliing of its envirormient. This is but natural. Thus the 
Cahfornia people represent turtles, starfish, crabs, and ants, as well 

" Ernst Grosse, The Beginnings of Art, Appleton & Co., New York, 1914, p. 118. 


as acorns, while the Thompson depict the beaver, snowshoe, animal 
traps, dentalia, moss cake, etc. The Thompson represent a far 
greater variety of artificial and natural objects than do any of the 
Californian tribes. 

That there is no well-defined symbolism among the Thompson must 
have been apparent in what has already been said. A few geometric 
patterns, like the arrowhead, generally receive the same interpreta- 
tion by all the people. Aside from trhese, practically all geometric 
figures represent a variety of objects, while these in turn are often de- 
picted by more than one geometric form, but it all depends on some 
similarity between object and design which is recognized at the time 
by the pereon interpreting. There is no color symbolism except 
in the case of rain or snow and even reaUsm in color is often entirely 

I ^^ add a few general considerations to the simimary and conclu- 
sions written by Miss Roberts. 

The area in which imbricated basketry is made will be seen on the 
accompanjdng map. It stretches along the eastern side of the 
Cascade Range, beginning with the Chilcotin and following south 
through the territory of the Thompson as far as Wenatchi and 

The map shows that important changes of location have occurred 
in the whole area since the year 1800 or a little before that time. 
The KUckitat, who at present participate in the making of imbricated 
basketry, lived at that time south of the Columbia River. Mr. 
Teit obtained his information repeatedly from the tribes on the 
middle Columbia River, particularly from the Columbia, a subdivision 
of the Salish. It is remarkable that according to Melville Jacobs 
the Taitnapam, who live on the upper region of the Cowlitz River 
west of the Cascades and who are part of the Yaldma (that is, Klicki- 
tat), claim that they have always held the region which they inhabit 
at the present time. The claims of the interior SaUsh in regard to 
the migrations of the Yakima and Klickitat are borne out by lin- 
guistic evidence. The Cowlitz and the upper ChehaUs, who are 
neighbors, speak practically the same dialect. The vocabulary and 
grammatical structure are very much ahke. The only fundamental 
difference between the two dialects is that where the Cowlitz use a 
Ic the Upper Chehalis use tc. In tliis respect the latter agree with all 
the other coast dialects as far north as Comox. All the dialects of the 
interior as far east as Spokane and Kalispel use the Tc forms, wliile 
farther to the east the tc forms are found. On the map the area 
in which the Tc forms are used is indicated by a stipple band. The 
use of the Ic forms by the CowUtz can be understood only on the 
basis of an intimate relation between them and their eastern neigh- 

" By Franz Boas. 


bors. I believe that the reason why the Taitnapam claim to be 
indigenous must be looked for in the gradual settlement of this 
part of the country by the Yakima. According to the description 
given to Mr. Teit, it seems very likely that the Yakima language, 
to which the Taitnapam belongs, gradually gained the ascendency 
over the Sahsh dialect, so that in all probability the tribe, who hve 
at the present time west of the Cascades, are the original Sahsh 
tribe who have gradually given up their language and speak a Ya- 
kima dialect now. This would account for the absence of any 
knowledge of migrations. 

Whatever kind of basketry these tribes may have made in earlier 
times must have been strongly under the influence of the adjoining 
southern Oregonian and Californian tribes, and tliis may account for 
the common occurrence of the Californian motifs on their baskets. 

Miss Roberts has called attention to the possible relation of 
imbricated basketry motifs to those of the Plains. In regard to this 
problem it seems important to remember that in the eighteenth 
century the Salish tribes, the Shoshoni and Kutenai, extended east 
of the mountains into the Plains and that their contacts with the 
eastern tribes were very weak. On the other hand it seems that 
Plains motifs passed at an early period over the mountains into the 
southern parts of the plateaus which are inhabited by the Shoshoni 
and their relatives, and it may well be that the Plains motifs found 
their way into British Columbia by this route. The occurrence of 
quadrilateral designs divided by a central band, which are highly 
characteristic of Plains Indians art and which occur frequently in 
the art of the western plateaus, is presumably an indication of this 
type of cultural relation. This motif is found in decorative forms 
consisting of a series of connected diamonds divided in two by a 
central stripe; and in the rectangular designs, found particularly on 
Lillooet basketry, di\'ided in the center by an undecorated stripe 
and generally interpreted as " head design " (see pis. 19, a; 20, o; 29, c). 

The technical relation between beading and imbrication can hardly 
be doubted. The method of overla3dng the coil with decorative 
material is the same in both cases. The stimulus that may have led 
to imbrication is the desire to obtain continuous surfaces of the same 
color. This may be done in beading by overlaying a number of 
stitches with the ornamental material, as is done in weaving. On 
account of the weakness of the ornamental grass or bark, work deco- 
rated in this way will quickly deteriorate because the long strips of 
overlaid material would tear easily. By catching the overlay in 
each stitch of coiling this difficulty is obviated because the overlay 
is thus held firmly to the surface of the basket. 

Beading occurs commonly on the coiled rims of birch-bark baskets 
both in America and Asia. It leads to a modest development of 


patterns analogous to forms developed in weaving. In birch-bark 
basketry it is strictly confined to the rim; in coiled basketry it is 
easily transferred to the body of the walls and results largely in hori- 
zontal bands of single stitches or of starhke figures. Simple zigzags 
and other forms consisting of single lines may also occur. It may 
well be that the frequent occurrence of the imbricated star (see 
Sketches 399-401, pi. 86) is an immediate transfer from beading to 
imbrication. It is more easily achieved in beading than in imbrication. 

The question arises how the desire for continuous surface decora- 
tion may have arisen. 

Both the Tlingit twined baskets and the LUlooet imbricated work 
have the lower part of the basket bare. The decoration is essentially 
confined to the upper portion of the walls, although it covers a large 
part of the basket. It is quite conceivable that we may have here 
an encroachment of a rim design upon the body of the basket, anal- 
ogous to similar encroachments that have occurred in other areas.'* 
Mr. Teit and Miss Roberts have already pointed out that the custom 
of covering the upper part of birch-bark baskets with decorated skin 
may have helped in the development of this tendency. 

Birch-bark baskets as well as woven baskets require special treat- 
ment of the rim which protects it and holds it together. The stitches 
which hold the strengthening withe to the rim must be of different 
lengths in order to avoid the tearing of the bark. The regular 
arrangement of these stitches produces an ornamental effect. The 
extension of this technical ornamentation may have led to the 
encroachment of the decoration over the upper part of the basket. 

The fundamental development of the ornamentation must be 
considered in connection with the form of the basket. We have 
pointed out repeatedly that coiling and angular forms are incongruous. 
Simple coiling results in circular or oval forms. The production of 
angular forms seems to require a foreign stimulus. We must remem- 
ber that the fishing tribes of the northwest coast and of the plateaus 
are much more stable in their habits than the hunting tribes of the 
plains or those in the more southern plateaus, the Shoshoni and 
their relatives. Hence receptacles for storage are much more im- 
portant among them than among other tribes. Clothing, dried fish, 
berry cakes, and only to a limited extent seeds are stored. Long 
objects are best stored in rectangular receptacles like the trimk 
baskets of the Lillooet and Thompson, the boxes of the coast Indians, 
and the parfleches of the Plains Indians. The difference in the kind 
of material to be stored may account for the prevalence of round 
forms in northern California. It seems to me lilvcly that the stimulus 
for the production of angular forms may have been given by the need 

'fl See F. Adarpa van ScheI^ema, "Die altnordische Kunst," pp. 63 et seq. 


for rectangular trunks, combined with the linowledge of these forms 
produced in hide by both the Plains and Plateau Indians and by the 
wooden and baric boxes of the coast Indians. 

This argument, however, does not account for the angular forms 
of the burden baskets. Mr. Teit and Miss Roberts have pointed 
out that they do not roll so easily when carried on pack horses but 
this argument does not appeal to me strongly, because high cylin- 
drical baskets would be much more serviceable for this purpose. 
Stiff, conical baskets do not lend themselves to horseback transpor- 
tation; soft bags would be much more serviceable. Furthermore, 
the burden baskets are generally provided with packstraps and are 
intended for transportation on the back of man. For this piu-pose 
one flat side rests on the back of the carrier, which is a decided ad- 
vantage. The coast Indians attain this end by building the twined 
baskets between four rather stout comer withes which determine 
the general form.''^ 

The conclusion that the angular forms have not been developed 
without a foreign stimulus is strengthened by the type of decoration 
applied to the round coiled baskets which are most readily decorated 
with horizontal or diagonal patterns. Diagonal patterns, on the 
other hand, do not fit baskets with angular cross section. If, never- 
theless, we find that some of the angular baskets are decorated in 
this manner, we may assume that the motif has been transferred 
from a basket without corners to one with corners. 

The difficulties involved in producing vertical lines have been fully 
set forth in our discussion and have been worked out in detail by 
Doctor Haeberlin. Judging from the similarity between the vertical 
bands and porcupine quill work, and also with the patterns found on 
woven packstraps and belts, it seems plausible that the knowledge 
of these two types of technique and their transfer to baskets may 
have resulted m the present forms. 

Their application to the flaring basket of angular cross section has 
led to serious difficulties. On account of the tendency of lines 
intended to be vertical to lean to the left, a large bare field originates 
in the right-hand upper corner which distorts the balance of the 
decoration. The basket maker endeavors to overcome this difficulty 
by applying "fillers." The variety of these and the lack of a uniform 
system of treatment show that no definite pattern for the handling 
of the situation has developed. 

The detailed information on the scope of forms made by a number 
of basket weavers shows that the range of individual invention is 
strictly limited by the traditional style. This is true both of the 
forms of the baskets and of their decorations. Observation of the 

" See Jesup Expedition, Vol. V, fig. 79, p. 385. 


baskets leaves us with the impression that certain standard forms 
are attempted that might have been formulated in definite numerical 
relations. The tabulations given on pages 416 et seq. and sum- 
marized by Miss Roberts on pages 212-223 show that this is true in a 
very general way only. We might say that the form is felt, rather 
than obtained by deliberate measurements. It is interesting to note 
that other attempts to deterniine characteristic forms metrically have 
led to the same results. I have measured a large number of wooden 
boxes of the north Pacific coast which gave a definite impression of 
imiformity of proportions. I have not been able to find any pro- 
portion that coidd be designated as the standard. Dr. Ruth Bunzel 
has found the same in the pottery of the Zuiii Indians and Dr. Gladys 
A. Reichard has made the same observation in regard to the dishes of 
the Admiralty Islands. 

Designs which are claimed by the makers as their own inventions 
are generally slight modifications of current forms. This is even true 
of the so-called "dream designs." I presume when the Indians use 
the term "dream design," which is found not only on the western 
plateaus but also among the Indians of the Plains, they mean that 
the design appears to them as an original invention. Whether it 
actually appeared in a dream or whether it is a visual image is not 
certain. It is certainlj^ striking that none of the designs of the 
Thompson Indians resemble those of the Klickitat and that none of 
the new inventions follow Klickitat lines. The power of invention 
of the artist is obviously under the control of tradition. 

In the long seiies of design names collected by Mr. Teit and 
brought together in Plates 78-94, we may recognize that a large 
number are merely descriptions, while others may be considered as 
loose designations of forms. The great variety of names applied to 
the same form indicate clearly that we are not dealing with designs 
which could in any way be interpreted as conventionalized repre- 
sentations, but that we are merely dealing with descriptions based 
on a comparison between the geometric form and some object. 
This, of course, applies only to the true geometrical designs, not to 
the ob^^ous representations of animals and of plants. 

The general tendency of the natives is well illustrated by the 
design on a soft bag represented by Farrand,'* which was pur- 
chased by a Thompson woman from one of the southeastern tribes. 
The series of connected diamonds appealed to her, according to the 
interpretative tendencies of the Thompson people, as a series of 
lakes. In order to bring out the idea more clearly she added small 
embroideries representing birds flying toward the lakes. 

The general tendency of the Thompson is similar to that found 
among the California Indians. They have a large number of design 
names without, however, attaching to a definite form a single term. 

's Livingston Farrand, Basketry Designs of the Salish Indians, Jesup Expedition, Vol. I, pi. 23, flg. 1. 


The nomenclature is at the present time still highly variable. There 
is no indication whatever that the terminology corresponds to any 
kind of symbolic meaning. 

In this respect the contrast between basket designs and rock 
painting, as described by Mr. Teit, is quite striking.^' The making of 
the design is connected with certain ceremonials and they must be 
interpreted as crude pictographic representations. The forms which 
they attain may be influenced to a certain extent by decorative forms 
employed in basketry, painting, or carving; but their existence does 
not prove that the decorative elements applied in basketry are de- 
rived from symbolic prototypes. 

78The rock paintings have a symbolic signilicance and the design is understood by the people. 


The following list of terms relates to basket making in all its differ- 
ent aspects. The terms are given in Mr. Teit's orthography, which 
is not quite accurate. All the terms belong to the Thompson dialect. 

Indian Terms for Prepared Materials 

kome?w6'p Roots of cedar (common name for roots of a 

tree) . 
.slil'kEntEn Cortex of cedar roots (often used for tying 

bundles of splints). 
kwosi'Ek Splints of outside parts of cedar roots next 

the cortex (often used for sewing bottoms 

of baskets), 
.sxil'tsa Outside part of sheath removed from grass 

stems when preparing them. 
pekla'n, pakla'n, tu'Ex Bark of the bird cherry (these are special 

terms for the bark of this particular tree),'n Birch bark (sometimes used in coiled bas- 
.tlkai.tx, full-grown; .nkoEtei.tx Bulrush (sometimes used in coiled basketry). 

kout, young. 
tlEne'. It, fuU-grown;tsE]u't, young. Tule (sometimes used in coiled basketry). 

slo'ats (inside bark of cedar) "i These are special cedar terms. The Thomp- 

sikwa'm (outside bark of cedar) J son did not use these parts in basketry. 

.ntua'iuk (cambium layer) 1 These terms are common for parts of any 

kai.i'tsa (sapwood) [ tree. Used in basketry by the Thomp- 

.nkEmeltsi (heart) J son. 

Indian Terms for Processes op Preparation 

kEthwo'pEm To cut or collect grass for stems; to cut or 

collect roots. 

kethwo'pEp The gathering or cutting of grass; grass to 

be cut. 

.skEthwop Grass already cut (from ski'tx, to cut off; 

skEtu'x", cut oft" short). 

sBka'usEm To split grass stems (with point of awl) 

before imbricating (from cekuEm, to split). 

kia'nnsEm To press or smooth grass stems before imbri- 

co'xEx To split or work up roots into fine splints. 

tcuwanl'sEm To even the edges of splints with awl or 

knife by splitting off. Term also applied 
to grass and bark when treated thus. 

kwanEni'sEm, from kwanEm, to To soak grass, bark, splints, etc. 



Indian Tebms for Prepared Materials 

nho'itlEXEii Grass (any kind) prepared for basket 


komea'ux, kumia'ux Prepared roots. 

•sxii'tsa Outside part or sheath removed from grass 

stems when preparing them. 

.npi.a'uskEn tEk tu'Ex One bundle or package of cherry bark. 

.nsi.a'uskEn tEk komia'uix Two bundles of splints (especially sewing 

splints), enough for ordinary sized burden 

.sza'nEin, viz, coil instead of splints. Coil splints. 

.nylpami'n, from .syl'p, seized or The sewing splint, 
bound tightly. 

.nkatla'uskEn tEk .nlioitlEXEn Three bundles of grass stems. 

pekla'n, pakla'n, tuEX Bark of the bird cherry (used for imbrica- 
tion).'n Birch bark. 

Technical Descriptive Terms 




Coiled basketry 


Flat coiled or slat basketry 


Meaning square, angular, 


with corners 


Hole made bv the awl, (also 


From .ship or .shap, 




Stitching or sewing 


From .syl'p, seized or 
bound tightly 

Ordinary sewing or furcation 


Furcated sewing or bifurca- 


From .sha'p, pierced 



To furcate or pierce each 



Irregularly furcated stitches 


From .ssi'u, out of line 


The reflexive term 

A furcation!?) 


Interlocking stitches passing 


From toxto'xt, straight, 

between two others, not 

te'tox, to direct 



The reflexive term 

Medial sewing 


From .siu'x, threaded, in- 

Close stitching 


From .sto'k, .stu'k, closed 

Loose, open stitching 


From .sye'x, having open 

Rigid basketry 


From kwltskwl'tst, rigid, 

Flexible basketry 


Flexible, pliable 

Thin basketry 


Diminutive of tExi'xat, 

Fine narrow hand 

Fine work (narrow thin coils 

tExi'.xat tEk kei'ix 

and stitches) 

Thick basketry 

.nzu'iEst, .nzu'.ist 

From zii'it, thick 

Coarse work, thick coils and 

zu'it tEk kei'ix 

Thick coarse hand 




Technical Descriptive Terms — Continued 





Basketry with an even 


From .stcuwe's, even, all 

smooth surface 

equal in size 
This term is also used to 
describe baskets without 

Bumpy, uneven basliet walls 


Literally drawn in, tight- 
ened; from'us, 
wearing a belt;'- 
ustEn, belt 


Terms for drawn in, nar- 




Bagliet oreoils made of spHnts 


The coils are rather wide 

from outside of cedar roots 

Flat coils 


From e'yut, used by 
Lower Lillooet for sur- 
face; also applied to 
basket made of such 

Bottom commenced with a'p 

From .sra'tc, fastened, 


tied; in reference to a 


Bottom commenced with 


From WEtlka'iin, to pry 

twining or wrapping of the 

kind called .swEtlkaii 

Bottom commenced with 


From .syl'ik, wrapped 

simple wrapping 


Basket with bottom begun 

.s. nyilka'p 

with simple wrapjiing 

Bottom of a continuous spiral 


From pi, one 

Bottom commenced with a 


From pEna'us, folded back 

folded or doubled end 

Bottom of coil folded back 


From .spa'n, folded; pa'nt, 

and forth 

return or turn back 

Slat bottom 


From .sxa'i.ts, wood 

Slat bottom where slats are 


From .sku'x, coiled bas- 

joined by sewing 

ketry and sewing 

Slat bottom where slats are 


From .skt'ts, .skitz, woven 

woven together 

or twined 

Bottom of heavy sjilints 


taken from the outside of 

cedar roots 

Loopwork or openwork bas- 


From .shahltl, pinked, 

ket walls 

gnawed, serrated 

Plain rim 


From k „ u ' m k „ u m t , 
smooth, bare 

Braided rim 

f .stlEmaxtci'n 

From .stiema'x, braided 

Ring-coil rim 


From paza'nEm, to meet 

Slat rim 


From sxai.ts, wood, stick 

Loopwork rim 


From .shahfti, pinked, 

Thick rim 


From zu'it, thick 

f.shahEtltcI'n tEk 

From .shahltl, .shitl, 

Openwork rim of two coils 


pinked, gnawed, and 

twining around each other 

.shahEtltcI'n tEk 

.stlup, twisted 

Openwork rim with basketry 

.shahEtltc!' n tEk 

From .s.nlu'?", threaded 

coil or bark ribbon run 


through the loops 

Openwork rim of a single 

.shahEtltci'n tEk 

loop coil 



Technical Descriptive Terms — Continued 

(ETH. ANN. 41 




Openwork rim of two loop 

.shahEtltcI'n tEk 



Openwork rim of coils,' the 

.shahEtltcI'n tEk 

From kite, to reach, re- 

loops of which meet each 



other at the bends 


Lid in one piece with the 


From memats, in one 

side of the basket 

piece, or a whole 

Loopwork lid 


From .shahltl, pinked, 

Slat lid 





Common term for any 
kind of awl 

literally "piercing instru- 
ment," term sometimes 


To wrap the end of a 


yii' kEm 

Common word for wrap- 

(as in a bottom) 

ping around and around 
.syii'k, wrapped around 
and around 

To make coils of the outside 


parts of cedar roots 

To make a hole with the awl. 

hapt'm, hspl'm 

to make a stitch 

To tap the stitch home with 


To .strike surface 

the awl 

To furcate in the ordinary 



To bifurcate 


Related to haplm (see 
p. 390) 

To coil 


To go around in a circle 

To complete a coil 

za'nEm tla'k zEl.paist 

Go around-continue-circle 

The process of twining or 


wrapping, binding the coils 

together as when 


mencing a bottom 

To do wrapping 


Literally to ijry 

A round of coil'ist 

One round of coil 


Ring coil 


Literally meet each other 

.sklst tEk .szanEm 

Literally faint or con- 
cealed, invisible (junc- 
tion of coil ends) 

kEsI'p tEk .szanEm 

Faint or invisible coil 

kEste's .sza'nEms 

She makes ring coil; liter- 
ally she conceals it, her 

To make a bottom 


tcQ'um to make, .stcu'u, 

1 There are also other names for this form. 



Processes — Continued 





To make the coil circular on 


a bottom or lid which has 

been started as an elon- 

gated watch-spring 

To commence the sides 


Literally to raise up, to 
make upright, as a wall 
or stick 

Terms applied when sides are 


set up 


set down 


sticking up 


Very straight walled, little 

Completely around the sides, 

na'xom tEk .stci'k 

Really or truly 


as applied to coils and de- 


Encircled all over, as applied 


to coils and designs 

To make beading 


To imbricate 


Probably from pa'nEm, to 
fold; see also pEntm and 
pEnaxi'n, to make moc- 

To make designs 


.stcEtcu', ornamentation 

An article in the process of 


making (coiled work) 

It is being made (coiled 



To make coiled ware 


She makes coiled ware 


To finish a basket (complete 


From tcii.k, finished 


I have finished it (the bas- 



To make a rim 


Literally to make edge, 
from .stcu'u, made 

To prepare a basket or load 


for packing 

Measurement Terms 

To measure 

To measure with the hand 

To measure with a splint 


Measurement by length of 
digits of the middle finger 
of the right hand 

Measurement of the full 
length of the middle finger 
of the right hand laid with 
its back to the object 

Measurement of the width 
of one finger 

.sza'x, .szt'x 
.sze'x, (.sxa'x) 

.sza' XEkst 


sia'kst (two finger 

musakst (four finger 


General term 

sei.a' tEk Esza'x, two joints 
their lengths 


Measurement Terms — Continued 

[ETH. ANN.41 




One span, thumb to second 



.stle'xEkst, .fle'x.kst 
sei'.a tsk .sza'xEkst 

Meaning two spans 

One finger length and two 

.sza' xEkst el sia' kst 

finger breadths, i. e., full 

length of the back of the 

middle finger of the right 

hand joint bv joint from 

tip to knuckle, with the 

additional breadth of the 

first two fingers of the left 


Parts of Baskets 




Its coil 


From za'nEm 


To move in a circle 

Bottom, i. e., bottom of an 




Beginning of coil 


From tcI'mEl begiiniing 

End of coil 

tcu'ktcatEn, tcuk- 

From tcuk finished, fin- 



Foot ( = saucery 


Literally "what bottom is 
set up in" 

Side of burden basket resting 


Term given by informant 

on the back of the bearer 

No. 5 

Side of a basket, i. e., side of 


an object 


Side of burden basket next 


From kwe.'lt to carry, 

to the bearer 

term given by informant 
No. 35. 

Long side of burden basket 


From lala'.t close, next, 

next to the bearer 

term given by inform- 
ant No, 8 

Side of burden basket away 

From ai'.tska outside, 

from the bearer 

term given by inform- 
ants Nos. 5 and 35 

Long side of burden basket 


From ai'.tska outside, 

away from the bearer 

term given by inform- 
ant No. 8 

Short side of burden basket, 


i. e., side of an object 

Short ends of burden basket 


Its ends 

Short side of burden basket 


Literally "good surface," 

to right hand of the bearer 

"right-hand surface," 
from y'a good (I in com- 
pounds; siha'kst right 

Short side of burden basket'.st 

From .stsuk.(a'kst) left 

to left hand of the bearer 


Rim of a basket, i. e., rim of 


an object 

Its rim 


Rim or edge of a basket 


Term applied to a sharp 
edge, not much used in 
connection with baskets 

Parts of Baskets — Continued 





Its edges 


Mouth of a basket 


Common word for mouth 

Lid, i. e., lid of any object 


Flange on a basket 

hItlEmi'n, hstlaml'n 

Flange on tlie lid 


Lid without flange (i. e., sim- 


From .slok riding 

ply resting on the rim of 

the basket) 

Lid fastened to a basket by 


From .sa'q tied 

strings passing through it 

on which the lid slides up 

and down 

Tie-strings of a lid 


From sra'tc fastened , 

Hinges on a basket holding 


the lid 


Partitions inside the basket 


The second is a diminu- 


tive term 

Handle of the basket 


From .skvvo'kEm to hold 

Handle of the lid 


From kwEnam to seize 


The last is said to be the 


proper term 

Handle of skin passing across 


See .nkoo'sEm. According 

the top of the basket 

to some, these are the 
loops to which this han- 
dle is attached. Per- 
haps it includes both. 
The term is also used 
for a kettle handle 

Loops on the side of the bur- 


From zEli'p circle. This 

den basket, through wh.ich 

term refers to the two 

the tump line or pack-strap 

loops on the side 


next to the bearer 

Loop through which the 


This term refers to the 

pack-strap passes 

single loop on the outer 
side away from the 
bearer, through which 
the strap passes to pre- 
vent its slipping up. 

Basket with attached tump 


Tie-strings on the basket for'.k.tEn, 

fastening the load across 


the top 


Branches of fir or willow, or 


large leaves which are 

used to keep the load in 

place and shade it 

Kinds of Baskets 

Ordinary large burden basket 
Burden basket slightly 

smaller than the average; 

used by some people for 

slightly lowered walled 


tsi.a'; tsi.^E; tsea' 


Diminutive of tsi.a'; used 
in a familiar or endear- 
ing sense 


Kinds of Baskets — Continued 

IETH. ANN. 41 


Rather small burden basket, 
averaging about 10 inches 
in height 

Small burden basket 

The ordinary smallest-sized 
burden basket 

The very smallest size used 
by little girls and occasion- 
ally by older people but 
not for carrying burdens 

Loaded burden basket 

Large oblong storage basket 

Small oblong storage basket 

Large circular basket, kettle 
or water container 

Small kettle basket or large 

Small bowl 

Bath tub basket 


Basket used for cooking ber- 
ries before making berry 

Basket in which to beat up 
soapberry froth, a favorite 

Mortar basket to mash ber- 


Basin (common term for 

hand basin) 
Basin in which splints are 


Kettle or boiler 

Water basket, used in sweat- 

Shaman's hand bowl 


tse.he'tza, tsihe'tsa 

spa' pEnEk 

spanEko' ktsa 




.ncS'.xamEn, .nshe' 

'.nkwoi' tsamEn 
,.nqwoi' tsEmmEn 











Meaning false tsi.a' 

Diminiitive form of spa'- 

Diminutive, meaning false 


Diminutive of .stluk 
Meaning thing for water 

Diminutive of .nko'EtEn 

Diminutive of .nko'EtEn. 

There is some confusion 

of the two terms as used 

by the people 
Meaning thing for bathing 

in; from c.e'.xEm, to 

bathe the body 

{Literally, thing for wash- 
ing in; from qwoitsEn, 
to wash something 

IFrom tlktltEtza, to cook 
/ berries 

{Literally, thing to make 
xozEm in; from .sxo'- 
zEm, soapberry 
Literally, thing for mash- 
ing berries in; from 
tsaqa'pa, to mash ber- 
ries for eating fresh; 
tsaqa'patEn, a common 
name for the pestle 
used, which was gen- 
erally of wood 
I Literally, thing for wash- 
ing in, from tsa'usEm, 
to wash (as the face) ; 
and tsa'uEm, to wash 
Meaning to wash; tsaustEn, 

Literally, thing in which 
to soak splints or edges; 
from kwa'uEn, soaked, 
and kwanEnlsEm, to 
soak splints 
Literally, thing for boil- 
ing in; from qa'uxEm, 
to boil food (old style?), 
and .nqa'ux, a thick 
root soup 
Literally, thing for making 
steam with; from llEm, 
to make steam or to put 
water on hot stones 



Kinds op Baskets — Continued 





Literally, "dip thing;" 


from za'umEn, to dip 

Dipper or cup 


Literally, thing to drink'katEn 

with; from 6'qa, to 


Triangular pourer 


Literally, instrument for 
pouring; from kwEli'm, 
to pour 


Common term for spoon 

Spoon or ladle 

1 .stlaxI'mEn 
1 .sku'x tEk stlaxe'- 
mEN ' 

Basketry spoon 



Common term for rattle 

.sku'x tEk .nki'koxE- 

Basketry rattle 



Literally, thing for work- 

Workbasket of any shape 

ing with; from a'lEkst, 
to work 

Winter lodge or underground 


From sii'stEkEn, kekule 

house shape 


Nest shape 


From zu'man, bird's nest 

Any round basket 


From skomox, round 
From qapu'x, hazelnut; 

Small round basket 


-qa'in is a term some- 
times used for round or 
head-shape articles 

Smallest round basket 


PVom -qe'qEn, diminutive 
of -qa'in 


From cwa'utl, small fish, 

Shape similar to white man's 
angler's basket 

< na'qwEntEn 

From a'kwEn, bait; liter- 
ally, thing to put bait in 


Term used for any object 
which held tobacco, also 
called skQx tEk axa'na, 
from axa'na, term for 
rawhide saddlebags used 
by women 

Basketry baby carrier 

.sku'x tEk kwot li'.tEn 

Wearing and Mending 

Worn-down basket with 

broken rim 
Basket with mended bottom 


From la'uxEm, to patch 

Propobtions and Shapes 

Basket with a large bottom 
Basket with a narrow bottom 
Basket with a small bottom 

.ntl.q'ap ISeems to mean wide bot- 

.ntl.i.qap / torn. 

.nteExI'x.p A diminutive form. 

.s.ntsuxwa'p From .stsij'x pointed 

..s.ntsuxhwa'p Meaning drawn in at one 

end, because the basket 
approaches a point at 
the base, used for unusu- 
ally small bottoms. 

' .skux is often added to phrases or words to indicate that coiled basketry is meant, as .skuxtEk 
ekeza'mtEm; literally, tobacco receptacle of coiled basketry. 


Proportions and Shapes — Continued 

[ETH. ANN. 41 




Basket with a circular bottom 

Basket with a long bottom 

Very perfect watch-spring 

Elongated watch-spring bot- 

Angular basket with sharp 

Basket with angular mouth 

or sharp corners 

Rounded basket 

Basket with rim lower along 

the sides than at the ends 

Basket of usual proportions 

except half height 
Square-mouthed basket 
Large-mouthed basket 
Small-mouthed basket 

Basket with widely flaring 

Basket with little flare 
Narrow mouth 

Wide mouth 

Long mouth'p'p 

.nkaie'q.p tEk .nzaxEp 

.nkaieq.p tEkts .nza'- 
ZEX .p 





.shi ka'us 

.sxEUEx tcl'n 









From kaie'k, round or cir- 
cular in outline 

From za'xt, long 

From kaie'k, round 

The second term is used 
particularly if the bot- 
tom is nearly round 

From .skwou, .skwau, bent 
or leaning over 

From .szl'l, in a circle 
From .sle'.s, sagging, low 

Meaning half full 

From azii'm, axazQ'm, big 
From kwome'ma, small; 

-tcit-En is the diminutive 

of -tcin 
From le'qEt, wide; or 

.stik, squatty (?) 

From texi'xat, 
thin sidewise 
From le'qEt, wide 





.S-, when prefixed to a verb, transforms it to a noun. 

S-, seems often to imply a finished or completed condition. 

.n-, inessive. 

Reduplication is a sign of the frequentative or of repetition of some kind; also it 
is a sign of the plural or distributive. Certain kinds of reduplication are used as 


-tcIn, -tcEn, mouth, edge, rim, shore. 

-tcintEii, thing at mouth. 

-a'ni, ear, corner, angle or prominence between. 

-ap, -ep, Ep, -.p, bottom, foundation. 

-x'wop, foundation, root, spread out, far-reaching. 

-I'kEn, back, ridge. 

-aist, -est, -ist, -Est, surface, skin. 

-ei'.st, stone. 

-a'kst, -i'kst, -Ekst, -kst, hand, arm, finger. 




-a'tza, -he'tza, false, imitation, not real, substitute, 
-ten, -tin, -tin, -tEn, thing, object, place, 
-min, -niEn, thing, tool, instrument. 
-qain, -qBn, head, top, round thing like a head, 
-a'us, -e'us, middle; trail, way, space between; together, mutual, 
-twa'ux, -Entwa'ux, each other, one another. 
-Enis, edge, sharp edge, 
-a'nns, -a'n.s, edge, border, tooth. 
-Em, verbal ending. 
-Ema, verbal ending, 
-e'ltsi, body, inside of body. 

-a'uskEn, top or middle of head, rounded thing, bundles of certain kinds, 
-i'tsa, skin, covering, 
-elp, -elp, -Blp, plant, tree, bush, 
-ei'.tx, -ai'.tx, leaf, paper, flat thin thing, 
-a'iuk, -eEk, a'iek, -I'Ek, tree, stick, long and small thing, 
-o'e, real, proper, common. 
-I'kEntEn, thing on the back, ridge. 
-aks, nose, point, end. 
-e'kEn, -a'ken, load, bagful, bale. 
-Enl'stEn, thing at edge. 
-e'kst(t)En, thing for the hand. 
-e'lEmox, vessel or utensil, sack. 
-a'ptEn, thing at bottom, 
-a'ne, all over. 
-s, possessive, 
-tim, hollow, inside space, 
-us, face, eye, frontal surface. 
-ii'stEn, -o'.stEn, thing at face. 
-.Elne'ut, side of body. 

-a'pqEn, bottom of head, back of head or neck, 
-.ytn, -xEn, leg, foot, shoe. 
-i'Et, -ei'.t, child, offspring or young, 
-h-, -W-, used for euphony in certain combinations. 

-t-, when the possessive s has to be added to a word ending with s, t is put be- 
tween the two s's. 
-t-, it. 



Plain basket devoid of designs 

Worked, ornamented 
Ornamented, bearing pat- 


Ornamented bottom 
Having designs on the inside 
Ornamented sides 
Ornamented all over 






.stcui'kst tEn 





f Possibly derived from 
\ kwu'mkwumt, smooth. 



[ETH. ANN. 41 






leape'pekEn (?) a diminu- 
tive (?) used commonly 
for over and under one 
or two. 

Beaded bottom 


Basket or object with beaded 



Beaded line marking theo- 

leEpa'ptEn, leapa'p- 

retical or actual limits of 


the bottom 

fThe terms seem related to 

Beading on the walls of a 
basket, or beading in gen- 

1 .sleEpI'kEn 

the word for ribbon, or 
to .slepx, dotted with 
[ holes here and there. 

Beading at the rim 


Beaded line around the rim 


Beaded lid 


Beaded design 





From spa'n, folded; or 

pa'nEin, to fold. 
(Folded middle; folded dou- 



Sometimes applied to im- 

Imbricated bottom or imbri- 


cation on the bottom 

Basket with an imbricated 





Basket covered with imbri- 

/.stlii'k tlo' 



From zulip complete circle. 

cation all around 

\.stlu'k tlo ZEl 



Encircled all over. 

Basket surface imbricated all 


From .stuk closed. 

over, designs and back- 


Filling (small designs for 


Related to -tci'n, rim (?) 

bare spaces) 

because such designs are 
placed near the top (?). 

Terms Descriptive of Designs or Their Arrangements 

Bare between designs kwikwwmii'us, from kwu'mkwumt, smooth, 

Close formation (but not touch-fkikatEniEntwa'ux, from ki'.kat, close, near. 
Ing). lla'EmEutwa'ux, from .sla'a, lata'.t, close, near. 

.nkitcha'uas, kltcha'uas, from ki'tc, to arrive 

at; -ha'us, way, path, progression. 
ratcBniEntwa'us, from .Sta'tc, tied, fastened. 
.slEli'k tEk ESratCrii'tc. 

Connected by middles ratca'usEmEntwa'ux. 

Corners touching each other .skEnkEna'ksBmEntwa'ux, from .skl'n, touch- 

Connected (running into each, 
other) . 

boas: appendix 401 

Having corners or shoulders .kEnkEna'xEnEmEntwa'ux, from kinl'n, to hit 
^touching each other. against something. 

Diagonal zigzag .skakazEtla'ks, from .skazl'tl, tumbling over, 

or leaning to one side. 
Diagonally arranged, or oblique- .sta'l. 

f.stlkausa'iuk, from .stlka'.us, together; -aiuk, 
Double lines -j tree, stem, log, pole, line, long thing. 


{.stcEtcue'ltsi, from stcEtcu'u, ornamented, em- 

Ends connected kItcE.\a'ks. 

Ends apparently entering each ulxuha'ksEmEntwa'u.x, from ulx^, to enter; 

other. -a'ks, ends. 

Ends of one apparently entering ul.Xuha'ksausEmEntwa'ux, from ulx^, to enter, 
the middles of others. -a'ks end, -aus, middle. 

Ends pointing downward kutea ha'ks, from kutca, to go down. 

Ends pointing upward hatlEma'ks, hEthatlEma'ks, from ha'tlEm, to 


Ends separated kaka"wa'ks, from kaka'ii, far, distant. 

Ends touching each other .skEnkEna'ksEniEntwa'ux, from .ski'n, touch- 
.s.nHiupstwa'ux, from uix, to enter; -tips, 

back, base, 
tuxlux.patwa'u.x, from .slux, entered into 
something; -ap, bottom. 

Entering bottoms of each othef- 

Entwined. See Twisted. 

Far apart from each other fkakauEmEntwa'ux. 

Figure with angles, especially stlEntla'ni, from .stla'ni, with ear; tla'ni, ear. 

Grouped, scattered .slell'k, from .sli'k, something in a mass or in 

a spot. 
Hanging, dropping (from a large f.sto'x, from stox, hanging, suspended, 
pattern). l.stoxto'x. 

Heaped up .shapha'p, from .sha'p, heaped. 

Horizontal .skEtsa'us, .skEtski'ts, from .skEtz, .skt'ts, 

across, crosswise. 

In ones, here and there npe'apai'a, from pa'i.a one. 

In twos, here and there .nseasei'.a, from se'i.a two. 

tcoqatwa'ux, from .stco'q, joined; tcoqEm, to 
join, unite. 

Oblong za'x.tsa, from za'xt, long. 

One. See In ones, here and 

One catching into or pressing on sk.ipstwa'ux, from sk.i'.p, pinched, squeezed, 

the other (apparently) . caught between something. 

One resting within the other (ap- .slukstwa'ux, from lu'kEm, to embrace. 

parently) . 
Opposite. See Two opposed 
points; Pointing opposite ways. 

Pointed .skEm.Etla'ks, from .skEmE'tl, diminishing to 

a vanishing point. 

Sharp points. 

Separate peastcu't 

Single peastcu'tst, diminutive 


Pointing opposite wa.ys mEnausa'kstEm, from .nniEna'us, .nmEna'u- 

sa'kst, on botli sides, on both hands. 
Projecting. See With project- 
ing points. 
Rows, or one following the other_ .skei.stwa'ux, from kei'Em, to pursue, follow. 

xozxoza'ks," from .sxozxo'z, sharp. 
.stsEmtsBma'ksl f.stsEma'ks, sharp 

[from< pointed, or from 
.stsE.tsBma'ks J [ .stsa'm, bone. 

peastcu't, alone; 

Hromj P'*'^ °°''' ^"^ 
-tcut, self (re- 

„ , j.npiii'ist, .npipia'ist, from .npa'ia, in one piece. 

y [.s.nwElwEla'us, from .sweI, swll, clear space. 

I'.skekEnt'tz, from .skanl'tz, in progressive cir- 

Spiral ] cles or spirals. 


Touching each other kEUEmEntwa'u?. 

_, , J.skEtu'x If fskEtu'?, cut off short. 

[skEtkEttu'xJ I .skit, cut, cropped. 

Twisted If ^ff T'^^^l, J-from .stlu'p, twisted. 

[tluptlu patwa uxj 

Two opposed points mEnausa'ks, from mEna'us, both sides. 

Upright, standing up from j-stsel'p, something upright or set up. 

['ks, something upright, -a'ks, end, point. 

Vertical j.stseEp, from stsei'p, upright. 

[.shatha'tlEm, from ha'tlEm, to ascend. 
With projecting end .stlklma'ks, from'm, projecting. 

-n Kroio, projecting. 

„,.^, , , . , f.skEma'ks, end, promontory, projection. 

With sharp ends or pomts < , , _,, 

[.skEmkEma ks 

Names for Geometric Figures' 

■ .[-straight line. 

1. .sti'l, .s'tl'.l, anything spread out lengthwise so as to be long and narrow. 

2. .sti'l tEk toxto'xtl 

3. toxto'xt tEk .sti' 

4. .stE'xo's ' (or .stoxo's) tEk .sti'l, line going straight. 

5. .sta'.l, a diminutive form of .stitl, straight. 

6. .stllti'l, a frequentative or plural form. 

7. .stllta'.l, a frequentative or plural form. 

8. .stsE.xl'p, .stsEhl'p, 

9. .stoxo's tEk .stsEhl'p 
10. .stsExi'p tEk texo's 

Any vertical line or erect, perpendicular long and nar- 
row thing going straight up (tsEhl'p not applied to 
people or animals). 

11.'ks,^ standing on end, upright, point up. 

12. hatlEmqai'.n,' head or end up, ascending. 

13. .sqE.z .sqa'rz ' u'a .sihe'ltsi * These terms do not mean bent or 
Straight thing not vertical to the right side. crooked objects but leaning ones 

that are straight. 

<* Applied to angles and zigzags with sharp ends. 
*■ Also applied to a design with corners. 

' For notes see pp. 410-4U. 
































92-94- '"' 











'^° S5-56 


99- 102 







5a- 59 

79-ai /^^y\Ay\ 

\03- lof 

A AAA <I> 

105-106 127-129 




27-29 , 

\ X 








88 iio-ni 





Fig. 120.— Names for geometric figures 


14. .skwaii'u" sqa'rz u'a .sihe'ltsi, leaning to the right side. 

15. .szi'lilvEni' sqa'rz u'a .sihe'ltsi, head fallen over to the right side, leaning over 
as if half fallen. 

16. ..szi'kkEn ..sqa'rz u'a .stsukahe'ltsi 
neiid fallen over not vertical to the left side. 

17. ..sqE'.z .sqa'rz u'a .stsukahe'ltsi 
Straight thing not vertical to the left side. 

18. .skwau'u u'a .stsukahe'ltsi, leaning to the left side. 

19.'ka,* vertical line with a branch, especially if this is directed upward. 

20. .stla'ku.ka,' a spikelike object with a protruding stub, especially if this be at 

right angles or if the stub seems to enter the object like a nail. 

21. .nxoxsqai'.n, forked head. 

22. .nxoxstci'n,'" forked, or forked mouth or opening. 

2.3. tlEzota'ks, end indirect or askew. IghoH line inclined upward from upper 

24. .skauwa'ksl" tsk ta.ta'.ks iiau'x"s ^^ ^f ^ vertical line. 

Broken end not very much.) ^ 

25. .skol.tsa'ks,'^ crooked or zigzag end. I Short line at right angle at upper end of 

26. .skauwa'ks, broken end. J long vertical line. 

27. .ske.waha'ks,'^ hook, or hooked end. 

Short line inclined downward from 
upper end of long vertical line. 

28. .skaiu'wa, hook, gaff. 

29. .stse'i'p tEk'ks 
standing up broken through end. 

30. .skeiu'wa tEk toxtox t, straight hook. 

Hook straight 

31. .skeiuwao'e," real hook. Vertical line with crook at upper end. 

Hook real. 

32. .stsel'p tEk .smu'tsksn 
standing up bent head (or curved). 

33. .skEtsa'p," crossed, meaning something across the bottom. Short base line 

under vertical line. 

34. .skEtskai'.n, crossed, or across head.] 

35. na'xom tek skEtsqai'.n T-shaped top. 

Truly crossed head. J 

36. .skEtskai'.n tEk .stlEkEma'ks,'" short cross line near top. 

Crossed head projecting end. 

37. .skEtskEtsa'ks tEk mEna'us," across ends both ways.l^pQgg jjj^g g^^^ ^.^p g^^^j 

38. mEna'us a kEtsa'kstEn '* ( bottom 
Both ways the crossed-end thine. J 

39. siii'Ek " tEk .stse.(h)a'ks tBkkl'katEmEntwa'ux"^™ i. e., two vertical lines 

Two (lines, etc.) standing on end close to each other 

close together. 

40. sia'Ek tsk .stse(h)a'ks tEk kaka'uEmEntwa'ux"',^' two vertical lines far apart. 

41. sisia'Ek22 tEk .stlkausa'Bk 23 tEk .stse.(h)a'ks tEk tcu'u « 
Two lines (or in twos) together lines standing on ends rather 

kaka'uEniEntwa'ux" i. e., vertical lines together in twos rather far apart. 
far from " each other. 

42. musa'Ek^s tEk .stse.(h)a'ks tEk kike'katEmEntwa'ux" ''" 
Four lines standing on ends close to each other. 

43. .stutuwa'p, spreading toward the bottom. Cf. tatuEna'ist, a design of lines 

alternately converging and separating. 

44. .stutuwa'p tEk .skEtsqai'.n, spreading toward the bottom, with something 

placed across the top. 

45. sia'Ek tEk .stsE.hl'p tsk wT'st tEk .skEtsqai'.n, i. e., two long vertical lines 

Two lines standing erect high cross head 

with something across the top. 

46. xEnExa'ks," square or blunt point. 

47. sia'Ek tEk .stsE.hi'p tEk .slo's tEk .skEtsqai'.n, i. e., two low vertical lines 
Two lines standing erect low cross head 

with something across the top. 
For notes see pp. 410-411. 



47a. .sia'Ek tEk .stsB.hi'p tEk .nlaui'mEx -' tEk .skEtsqa'i.n, i. e., two vertical lines 
Two lines standing erect near the ground cross head 

near to the ground with something across the top. 

48. .s.ntla'kiuiniEx-' tEk tcu'u kaka'uEniEntwa'ux" tEk za'xt a kEtsqai'ntEns. 

Stakes in the groiind rather far from each other long the their thing across head. 

49. si.a'Ek tEk .stsE.l'p tEk .s.nhatca'us^" 
. t. Two lines standing fastened middle. 

50. siii'Ek tEk .stsE.I'p tEk .sa'kaus '' 

Two lines standing fastened together or fastened middles. 

51. sia'Ek tEk .stsE.i'p tsk .sJl'kans tEk .skEtsaus 
Two lines standing fastened together middles crosswise. 

52. Etlke'kat tEk .stse.ha'ks tsk .skEtkEtsii'ks (or mEna'us a kEtsa'kstBns). 

Short standing on end crossed ends both sides the its things across ends. 

53. .smu'ts tEk .nxosta'p'- tEk wl'st (or .ntlipt), i. e., in a half circle as pliable 

Bent descending bottom high deep. 

willows are bent. 

54. .smu'ts tEk .nhatlEma'p tEk .ntli'pt, in a half circle or curved. 
Bent (in a half going up bottom deep. 

circle or curved) 

55. .s.ntle'tloxa tEk .smu'ts tEk .s.nxosta'p 

Shallow curved (thing) bottom down. 

56. .skEthwa'us tEk .skaie'q tEk hatlErnqai'.n 

Ualf circle ascending head (top up). 

57. .s.ntle'tloxa tEk .smu'ts tEk .s. nhatlEma'p 

Shallow curved (thing) bottom up. 

58. .s.ntle'tloxa tEk .smu'ts tsk .skEtsa'us 

Shallow curved thing crosswise. 

59. .skEthwa'us tEk .skaie'q tEk .skEtsa'us 

Half circle crosswise. 

60. .skEtsa'usEmEntwa'ux", the common name for an ordinary cross. 
Crossing middles of each other. 

61. .shatlEmqai'.n tEk .sketsil'usEmEntwa'ux'', cross head up. 

Ascending head across middles (crosswise) each other. 

62. kEtsa'usEniEntwa'ux" tEk .skE'rZ, cross leaning to the side. 

Crosswise each other not vertical. 

63. skErZqai'.n tEk kEtsa'usEmEntwa'ux", cross with head to the side. 
Not vertical head crosswise each other. 

64. .s.nkEtsa'us, across on the middle. 

65. .skEtsa'usEmEntwa'ux" zij'it .nhatlEmqai'ntEns ^' texi'xat a kEtsa'ustEns. 

Crosswise each other thick its ascending head object then the crosswise thing, 

66. .skaie'q pio'sps .nxox(s)tcrntEns 

Circle eight its forks. 

67. .skaie'q tEk .stlEktlaq" tEk mu's 

Circle things sticking in four. 

68. .skaie'q tlo " .swi'l tlo.zElt'p 

Circle completely fringed completely around (revolution) . 

69. .s.nulx" ^5 hwa'us tEk .skaie'q, circles within one another. 

70. .skaieqa'usqEn, circle crown. 

71. .s.nhatqe'qEn '^ tEk .skaie'q, circle with hole in the center. 

72. .skaie'q tfik .sketsa'usEinEntwa'ux" En a toxtahwe'qEn, i. e., circle with across 

Circle crosswise each other in the middle. 

in the middle. 

73. .sxeti'tuk,3' little hole. 

74. .skaie'q tEk .s}a(la)me'mEk,'' circular little spot. 

75. .skomo'x tEk kwome'ma, round small object. 

76. .skomo'x, round object. 

77. .skomox'o'e, really round. 

78. .skomoxo'za, rounded object. 

79. .skaie'q, circle. 

80. .skaie'Eq, little circle. 

81. .skaieq'o'e, real circle. 

For notes see pp. 410-41 1. 


82. .skaie'q tEk .sax'tu'k, circle with hole. 

83. .s.lhwa'kst .sciiti'ns, ring, its form. 

84. .s.lhwa'kst .skwa'ntEiis, ring, its appearance. 

85. .s.Jhwa'kst .stsoqatt'ns, ring, its mark. 

86. .s.nha.tlfi'la, notched (the name for this figure or a variety of arrowhead or 

triangular notch). 

87. mEnusa'ks tEk skaiu'wa, both sides of end hook. 

88. .nxos(t)tci'n tEk .nxosta'p .nxoxstci'n (.nxostci'n, forked object). 

Forked mouth bottom down. 

89.'n tEk .nhatlEma'p. 
Forked mouth bottom up. 

90. .nxostci'n tEk .skEtsa'us u'a .sihe'ltsi. 
Forked mouth crosswise to the right side. 

91. .nxostci'n tEk .skEtsa'us u'a .stsukahe'ltsi. 
Forked mouth crosswise to the left side. 

92.'ks tEk .nhatlEma'p (or .stse.e'p). 
Leaning over end bottom up standing, vertical 

93.'ks u'a .sihe'ltsi. 

Leaning over to the right side. 

94. .spEna'us^' or .stse.e'15 tEk .s.(n)pEna'us u'a .sihe'ltsi 

Folded standing doubled to the right side. 

95.'ks tEk .nxosta'p, end leaning, bottom down. 

96.'p u'a .stsukahe'ltsi, bottom leaning, pointing to the left side. 

97. s.ntcu'iniEX tEk .spEiia'us u'a skwo't *" (or ti'a .stsukaheltsi) 
Prostrate, on the ground doubled to the right side (or to the leftside). 

98. .spEna'us u'a .s(h)ihe'ltsi. 
Doubled wise to the right side. 

99. .skolkolo'tz 

100. .skwolkwalitzj 

101. stluptlupiiiEk " tEk ha'tlEm, twisted line ascending. 

102. .stsehl'p tEk .snixanl'x, standing or vertical corners. 

103. sqotzaqo'.tz,*^ crooked, crooks, zigzag. The name for horizontal zigzags. 

104. sqotzaqo'.tz tEk .sti'i, crooked in a line. 

105. .shatlaha'tlEm (tEk .sttl), ascending and descending line (up and down). 

106. .s.ntcQ'imEX tEk .stlQ'piaEk, prostrate twisted line (on the ground). 

107. .skakEnt'tz (tsk ha'tlEm), wave line going up. 

108. .stsEht'p tEk .skakEnl'tz, standing or vertical wave line. 

109. .stsEht'p tEk .skakEnl'tz tcame'mat^^ a kakEnltzmi'ns. 

Standing wave Une small the its wave Unes. 

110. .S.ntcu'iniEX tsk .skakEnl'tz. 
Prostrate on the ground wave line. 

111. .skakEnl'tz tEk .stil. 

Wave line in a line (horizontal). 

112. .s.nxa'xl'tl " tEk ha'tlEm, notches ascending. 

113. .s.nxaxi'tla'n.s, notched (frequentative) edge. 

114. .szlnzEni'k tEk .snxEUExtcI'n (or .snixanixtci'n). 

Coils square mouth (corner mouth). 

115. .s.nxaxt'tt tEk .s.ntcu'iniEx. 
Notched (frequentative) flat on the ground. 

116. .szlnzEni'k tEk .s.ntcu'imEz, coils horizontal. 

117. .szini'k (or .szinl'k'o'e), real coil. 

118. .skaie'q tEk .shaht'tl, notched circle. 

119. .skaie'q tEk .shahltta'n.s, circle, notched edge. 

120. .skaie'q pio'Eps .shaht'tis, circle, eight its notches. 

121. .skaie'q tEk teu .snixanl'x, circle inclining to corners. 

For notes see pp. 410-411. 

> Crooked, crooks, zigzag. The name for vertical zigzags. 



122. .skaie'q tEk pio'Eps .sntxani'xs, circle, eight its corners. 

123. .skaie'q tEk pio'Eps tEk .siiixaiiix, circle, eight corners. 

124. .skaie' Eq tEk .snenf'x, circle a little square. 

125. tla'kEmEkst tEk .snlxant'x tEk (.s)tsuxtsuxii'xs, six corners, faces a little 

drawn out. 

126. .snanl'x tEk tla'kEmEkst (tEk ha'tlEm), corners six, ascending. 

127. tla'kEmEkst tEk .snlxanl'x tEk .skstsa'us, six corners crosswise. 

128. skEtsa'us tEk .snent'x tEk tcQ' .stsuxtsuywa'ks. 

Crosswise little square rather ends drawn out. 

129. skEtsa'us tEk .snenl'x tEk .stsuxtsuxQ's tEk za'zxt. 

Crosswise little square ends drawn out little long. 

130. .nmusa'ks, four ends or points. 

131. snixantx'o'e, real corners (square). 

132. te'tox tEk .sneni'x, true square. 

133. toxto'xt tEk .snixani'x, straight cornered (square). 

134. mus .snixani'xs, four its corners. 

135. .snixant'x tEk mils, corners four. 

136. .snlxanl'x tfik mu's tEk .skEtsa'us. 

Corners four crosswise. 

137. mu's tEk .snlxanl'x tEk .stcii'nEks, four cornered drawn to one side. 

138. mu's tEk .snlxanl'x tEk .skoo'tz(us), four corners crooked. 

139. .snlxanl'x tsk mu's tEk .stsuxtsuxwa'ks,'* corners four ends drawn out (or 

coming to a long point). 

140. .snlxanl'x tEk mti's tEk .s.tsaha'ks, corners, four ends coming long and 

narrow (contracting) . 

141. .snlxanl'x tEk mu's tEk na'ux" tEk .satsa(h)a'ks, corners four ends very 

much drawn out. 

142. .snlxanl'x tEk mu's tEk na'ux tEk .szEXEZExqai'n, corners four ends very 

much long headed. 

143. mu's tEk .snlxEnl'x tsk .scl'k tEk'ks, four corners oblong standing 

on end. 

144. .skstkEthwa'ks *' tEk hatlEmqai'n, cut off ends; end up. 

145. mu's tEk .snl'xEnl'x tEk .scl'k tEk .skEtsa'us, four corners oblong crosswise. 

146. .skEtu'x mu's .snlxanl'xs e1 .s.ntcii'iniEx. 
Cut ofl short piece four corners and prostrate on the ground. 

147. mu's tEk .snlxEnt'x tEk .skazqai'.n, four corners leaning to side. 

148. .ska.zqal'.n tEk .siiBni'x. 

Leaning to side head square (cornered) object. 

149. mu's tEk .snlxanl'x tEk .ska.zqai'n u'a skwo't. 

Four corners leaning over head to the opposite side 

150. .skEtkEtu'x" tEk .skE.zqai'n Q'a .stsukahe'ltsi. 
Little cut off piece leaning head to the left side. 

151. .skEtkEtl'tux" tEk .sxostap (if small). 
Little cut off piece bottom down. . 

152. mQ's tEk .snlzanl'x tEk .skEthwa'ks, four corners end cut off. 

153. .nxosta'p tEk .sts'uxhwa'p, bottom down, drawn out bottom. 
153a. mu's tEk .snlxanl'x tEk stsuxqai.n e1 .skEthwa'ks. 

Four corners contracted head and cut off end. 

154. .nhatlEma'p tEk .stsuxhwa'p tEk .skEthwa'ks, bottom up drawn out, cut off 


155. mu's tEk .snlxanl'x tEk .nha'tlEma'p tEk .stsu.xhwa'p tEk .skEthwa'ks. 

Four corners bottom up contracting bottom cut off end. 

156. ka(i)la's tEk .snlxanl'x tEk ha'tlEmqai'.n. 

Three corners head up. 

For notes see pp. 410-411. 

53666°— 28 27 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

157. ka.lla's tEk .snixanl'.x tEk kutcaha'ks. 

Three corners going down end. 

15S. ka.lla's tEk .snixant'x .skEtsa'us. 

Three corners crosswise. 

159. ka.lla's tEk .snixant'x tcItEma'ks u'a .stsukahS'ltsi. 

Three corners going end to the left side. 

160. ka(t)lla's tEk .snixanl'x tEk tcu' .stsuxhwa'ks e1 

Three corners rather contracting end and 

161. stsiixhwa'usqEn tEk ha'tlEma'ks 

Drawn in top ascending end. 

ascending head. 

139-40 141-42 145-44 145-46 


149 -^'i 

152-53 lSA-55 

156 157 158-59 I60fal 162 )6? 164 


174-75 176 



/\/\^ ^- r!^ 




rfb # ^ 





ll II 











FlG. 121.- 



-Names for geometric figures 





katla's tEk 
katla's tEk 
katla's tEk 

katla's tEk 

katla's tEk 

katla's tEk 

katla's tEk 

katla's tEk 


.snixanl'x tEk .skaza'ks, three corners leaning off. 
.snixanl'x tEk .stce'x", three corners spread. 


.snixanl'x tsk 

.snl.xanl'x tEk 

.snixanl'x tEk 

.snixanl'x tEk 

.snixanl'x tEk 


skwot a skazakstEns 
opposite side the its end leaning over. 

.stsuxhwa'ks e1 .skaza'ks e1 ha'tlEma'ks 
end drawn out long and leaning over end and ascending end. 
.stsuxhwa'ks e1 .skazaks e! kutca(h)aks 
end drawn out long and leaning over ends and descending end. 
na'u.x tEk ..stsahaks u'a skwot 
very much drawn out end to the opposite side, 
.stsaha'ks tEk tcItEma'ks u'a .stsukahe'ltsi 
drawn out end going end to the left side, 

.stsaha'ks tEk .stcexiu'iniEx 
drawn out end spread on ground. 

*' having ears. 

For notes see pp. 410-411. 


170. sei'a katla's .sntxant'xs tEk .s.ntco'kEka'p,"' two, three their corners united 

at the bottom. 

171. .s.nhitltci'n tEk azu'm, notched opening large. 

172. pai'a tEk .shi'tt (or .shi'tl'o'c), one notch (or real notch). 

173. .nsei'a tck katla's .sntxant'xs tEk hathatlEma'ks, two together, three their 

corners, ends ascending. 

174. skaie'q tsk .s.nxaxi'tl, circle with notches. 

175. skaie'q tsk .snc.nt'x tlo zEltp 

Circle squared (cornered) completely around. 

176. .skolotsa'ks, crooked ends (common term for diagonal zigzags). 

177. .s.n.xaxi'tl tEk .stsuxqai'.n, drawn in head. 

178. .skolotsa'ks tEk .stsii.xhwa'ks 

Crooked end contracted ends. 

179. .skolqolotsa'ks tEk .sntcokEkqai'.n 

Crooked enfl united head. 

(diagonal iigziig) 

180. .skolotsa'ks tEk .s.ntsiixqai'.n 

Crooked ends drawn in head. 

181. .skolkolotsa'ks tEk .stsQxhwa'ks tEk hatlaha'tlEm 

Crooked ends contracted ends ascending and descending. 

182. .skotsako'ts tEk .s.xa^ti'tl 

Crooked ends horizontal notched. 

183. .skolotsa'ks tEk lakEtqai'.n, crooked ends, wide head. 

184. .skolotsa'ks tEk .nzaxqai'.n, crooked ends, long head. 

185. .skolotsa'ks tEk .tlka'p, crooked ends, wide bottom. 

186. .skolotsa'ks tEk .skEla'us, crooked ends in half or split across middle. 

187. katla's tEk .s.nhatca'us, three tied together. 

188. katla's tsk .snEnl'xa'ist ™ tEk .shatehatca'ks 

Three squares tied ends. 

189. .s.nhatke'kEn tEk .skEtsa'usEmEntwa'u?" 
Hole in little head cross. 


190. mEnausa'ni tEk .ske'u 
Both ways, ears broken. 

191. tEmEnl'kEnEmEntwa'ux" tEk .skeuke'u 

Opposite sides each other broken. 

192. .skEtu'x" tEk .slatt'k tEk .stseha'ks 
Cut off short piece spotted standing on end. 

193. .skEtkEtu'y" tEk .smil'kli" 
Cut olf short piece close in a group. 

194. tcEmtcEme'mat tEk .skEtkEti'tux" tEk .smft'kd 

Small (plural) small cut off pieces close together. 

195. .skEtu'x" tEk .stcEtcu' tEk tcame'mat tEk .sntxant'x 

Cutoff variegated, ornamented, small (plural) corners (squares), 


196. .skEtujf" tEk .s.noko'kiaEk ^* tsk'ks, cut off piece with incisions 

forming lines, end up. 

197. .skEtu'jf" tEk .s.sist'p, cut off piece striped vertically. 

198. .skEtu':^'' tEk .sexe'x, ^' cut off piece with incisions. 

199. skEtu'x" tEk .S.noko'kiaEk tEk .skwau'u 
Cut off piece incisions leaning from vertical. 

200. skEtu'x" tEk .s.noko'kia'Ek tEk .s.ntcu'imEx, cut off piece, incisions in lines 


201. skEtu'x" tEk .stso.tso 
Cut off piece striped. 

202. .s.ntsepa'ks tEk .s.nkekl'ts 
Standing on end with cross pieces. 

203. .skeke.xma'ka tEk ha'tlEme'mka, having branches points up or ascending 

204. .skeke.xma'ka tEk .shosta'ka, having branches points down or descending. 

205. .stla'kuEka u'a skwo't tlo ux"ti'p ^ (tEk'ks) 
Point with spikes to the side to the end standing on end. 

For notes see pp. 410-4U. 


206. tEk .stsea'Ek u'a skwot 
Vertical long thing to the side. 

207. .s.ntcu'imEx .tlke'kat a tse'aEktsns, flat, short things standing up in w row. 

208. .s.ntsakaus(tci'n) tEk .stlala'kuka 

Spht in half having spikes. 

209. .stU tEk ..s.ntoxtoxiaEktEn''* tEk tcl'kst, horizontal line with hanging down 

from lines things fine. 

210. .skl'ts tEk .stoxto'x", thing across having things suspended. 

211. .s.nhaht'tla u'a skwo't, notched to one side. 

212. .skwotiiEk tEk .s.nhahi'tta, one side of line having notching. 

213. .skwotaEk tEk .s.nhaht'tla .s.nhosta'p .s.nhahl'tlas 
One side hne notched bottom down its notches. 

Notes to List op Geometric Terms 

1. texo's, .stexo's, .stoxo's, to go in a straight line or direction. Cf. toxto'xt, 

straight, true, and te'tox, correct, true. 

2. Cf. .stse', standing in a row; tse'Ex, to stand (plural); to stand still, as ap- 

plied to people and animals; -aks, suffix meaning i)oint or nose. 

3. ha'tlEm, to go up, ascend; -qai.n, -qain, head, top, protuberance; also 

rounded thing. 

4. Cf. .ska'z, error, deviation. 

5. .8, prefix making the word a noun; -1, good, really ia; h, introduced for 

euphony; -eltsi, -a'ltse, suffix meaning body; right side of the body. 

6. Cf. also kwa'uEm, to set adrift; kwa'ut, to drift, drifting. 

7. Cf. zl'k, a log; zi'kt, to fall over, usually said of something ordinarily ver- 

tical; -qEn, head, top, cf. -qai'.n. 

8. a'ka, spike, branch, finger, etc. 

9. Cf. .stla'k", nailed; -.ka, see -a'ka. 

10. -tcin, mouth, aperture, large notch, indentation. 

11. Cf. .sqe'u, .ske'au, broken, but not completely off. 

12. Cf. .skoll'tz, skolo'tz, crooked, ascending zigzag. 

13. Cf. .sqe'u, .ske'au, .skaiu'wa, hook. 

14. -6'e, real, proper, common. 

15. Cf. .skl'ts, .ske'ts, across, crosswise, at right angles; -ap, bottom, foundation. 

16. .stlEkt'm, jutting out, projecting. 

17. mEna'us, both ways, both sides; -a'us, way, road, path; middle; also; together. 

18. -tEn, -tl'n, thing, object. 

19. .si-, stem of se'ia, two; -aEk, -ai'Ek, -a'iuk, long narrow object. 

20. ki'kat, ke'kat, near, close; -Em, verbal ending; -Entwa'ux", each other. 

21. kaka'u, far, distant. 

22. sisia'fik, in twos. 

23. .stlka'us, together. 

24. tcu'u, inclining to, rather. 

25. mus, four. 

26. kike'kat, (plural form, see note 20). 

27. xb'uex, xi'nEX, square, having corners (a plural form); cf. .sni'x, corner. 

28. Cf. laa, to come close, to be within touch; .sla', close, touching; lalii'.t, close, 

very near; -uiniEjf, ground, earth. 

29. Cf. note 9. 

30. Cf. .shatc, .Sra'tc, tied or fastened to something. 

31. Cf. .sa'kq, fastened or buttoned. 

32. Cf. nxostEqai'.n, to come down from a high place; so'xost, to descend. 

33. -s, its (possessive suffix). 

34. tlo, tlo-, surely, certainly, completely. 

For notes see pp. 410-411. 


35. .su'ljf", inside; .nu'Jx", inside; to go inside; u'ljf", to go in, enter, penetrate; 

-h, -hw, -w, often demanded in the middle of certain words for the sake of 

36. -qe'qEn, diminutive of -qai.n, and qEn. See notes 3 and 7. Cf. .sha't, .shi't, 

.sjl't, liaviug a hole; .sxEtIk, .sxa'tt'k, .sexti'k, .say'td'k, a hole. 

37. A diminutive of .sxlt, having a hole. 

38. .slaml'k, spot, blotch. 

39. .span, folded, doubled up; spEna'us, doubled ways. 

40. .skwo't, one side, opposite side. 

41. .stlup, twisted, snarled. 

42. sqoo'tz, crooked. 

43. tcame'mat (a plural form; singular kwome'ma, small); tcEmtcEme'mat, 

diminutive form. 

44. .s'hl't, .sxi't, notched; .sxttl, notch. 

45. .stsux", drawn in, contracted, long drawn out; .stsuxhwa'ks, gradually taper- 

ing to a long point, somewhat pear-shaped. 

46. na'uy", very much, overly. 

47. .skl't, cut off short, lopped off, reduced to a stub; .skitu'x", piece cut off 

short, part of a long piece. 

48. tla'ni, tla'ne, ear; -ani (a suffix meaning ear). 

49. tcokok, joined, united. 
60. -aist, stone. 

51. .smok, in a group. 

62. .so'k, channel, incision, valley. 

63. .se'x, incised. 

54. uxti'p, to the end, full length. 

55. Cf. .ntoxiaEktEn, pendant; .sto'x, hanging down, suspended. 


tsetsea'n.ns, with edges or borders the same length. 

tsetselBiie'ut, with sides the same length. 

tsitse'a .nk.otlEne'uts, with sides the same length. 

.stcuwe's .nk.otlEne'uts, with equal sides. 

za'xt .nk.otlEne'uts, long sided. 

Etlke'kat .nk.otlEne'uts, short sided. 

Etlke'kat a skwot zaxt a skwot, one side short and the other long. 

.stexo's a skwo't e1 .skoo'tz a skwo't, one side straight and the other crooked. 

.stexo's tEk tsise'a, parallel, going equally in one direction. 

.stexo's, in a straight line, going straight. 

toxtoxa'iEk, straight line. 

.szi'l, in a circle, completely around, forming a circle. 

za'nEm, to go in a circle. 

zEnaza'nEm, to go around and around (but not entwining, or wrapping around 

a thing). 
.stliipia'Ek, snarled or twisted line, irregular line. 
sqo'tsiaEk, crooked line. 
za'xiaEk, long line. 
.smu'tsiiiEk, bent or curved line. 
kE'iiEmEntwa'u.x", touching each other. 
kakauEinEntwa'ux", far apart, distant from each other. 
tsetse'a .skakauEmEntwa'ux''s, equidistant, 
tsetse'a .skekatEinEntwa'ux"s, near or close to each other. 
si'wixEniEntwa'ux", at right angles, deviating from each other, 
.sto'xiask, pendant line. 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

Rapidity of Work 

In order to estimate the rapidity with which the women made 
stitches, plain, beaded, or imbricated, Mr. Teit observed each one 
several times for periods of five minutes, a term decided upon because 
in shorter intervals the variation was too great owing to the time 
consumed in moistening the coil and sewing splints and inserting 
new coil material. An effort was made to observe them when work- 
ing with especially long splints, when the number of necessary inter- 
ruptions would be minimized. All of the workers appeared to be pro- 
ceeding at a leisurely rate of speed. There was a slight variation in 
the number of stitches finished during the different times each woman 
was observed, so that the result as given here is only an average. 


No. 1 


No. 2 

8- 9 

No. 3 


No. 4 


No. 5 


No. 6 


No. 7 


No. 9 


No. 10 


No. 20 


No. 21 


No. 24 


No. 25 


No. 28 

Number of 


stitches on 

siiies of 


Number of 


stitches on 

bottoms of 





8- 9 


of im- 
OD lids 



Considered a fairly fast worker but not 
a good craftswoman; careless. 

In all respects considered mediocre and 
rather slow. 

Considered a fast and good worker; 

Fairly fast and careful. 

Average in all respects. 

Considered fairly fast and careful. 

Considered quite fast and careful. 

Medium in all respects; careful. 

Considered a good worker, fast and. 

Fast, good, and careful. 

Very fast and good formerly (now eye- 
sight defective). 

In one-minute periods No. 25 occasionally made four stitches on 
the side of a basket. Wlien she wet the splints and coil the number 
drojjped to three, and when she wet her material and also adtled 
new coil splints she was able to make only two. Once she experi- 
enced some difficulty in passing the end of the sewing splint through 
the awl hole and only accomplished one stitch. No. 1 made six coils 
on the bottom of a burden basket, which measured 4 inches in width, 
during a space of one and one-haff horn's. The bottom was of the 
elongated watch-spring type. 


Imbricated Stitches 



Number of 


No. 1 












No. 2 

No. 3 

Once put in a different color. 

About 8 when changing colors and 10 to 11 without 

Once added a new color. 

No. 4 -_- 

No. 5 

No. 6 

No. 9 


No. 10 .- 

No. 21 

No. 24 - .- _.. 


No. 25 

10-12 when changing colors or 13-15 without inter- 

No. 25 stated that the stitching of four or five coils on the side of a 
burden basket, where common imbricated patterns were placed on a 
plain background and the designs were not intricate, constituted a 
good day's work for an expert. If she worked very long hours, she 
might finish an additional coU. 








In some cases this included the changing of colors, 
but this was not taken into consideration at the 
time the observations were made. 














Beading appears to be accomplished somewhat 
more rapidly than imbrication. 




Basket Shapes of Tribes of the Interior 


The Lake tribes used the Thompson type (fig. 26, e-g) large boiling 
and water baskets, all the varieties of Figure 27, Or-d, and the robin 
nest shape, Figure 28, c. These ranged in size from large baskets 
holding a number of gallons down to cups. 

They had tlie nut-shaped type, Figure 28, e, in several slightly 
different forms. They also used different sizes of elongated baskets 
like type of Thompson, Figure 29, e. 

The carrying basket was of two shapes, the larger kind approxi- 
mating to the old style of the Klickitat, but possibly not quite as deep 
in proportion to its width, and the otlier, generally the smaller kind, 
similar to the birch bark, with almost straight sides and bottom, 
and rounded mouth. The latter was only a httle wider than the 


bottom. The bottoms of these shapes were of the sUghtly elongated 
watch-spring variety. It seems that trays were not used. All of the 
foregoing information is from Indian description and rough sketches 
made by them from memory. No examples were seen. 

CoLUMBiAS (Moses- Co LUMBiAs) 

The Columbias used burden baskets like those represented in 
Figure 26, a and h (p. 198) of the Thompson, but had none like the 
form shown in c. They also used some carrying baskets shapetl like 
Thompson cups but of large size, aijd as a rule with slightly larger 
bottoms in proportion to their depth and width. They were probably 
the same as those used by the Lake and the older ones of the Ivlickitat. 
Tliis is a type that appears to have been universal among the interior 
Sahsh of the South. The Columbias also employed the bowl and nut 
shaped baskets. 

It is uncertain whether other ty^ies were made. This information 
applies also to the Wenatchi, according to the Columbias, but the 
informants there think they made more varieties of shapes. 

Sanpoil and Nespelim 

All carrying baskets were of the old Klickitat type, but there was 
some variety. They all had circular mouths. Trays like those of 
the Thompson were used for food and berries and elongated ones for 
holding fish and meat. Some were very long. 

The water and nut baskets were the same as those of the Thompson. 

Comparison of Shapes — Thompson, Klickitat, and Lillooet 

The following notes on shapes of baskets obtaining among the 
Thompson, Lillooet, and Klickitat will give an idea of the relative 
numbers of the different kinds in use at the present day. They are 
from notes on baskets and basketry designs made during the last few 
years by Mr. Teit. The great majority of the baskets were in the 
possession of Indians. They do not include specimens at present in 
any collection.^ 

' In striking contrast to tlie Thompson and Lillooet, the Chilcotin make only one type of basket, the 
burden basket, which varies very little in shape and is similar to that of the Thompson. The notes on the 
Klickitat shapes are not complete. 




Type of basket 

Burden baskets (fig. 26, a, b, and others ap- 
proximately to c, d). 

Burden baskets, oblong and with very consider- 
able flare (fig. 26, d). 

Burden baskets, square, with very sharp cor- 
ners (fig. 26, c). 

Small and like the bottom parts of preceding 
(fig. 26, k, i). 

Oblong and square: 

Fig. 29, a-c 

Fig. 29, d 

Fig. 29, e 

Fig. 31, 6, c, some square, others oblong. 

Flat backed 

Fancy (four of them wineglass shape) 


Fig. 26, e-g 

Fig. 27, a-d (from capacity of a coffee cup 
to about 1 gallon or a little over). 

Fig. 27,/ 

Fig. 27, g (rather large) 

Fig. 31, a 

Fig. 28, e 

Fig. 28, c 


Common Klickitat type, conical with small 

bottom and high, nearly vertical sides. 
Common Klickitat type, conical, lower and 
wider in proportion to height.' 

Baskets with lids 

Baskets with feet or stands, mostly like Fig. 
31, b, c. 














like a) 








(Uke a) 






1 These approximate to Fig. 27, a, d, of Thompson, but are larger and higher in proportion to their 


Thompson Burden Baskets, Gboup A 

Cat. No. 
A. M. N. n. 


Measurements ' 



































































































































































y (16.1-404.. 







Lower Fraser.. 
Fort Douglas.. 









Lower Thomp- 









Lower Thomp- 

23 by 31 

35 by 47.5 

35 by 48 

36 by 47.5 
36.5 by 49.5 

32.5 by 49 
41 by 54 
39.5 by 57.5 
26.5 by 36 

25 by 36 
27 by 36 
27.5 by 37 

27 by 36.6 

28 by 37.5 
30 by 40 
28 by 38 
28.5 by 39 

29.5 by 39 
22.5 by 30 

30 by 40.5 
25.5 by 31.5 
24.5 by 33 

26 by 34 
21 by 28 
26 by 34 
19.5 by 27.6 

31 by 40 
23 by 30 























10 by 14 

16 by 26 
16.5 by 23.5 

14 by 21 
16 by 25 
16 by 25.5 
16 by 22 
19 by 30 
10.5 by 17.5 

11.5 by 19.5 

12 by 16.5 

13 by 17.5 

13.6 by 21 
12 by 19 

15 by 22 
12 by 18.5 
12 by 17 

14 by 20 
9.5 by 17 


12.5 by 18 
9.5 by 17 

11.6 by 18.5 

10 by 16 

11 by 17 
11 by 17 
14.5 by 20 

10.5 by 17 











Thompson Burden Baskets, Group A B • 




Lower Thomp- 
Lower Fraser 

23 by 30.6 
26 by 34,5 

25 by33 


9.5 by 16 







13 by 18.6 







10 by 15 









' The measurements arc in centimeters: those of the height vertical projection. 

'B = bottom; LB = length of bottom; WB=width of bottom; H = height; M = mouth; LM = iength of 
mouth; WM = width of mouth, 

3 The braces indicate subgroups in shape, Nos, I and II have small bases, flaring sides which are turned 
to vertical halfway up. The rims are oblong, the corners rounded. Ill, medium size, sharper corners. 
IV, medium, oval corners. V, shallow, small, square corners. VI, small and much more scjuare. 

' These types are intermediate. Their sides are more flaring. There are several others belonging to 
this group the measurements of which were not obtained. 


Thompson Burden Baskets, Group B' 





Cat. No. 
A. M. N. H. 




















16. 4-440.... 











38 by 48 

39 by 52.5 
34.6 by 47 

32 by 42.5 

33 by 44.6 

35 by 46 
31 by 43 

28.5 by 38.6 
28 by 36 
23 by 29.6 
26 by 36.5 
20 by 29 

21.5 by 27.5 
25 by 33.5 
13 by 17 
19 by 23.6 






14 by 24.6 
16.5 by 27 
17 by 26.5 
11 by 19 
13 by 21 
18.5 by 33.6 
13 by 21 
11.5 by 18.6 
11.5 by 18 
11.5 by 16.5 
13.5 by 22 

9 by 14.6 
11 by 17 
7.5 by 10.5 
8 by 14.5 



































Lower Thomp- 












' These have flaring sides and ends, with rounded comers, which, however, become quite sharp at the 
rim. VII, large or medium; VIII, shallow for length and width; IX, straighter walls, very oblong; X, 
squarer forms, very sharp corners, medium flare. 


Thompson Burden Baskets not Grouped as to Shape 

Cat. No. 
A. M.N. H. 




Yale I. 
















16-4626... I do, 

16-4637 do 

16-4638 I do 

16-4638a. I do 

Lower Thompson 

16-8826. . . 
16-9542- - . 
















Fort Douglas-. 

do -- 




do — 

do- -. 





23 by 32. 

33.5 by 42. 

25 by 37, 

38 by 51 

18 by 26 

26 by 35 

27.6 by 38 
31 by 41 
35 by 49 
35 by 51 
30.6 by 42 
29.6 by 39 

19.5 by 36, 

27 by 37 

16.6 by 26 

39 by 55 
36.6 by 50, 
30.5 by 41 
23 by 30 
27.5 by 39 

29 by 38 
33.5 by 41 
30.5 by 40 
29.5 by 40. 

27.5 by 38, 

26.6 by 35 
21.6 by 26 

19 by 23 
30.6 by 39, 
33 by 43 

23.5 by 2 

23 by 29, 

36.6 by 62, 

24 by 29 

30 by 39 
29.6 by 41 
27 by 37 
29 by 40 

22.5 by 34 

25 by 36 
29 by 36, 
15 by 19, 

16.6 by 22, 
28.6 by 46 

'22 by 28, 
29.6 by 40 



35 5 






14 by 20.5 
26.5 by 37 



14.5 by 
16 by 

11 by 
14 by 

13.5 by 
14 by 

13.6 by 

10 by 

14 by 
11.5 by 

15 by 

15 by 

12 by 
21 by 

16 by 

13 by 

10.5 by 

13.6 by 

13.5 by 

13.6 by 

14 by 

13 by 
11.6 by 

8 by 
8 by 

14 by 
12.5 by 

11 by 

17 by 

12 by 

13 by 

12.5 by 
13 by 
11 by 
15.5 by 
13 by 

7 by 

8 by 
n7 by 

9.6 by 
11.5 by 



















































' 82 














' This bucket is obviously a freak and should be omitted from the calculation. 
' The confines of the bottom are indefinite. 
3 The rim is irregular. 

The calculations were based on 94 baskets in the collection of the 
American Museum of Natural History. 




The langes and averages for the various ratios as found for tlie 
three groups A, B, and that comprising the remaining lot wliich 
coukl not readily be classified according to shape, are given in the 
table below. The little group AB is too small to be of value, and 
several representatives belonging to it could not be measured because 
of their worn condition. 

Group A (28 baskets) 

Group B (16 baskets) 

Undifferentiated (47 baskets) 



Average or 


Average or 


Average or 

Per cent 

Per cent 

Prr cent 

Length of bottom to 

50- 95 

80 per cent 


No preponder- 


Scattering. Slight pre- 



ance—! tall (a 
freak), 8 medi- 
um, 2 very shal- 
low, 5 height 
and length of 
bottom equal. 

ponderance at 75 per 
cent; 4 cases 130-160; 
the others between 57 
and 110 per cent. 

Width of mouth to 




2 groups — 12 with 


35 between 90 and 120 



average at 108, 
4 around 125 per 

per cent, with pre- 
ponderance at 108 per 
cent; 9 scattered 
quite evenly from 125 
to 150. 

Height to length of 

bb- 75 

65 per cent 

55- 74 

65 per cent average. 

40- 76 

70 per cent. 



Width of mouth to 

65- SO 

74 per cent 

70- 81 

75 per cent average, 

55- 85 

72 per cent. 

length of mouth. 


Length of bottom to 

40- 62 

49 per cent 

' 45- 55 

53 per cent average. 

44- 86 

38 of these ranged from 

length of mouth. 


44 to 65 per cent 
and averaged about 
65 per cent; 5 others 
were scattered be- 
tween 70 and 85 per 

Widtt of bottom to 


41 per cent 

2 3;- 53 

42 per cent average- 

35- 74 

40 per cent average. 

width of mouth. 


Width of mouth to 






Very scattering. 

length of bottom. 

' There was one basket in which this ratio was 84 per cent. Several of its measurements were incongru- 
ous, so it was rejected from this calculation. 
2 The same odd basket. The ratio was 77 per cent. 

The opinions of some of the informants regarding proper propor- 
tions are here reduced to the simplest indications: 


Type of basket 







H = LB 

LB = J^LM 
WB = less than M WM 

H = 2WB or a little less. 
LM = U2 LB 
H = WM 



[ U = LB 

\ LB = HLM 

|wB = less than J-^ WM 

H = 2 WB or a little less. 
LM = H2 LB 
H = WM 

H = LB 


H = LB-|- 


H = LB-|- 



H = LB-)- 
WB = H LB or a little more. 


It will be seen that for the three most common types or sizes of 
burden baskets tliey are agreed that the height and the length of 
the bottom are approximately the same or that the height exceeds 
the length of the bottom by a very small amount. In the majority 
of baskets of all classes the length of bottom actually is from 75 to 80 
per cent of the height of the walls, the range being from 50 to 160 
per cent. The extremes are evidently of another class. 

Two of the informants stated that the length of the bottom was half 
that of the mouth for the tsi.'a and two-thirds of the length of the 
mouth for the tsihetsa. In tliis meastirement they were more nearly 
correct. In group A the range is 40-62 per cent, with an average of 49 
per cent; in group B, 45-55 per cent, average 53 per cent; in the undif- 
ferentiated group 44-85 per cent, the majority averaging about 55 per 
cent, with five over 70 per cent. 

The width of the bottom was declared by the same two women 
to be less than half that of the mouth for the tsi.'a. 

Since they stated that for the tsihetsa the height was equal to the 
width of the mouth, or to twice the width of the bottom, or a little 
less than that, we should expect the width of the mouth to equal 
twice that of the bottom, or not quite that. Thus, for both types 
the ratio of the width of the bottom to that of the mouth should lie 
between 40 per cent and a httle more than 50 per cent. As a matter 
of fact, it does. In group A the range is 38-57 per cent, witli an 
average of 41 per cent; in group B, 34-53 per cent, with an average 
of 42 per cent; in the undifferentiated group, 35-74 per cent, witli 
an average of 49 per cent. 

Only for the tsihetsa have these two women remarked that the 
height about equals the width of the mouth. None of the others 
mentioned it. As a matter of fact, the ratio is surprisingly constant 
for all tjqjes, the average lying for the three groups studied between 
108 and 113 per cent for the ratio of the width of the mouth to the 
height as standard. Very few exceed 120 per cent. Allowing the 
addition of about 10 per cent for an overestimation of the vertical 
line as compared to the horizontal, this would about equalize their 
apparent lengths. That this ratio should not have been more 
generally noted is rather surprising. As a corrollary of this, no 
notice has been taken of the ratio of the height to the length of the 
mouth, which is also fairly constant, because of the relationship of 
the proportions of the mouth. Here the almost fixed ratio of 74 or 72 
per cent between the width and length obtains. The failure of the 
women to notice this has been remarked upon elsewhere. 

The length of the bottom is such a variable quantity that no 
satisfactory result was secured concerning its ratio to the width of 
the mouth. In fact, it will be generally fovmd that aU ratios involving 
one of the bottom measurements are subject to a wade range of 



LiLLOOET Borden Baskets 


Cat. No. 
A. M. N. H. 










































































































































































16-6891 . 





16 1-196. 



36.5 by 
42 by 

38 by 
35 by 
33 by 
34.5 by 
35 by 
33 by 
30.5 by 
31.5 by 
21.5 by 

39 by 













33 by 43 
34.6 by 47.5 
27 by 64 
19 by 25 

13.5 by 26 

10.6 by 23.5 
16 by 31 

9.5 by 20.5 
31 by 41 
34 by 50 

27.5 by 37.5 

29 by 37 

28.6 by 38 

30 by 40.6 

31.6 by 43 
27.6 by 37 

29 by 38.5 
27.5 by 37.5 
25 by 31.6 

24.5 by 28.5 

18 by 24 











24 by 40.5 
11 by 19.5 

12.5 by 18.5 

11.6 by 17.6 
11.6 by 14.6 
10.5 by 16 
10.5 by 15.5 
12.5 by 16.5 
10.5 by 15.5 
11 by 15 

8 by 11 
15 by 22.6 
11.5 by 17 
15 by 22 
23 by 50 
14.5 by 23.5 

10 by 23 

10.5 by 24 
9 by 26 

8 by 19.5 

11.6 by 17.5 
14.5 by 23 


13 by 19 
12 by 16.6 
12 by 19 
14.5 by 20.5 

14 by 22.5 
12 by 17 




11 by 16.5 
11 by 16.6 

9.5 by 14 


10 by 13 

7.5 by 10 






















The calculations were based on 33 baskets in the collection of the 
American Museum of Natural History. 

The ranges and averages for the various ratios have been assembled 
in a manner similar to that used for Thompson specimens. 


LiLLooET Burden Baskets 





LB to H ..._ 

Per cent 
48- 80 
' 98-119 
63- 81 
68- 86 
36- 52 
26- 48 


Per cent 


WM to H 

Around 108 per cent. 

H to LM 

Froin 65 to 75 per cent. 

WM to LM 

LB to LM 

WB to WM- 

From 75 to 85 per cent. 
From 40 to 45 per cent. 
From 35 to 45 per cent. 

WM to LB 

Verv scattering, witli slight pre- 

ponderances at 145 per cent, 
175 per cent. 

' With one odd basket at 130 per cent. 

Descriptions of Design Elements 

As an illustration of the exactness with which any design an'ange- 
ment or combination may be described, the following list of terms as 
applied to arrowhead design arrangements has been collected by Mr. 

1. Arrowhead design (alone, single, here and there). Sketches 222-229, 231, 
232, 839. 

Arrowhead design (in twos, here and there, in threes, fours, groups). 

Arrowhead design (notched sides or ears, alone, here and there, with the dif- 
ferent varieties of arrowheads). Sketch 839. 

Arrowhead design (common, real). Sketch 225. 

Arrowhead design (plain, simple). Sketches 222, 225. 

Arrowhead design (mounted). Sketches 231, 232. 

Arrowhead design (worked, ornamented, variegated, embroidered). Sketches 
223-229, 251, 532. 

Arrowhead design (blade, stone, flint, spear, knife, head). Sketches 268, 547. 

Arrowhead design (blade, stone, flint, spear, knife, head with star filling). 
Sketches 268,' 271. 

Arrowhead design (in file). 

Arrowhead design (e.xtended, horizontally). Sketches 222-225 with proper 

Arrowhead design (in a line). 

13. Arrowhead design (following each other). Sketches 222-225. Points all one 

way, vertical rows. 

14. Arrowhead design (points up) 1 ,, „ . it. \ 
., . , u J 1 ■ / ■ i 1 ^ y (following one another). 

15. Arrowhead design (points down) J ^ " 

16. .Arrowhead design (ascending end, point nose). 

17. Arrowhead design (descending end, point nose). 
Arrowhead design (hanging, same as 17). 
Arrowhead design (points standing, i. e., in a horizontal row, especially on a 

base line; also touching close, apart, and the kind of arrowhead). Sketches 

.\rrowhead design (points sticking up). Same as 19. 
Arrowhead design (points protruding, meaning on a base line, points up or 

down) . 
Arrowhead design (points both sides). Sketches 264, 265, 267, arranged 

both sides of a line. 
Arrowhead design (points leaving each other, on both sides). Sketches 











Sketches 245, 
246, 249. 

boas) appendix 423 

24. Arrowhead design (points both sides meeting each other) |„ 

25. Arrowhead design (points both sides reversed) J 

26. Arrowhead design (points meeting, see 24). There is no line and the design 

is not considered two sided. Sketch 271. 

27. Arrowhead design (points opposite, not touching). Sketch 272. 

28. Arrowhead design (points crossing or passing each other). Sketches 26S, 274. 

29. Arrowliead design (on both hands) f Divided in half by lines or spaces; especi- 

30. Arrowhead design (both sides, two< ally vertical series. Sketches 278, 281, 

sided) I 284, 285, 302, 329, 330. 

31. Arrowhead design (all over) I .^l ^ , 

„, . , ,,.,.. , V feither open or connected arrangement. 

32. Arrowhead design (entire surface) J 

33. Arrowhead design (all over, bases touching each other) 1„ 

34. Arrowhead design (all over, side b\' side, points up or down) | 

35. Arrowhead design (inclosed, within lines). Sketches 251, 257, 292. 

36. Arrowhead design (in bands or stripes of even width) . Sketches 246, 301. 

37. Arrowhead design (points touching, hanging or descending) 

38. Arrowhead design (following each other, hanging or descend- 

ing, open or closed arrangement). 

39. Arrowhead design (entering base of each other, ascending, descending, over- 

lapping). Sketches 252, 254, 533. 

40. Arrowhead design (broken point)) 

41. Arrowhead design (hidden point) P'^®*'^"®^ ^^°' ^^'^• 

42. Arrowhead design (points overlapping, or over bases). Sketches 252, 254, 


43. Arrowhead design (blade entire, double ended, diamond shaped arrowstone 

blade). Sketch 529. 

44. Arrowhead design (entire, double ended, points connected) 1 atpt „», coq 

45. Arrowhead design (tied ends, connected). J 

46. Arrowhead design (one long thing, stalk, vertical, horizontal, standing, hang- 

ing). See also Nos. 35, 36. 

47. Arrowhead design (two, both sides, hanging, standing, vertical). 

48. Arrowhead design (points entering each other), interlocking triangles. 

49. Arrowhead design (embracing, interlocking). Sketch 332. 

50. Arrowhead design (points entering between each other a little apart). See 

No. 2S. Sketch 268. 

61. Arrowhead design (compressed, pinching, i. e., designs which interlock and 
form arrowheads from any point of view). Sketches 302, 332, 336, 529. 

52. Arrowhead design (intertwining). Sketch 298. 

53. Arrowhead design (heaped up). Sketches 139, 141-143, 146. 

54. Arrowhead design (tied middles). [sketches 240, 241. 

55. Arrowhead design (bases tied across).) 

56. Arrowhead design (twisted). Sketches 294, 296, 318. 

57. Arrowhead design (leaning). Sketches 318, 406. 

58. Arrowhead design (diagonal, spiral). Sketches 315, 316. 

59. Arrowhead design (lying, prostrate). Sketch 307. 

60. Arrowhead design (zigzag, connected). Sketch 78. 

61. Arrowhead design (zigzag between). Sketches 266, 268, 274. 

62. Arrowhead design (crosses between). Sketcli 275. 

63. Arrowhead design (arrowheads between). Sketches 265, 272, and probably 


64. Arrowhead design (with arrowhead edges [or wings]). Sketch 301. 

65. Arrowhead design (points). Sketches 135, 138. 

These terms may be combined in many ways to make the descrip- 
tion more definite. 

53666°— 28 28 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

Descriptive Terms for Arrowhead Star Varieties 

Arrowhead star, 4 points around, ends out. Sketches 319, 608. 
Arrowhead star, 4 points around, ends in. Sketch 609. 
Arrowhead star, 4 points around, ornamented. Sketch 610. 
Arrowhead star, 2 or 4 points, ends in. Sketch 611. 
Arrowhead star, 6 points around, worked. Sketches 541-543. 
Arrowhead star, 4 points around, twisted and ends in. Sketch 311. 
Arrowhead star, 8 points around, four notches. Sketch 615. 
Arrowhead star, 5 points (white man's design). Sketch 666 (?). 
Arrowhead star, serrated or points all around. Sketch 616. 

The centers are described as arrowhead center, square center, 
cross center, round center, no center; and the arrangement in rows, 
vertical, horizontal, diagonal, scattered. 

Comparison of Design Arrangements and Ornamentation 

Regarding the relative frequency of the different arrangements of 
designs on Thompson baskets, and for purposes of comparison with the 
methods employed by three other well-known basket-making tribes 
of this region, the Lillooet, Chilcotin, and Klickitat, the following 
notes are given which Mr. Teit has gathered during a number of 
years. The Thompson baskets are from all sections of the tribe, 
undifferentiated; most of them are in the possession of Indians, some 
belong to small private collections, and some to the museums (chiefly 
Cliicago). The Klickitat baskets were mostly in private collections 
or in the possession of Indians. The same may be said of the Lil- 
looet baskets, although some of their specimens were seen among 
bands of the Shuswap. 

Number of specimens 




1. Plain baskets (devoid of both imbrica- 
tion and Ijeading. This does not in- 
clude small cup baskets, a number of 
which are plain, nor baskets made 




2 Baskets with imbrication only ^ 










4. Baskets with some beading as weU as 
imbrication _ _ _ 

No notes. 

5. Baskets with false embroidery only 

6. Baskets with false embroidery and im- 

7. Baskets with designs only imbricated 

8. Baskets with entire surface imbricated__- 

9. Baskets with ujiper part imljricated all 

over, about three-fourths on Thomp- 
son, two-thirds on Lillooet (generally 
upper two-thirds) , rest bare 


1 This includes the basliets without designs. Mr. Teit does not give any figures. 




Number of specimens 




10. Baskets, upper part all imbricated, lower 
part designs only (not "droppers"); 
same as two fields 

Baskets, upper part all imbricated, lower 
part droppers 

Baskets, upper part designs only im- 
bricated, rest of basket bare (no 


13. Baskets having a single field covering 
the entire surface 

Baskets having two design fields, an 
upper imbricated (generally only the 
designs) and a lower beaded 

Baskets with two design fields, upper an 
imbricated border field, and the lower, 
the rest of the basket, which is also 
imbricated, with , sometimes a very 
narrow space between ' 

Baskets with two fields (same as No. 10). 

Baskets with three fields, an upper and 
a lower, all imbricated, and a middle 
with only designs imbricated 

Baskets with three fields, upper and 
lower beaded and middle field im- 

Baskets with four fields, a main upper 
and border field and the lower field 
imbricated, and a middle or lower 
middle field, only the designs imbri- 
cated. As a rule, the lower and the 
main upper or upper middle fields 
carr^v exactly the same design 

Baskets with designs on sides only 

Baskets with designs on ends only 

Baskets witli designs on ends different 

from those on the sides 

23. Baskets with side designs different from 
each other (opposite sides different 

Baskets, end designs different from each 

Baskets, ends and one side same design, 
other side a different design or bare 
(no design) 

Baskets with imbricated designs on out- 
side of bottom 

Baskets with bottoms beaded outside 
(not the beaded line marking division 
of sides and bottom), nearly all cir- 
cular baskets 

28. Baskets with designs on inside of bottom; 
nearly all tray and dish shaped bas- 
kets, one bowl, and one small square 


29.' Baskets having only a single imbricated 


30. Baskets having two imbricated designs 
(different from one another) 






















1 Owing to an error No. 16 is a repetition of No. 
' Mr. Teit does not give any figures. 
3 Si-xteen otiier basliets in two Uta'mqt tiouses had the designs as follows: 5 designs, one; 4 designs, two; 
3 designs, two; 2 designs, five; and 1 design, six. 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

Number of specimens 




31. Baskets ha\ing three imbricated designs 
(ditferent from one anotiier) 























32. Baskets having four imijricated designs 
(ditferent from one another) 


33. Baskets having five imbricated designs 
(different from one another) 

34. Baskets having six imbricated designs 
(different from one anotlicr) 

35. Designs arranged vertically and con- 


36. Designs arranged vertically and dis- 

connected _ - 


37. Designs arranged horizontally and con- 


38. Designs arranged horizontally and dis- 


39. Designs arranged diagonally and con- 

nected _ - - _ - _ 


40. Designs arranged diagonally and dis- 


41. Designs that appear horizontal and 

perpendicular or both 


42. Designs scattering, or having no regular 


Note. — Some other baskets having cHeck or fly designs and net designs all over can not well be cla,ssed 
with any of the above. Only baskets with geometric designs are included in this tabulation. Realistic 
designs are rare and usually occur in detached arrangement. 

The lids and feet of baskets are not included in the above list. It seems that beading on rims, sides, and 
bottoms of baskets is scarce among the Chilcotin and Klickitat and also much less common among the 
Lillooet than among the Thompson. Mr. Teit has very few notes regarding it, however. 

Objects Represented in Different Forms of Art 






Objects Represented in Different Forms of Art — Continued 







Paint pouch 



Hair ribbon 







Moccasin trailer 

Moccasin trailer 



Legging fringe 

Legging fringe 




Nose rod 





Fish spear 




Root digger 

Root digger (?) 


Deer-hoof rattle 




Deer fence 


Fort, stockade 

Grave box 



Woven bag 

House, earth lodge 



Girl's lodge 

Sweat house 

Woven bag 




Notched log 









Bow and arrow 

Bow and arrow 



Arrow feathers 

Arrowhead points 



[ETH. ANN. 41 

Objects Represented in Different Forms of Art — Continued 







Half arrowhead 



Arrowhead star 

Iron arrowhead 

Arrow nock 

War club 

Cord twisted 

Mat design 

TsExakstEn (girls' frame) 

Lodge pole 





Pine cone (very old) 


Maple leaf 

Fern leaf 


Sprout or weed 

Cactus (Opuntia sp.) used 
as food 

Lily root (mula) (Lilium 

Lily root 

columbianum) used as 





Moss cake 

Flowers differen- 






Hatce'ius root 




Objects Represented in Different Forms of Art — Continued 



Bear foot 


Flying bird (goose, eagle, 


Crow's foot 



Snake track 
Hairy caterpillar 
Woodworm borings 
Snail (?) 


Bear foot 
Little beaver 





Bird wings (goose, eagle, 

Bird tails 
Flying bird 




Dragon fly 






Snake or 

Bull snake 
Striped snake 
Garter snake 

Hairy caterpillar 



Fish backbone 

Grasshopper leg 
Grasshopper elbow 


> Distinguished from the larger designs of the same name by being small figures arranged diagonally all 
over the surface. 

Beaver (old) 


Little dog (obsolete) ' 

Deer and net 
Little deer ' 
Otter (pelt) 


Flying bird 


Fish (salmon), rare 


People (men, women) 


Objects Represented im Different Forms of Art — Continued 

ANIMALS— Continued 




Duck's head 

Deer's head 
Sheep's head 
Ram's horns 

Owl's face 




Grizzly bear's tooth 





Hand pointing 



Butterfly wing 

Butterfly wing 

Leg, foot 

Leg, foot 

Bent leg 

Bent leg 

Bent back 

Broken back 



Bird's foot 

Bird's foot 

Grouse foot 

Grouse foot 

Grouse foot 

Grouse tracks 

Grouse tracks 

Grouse tracks 

Deer's hoof 

Deer's hoof 

Deer's hoof 





Bird's nest 






Half circle 





False zigzag 






Tied middles 




Bent ends or points 

Here and there 

Side by side 

Sharp pcjints 

Short end 

Ascending end 

Following each 

Wide points 

Points, corners, or 

Lying flat 


Square points 

shoulders touch- 

Spread sidewise 

In file 




One above another 


Almost touching 






In pairs 

Crossed end 

Heaped up 


Single turn 



Two sided 


Crossing each other 



Piercing one an- 

Middles crossing 

Standing points 





Hooked ends 


Tied ends 

Ends disappearing 




89, 90, 150, 164, 165, 321?, 481, 562, 590, 591, 628-630, 631?, 632?, 633, 634, 
702, 760-764, 784, 785, 794, 814-817, 846?, 847?, 852, 853,854. 


77, 99, 102, 103, 136, 144, 145, 148, 151, 152, 167, 170, 182, 186, 266, 269, 299, 
305, 306, 313, 3S8, 398, 406, 407, 412, 413, 436, 437, 452, 471, 484, 486, 537?, 
538?, 5S6, 619, 621, 670, 678, 679, 682-685, 719, 757-759, 788, 789, 818-824, and 
Lytton kekule house designs. 


1-16, 21-39, 42-54, 60-72, 74-83, 85-88, 100-108, 110-115, 117-122, 128-138, 
141, 144-151, 153, 155, 158-163, 169-174, 176-184, 187, 189, 191-193, 199, 200- 
206, 208-215, 217, 218, 222-232, 234-236, 240, 241, 244-247, 249, 250, 252, 254, 
257-262, 264-270, 272-275, 277, 278, 281, 284, 286-296, 299, 301-310, 312-318, 
320, 322, 329-332, 335, 347, 349-368, 370-378, 380-393, 395, 397, 399-410, 412- 
414, 423, 425, 426, 428, 429, 431, 435, 437-439, 440, 442-450, 452-458, 460-476, 
478, 480-498, 501, 503, 504, 506-508, 510, 518-529, 531, 533-535, 540, 544, 545, 
547, 551, 552, 562, 568, 570, 571, 576, 579, 586, 588, 593?, 599-603, 616, 619, 
625-627, 635-640, 646, 647, 649, 662, 668, 669, 671, 673-676, 678, 679, 681, 682, 
688, 696-699, 702-732, 746-767, 775, 786, 788-791, 796-798, 800-807, 811-813, 
818-824, 826, 829, 833, 838, 839, 858. 


84, 97, 98, 126, 150 (not usuallv on basketrv, a blanket design), 175, 181, 190, 
219, 2.50, 259, 260, 311, 319, 328, 333, 394, 396, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 421, 430, 
515, 516, 517, 539, 553, 559, 594, 595, 597, 599, 600, 601, 803, 607-612, 614, 615, 
619, 653, 656, 657, 660, 664-667, 675, 690, 700, 701, 792, 793, 844. 

The Informants 

Mr. Teit collected from the numbered informants with whom he 
worked so long quite complete data regarding themselves and their 
individual achievements, from wliich some very interesting deduc- 
tions may be obtained about the different abilities and general 
intelligence of the women. 

No. 1. Yiopa'tko (Disappearing Water), belonged to the Spences 
Bridge Band of the Upper Thompson and was not related to people 
of any of the other divisions. She was the mother of informant No. 2. 
She began to make baskets when she had almost reached middle age 
and still continued to make several every year at the time she was 
interviewed, when she was about 60 years of age., She had manu- 
factured numerous baskets, most of them of the burden variety. 

Among the designs used by Yiopa'tko are the following: 

Sketches: (pis. 78-94) 8, 16 (but not so wide), 40, 46, 66, 68 
(narrower), 128, 133, 134, 202, 204, 205, 222, 22.5, 245, 257, 278, 292, 
316, 355, 382, 426, a design closely resembling 440, 441, 468, 478, 
488, 496, 497, 529, 582, 700, 701, 841. 

Plates: 9, c; 11, a (middle stripe); 14, e; 21, a (droppers); 23, c; 
28, e; 31, d; 34, a; 39, a; 39, b; 47, d; 49, e; 55, h (droppers); 
57, d; also A. M. N. H. 16/4644; 16/5901. 

Yiopa'tko does not make any net designs and seldom attempts 
zigzags or ladder patterns, except certain horizontal zigzags. She 



does not make any star, butterfly, eagle, or similar elaborate patterns, 
but the sketches. Figure 122, Nos. 1-9, are some with which she is 




en era en 
en en 

I— I cz 

23. CD C3 











rrr n. 













Fig. 122.— Designs made by individual artists 

The squares are very small and worked in red and black. The 
elements are too small to be considered as forming a "ladder" or 
"step" design; so she called thorn "beads." (Fig. 122, 3.) 

The pattern (fig. 122, 4) in alternating colors she designated as 
"scratches" or incisions. 


She used different colors for the "leaning" design (fig. 122, 5) 
which she said was considered by some people to be a portion of a 
zigzag (fig. 122, 7) and called "scratch." 

The "arrowhead" pattern (fig. 122, 6) she varied by using differ- 
ent combinations of colors both for the outlines and for the triangles. 

Yiopa'tko was inclined to tliink that the name " filled mouth" was 
sometunes given to the two patterns (fig. 122, 8, 9) but she called 
them "notch" designs and said she had made several varieties. 

No. 2. TuxI'nEk (Increased Bow), daughter of Yi6pa'tko, was also 
from the Spences Bridge Band of the Upper Tliompson. Her 
father's people were Fraser River Shuswap. When interviewed she 
was a young woman aged about 26. She began making baskets at 
about 20 and had already made a number, a few burden baskets and 
other shapes, but mostly bowls and circular forms. She made one 
or more every year. Her teachers had been her mother and some of 
the Upper Tliompson and Uta'mqt women who lived at North Bend. 
TuxI'nEk was raised at Spences Bridge. The designs made by her 
are largely represented by — 

Sketches: 4, 31, 40, 60, 80, 128, nearly like 133, 176, 204, 225, 245, 
315, 426, nearly like 440, 441, nearly hke 479, 480, 547, 568, nearly 
like 697, and a very few others. 

Plates: 25, b; 49, /; also A. M. N. H. 16/1044; 16/4644. 

The "mula" design was the first she made. She makes two varie- 
ties of star designs somewhat different from those given here. 

No. 3. Xamal'.ks ( Dress) was a young woman of about 32 

years of age of the Spences Bridge Band, but related by blood to the 
Thompson and Lytton Bands. She was raised among the Thompson 
and was not related to any of the other informants. She began 
basket making when a very small girl, consequently had produced a 
large number, and was still making several every year, on wliich she 
expended all of her spare time. The designs she used are represented 
in part by — 

Sketches: 79, 80, 82, 114-116, 119, 128, 132, 171, 217, 218, 232, 328, 
340, 341, 355, 361, 399, 400, 402, 412, 440, 463, 465, 501, 519, 520, 547, 

Plates: Frontispiece; 8, d; 9, a; 12, b; 14, e; 22, d; 24, b; 24, c 
(all the designs but not the same combination) ; 25, a; 25, c; 28, d; 
31, a (only with cross center) ; 34, a; 37, c (in vertical bands with and 
without the cross) ; 37, d; 37, e; 56, d (separate or in different com- 
binations) ; 57, c; also A. M. N. H. 16/1044; 16/1270; 16/1271; 
16/1273; 16/4581; 16/4620; 16/4644. 

Xamal'.ks makes also the following in various colors: Big bead 
(fig. 122, 10, 11), heaped up (fig. 122, 12). 


No. 4. TEkwi'tlixqEii ( Head), a daughter of No. 5, was raised 

around Spences Bridge. Her parents were Spences Bridge and 
Nicola. She was aged about 36 and began basket making five or 
more years previous to the time when she was questioned. She 
picked up the art, as many women do, by watching others of the 
Upper Thompson tribes. She made two or three baskets every year 
and had finished a number of burden, oblong, and circular shapes. 
Her designs, shown in Figure 122, were "arrowhead" (13), "cloud" 
(14), "cloud embroidery" (15), variety of a copied design, name 
unknown to her (16), "bead" variety, invented by herself (17), 
variety of "arrowhead," invented by herself (18). 

Plates: The right-hand stripe, 7, c, which is called "marks of a 
young fawn's skin"; the central stripe of 15, &; the rim design of 
32, c; the central stripe of 3,6; 28, gr (called caterpillar) ; 23, c, the 
checkerwork at the rim; 38, d; 49,/. 

She also made Figure 122, Nos. 19, 20, 21, which she said were all 
variations of form and arrangement of designs seen by her on other 
women's baskets. She did not know their proper names. 

No. 5. Sinsi'n.tko (Staggering Water) was raised at Potato Gardens, 
among the Nicola, but she belonged to the Spences Bridge Band. 
Her parents were Nicola and Lytton. She was nearly 60 years of 
age, the mother of No. 4, and began basket making only four years 
before this information was gathered. She acquired sufficient knowl- 
edge of the art by watching others but had not worked at it very 
steacUly, as she did not have much time for it. She had not cared 
about it when she was young. Her baskets were about five in number 
and were oblong and circular shapes. She had made only a very 
few designs, not more than six, the principal of which were one or 
two forms of arrowheads. Her first basket was decorated only with 

No. 6. Tso's.tko (Rattling Water) belonged also to the Spences 
Bridge Band. Her mother was part Thompson, part Uta'mqt. 
No. 2 was her half sister by the same father. She had grown up at 
Spences Bridge and at the time of the investigation was 45 years 
old. She had made baskets for a number of years but as she worked 
only occasionally had not many to her credit. At first she had no 
special mstruction but had gathered what she knew about the art 
from observing other women. Some years she made one or two 
and at other times for a period of a year or more she did nothing. 
All of her baskets were comparatively small and circular. Her 
designs were: 

Sketches: 4, 7, 30, 51, 60, 80, 86, 128, 157, 180, 222, 225, 245, 303, 
361, 369, 374, 393, 412, 426, 441, 480, 497, 504, 527, 547, 697, and a 
very few others. 


No. 7. Julia was a member of the Lytton Band of Upper Thompson. 
Her father was a Lytton, her mother was partly Greek, partly 
Stlaxa'iux". When interviewed, Julia was only 17. She had been 
brought up at Lytton and had made her first basket when very young, 
but nevertheless had completed very few. The designs she chose are 
represented in Sketches 36, 157, ISO, 225, 426, 592. She had imbri- 
cated a nimiber of letters which were the initials of names she knew, 
such as S, T, A, H, W, Z, M. The letters H and Z she had used in 
decorative fashion, placing the former in horizontal rows, the latter 
in vertical series. W she had taken as her own mark, which she was 
accustomed to place at the corners of baskets. 

The shapes she had made were all small, and were circular, square 
or fancy. The bottoms of her square ones were all constructed by 
means of a watch-spring coil which had been thickened at intervals 
on each round, in order to produce corners. She had observed people 
who made baskets as long as she could remember and in addition had 
been given some instruction by her mother and aunt, but she did 
not care much for the work. She had made some simple beading 
such as over one and under one, and also over one and under two. 

No. 8. Koi'n.tko ( Water). This informant was aged 58 and 

was living at Spences Bridge. She had originally belonged to the 
Thompson Band, and had grown up among them. At the time she 
was questioned hor eyes were in a very bad condition so that she was 
unable to see the sketches presented to her for identification. How- 
ever, she said that she had executed only a few designs in the days 
when she was young and making baskets and that those she did 
make were all very common. It had been at least 35 years since she 
had done any work of this kind. All the shapes she had made were 
circular and rather small. 

No. 9. KapI'nEk (Soft Bow), 37 years old, had lived all her life at 
Lytton, being of Lytton descent, with a slight admixture of Uta'mqt 
blood. Her mother and various other relatives had taught her the 
art of basket making and she had practiced it to a great extent. At 
the time she was interviewed she was still in the habit of making a 
number every year, sometimes as many as 10 or more, of different 
sizes. More recently she confuied herself practically to the manu- 
facture of circular and fancy shapes, although during her life she had 
made all varieties. Kapi'nEk had made many designs, for she seldom 
duplicated her patterns. Some of these may be seen in Plate 52, 
a, e, i, j, but she had made many others. She also made a design 
which she called "caterpillar" or "hairy caterpillar." (Fig. 122, 
22.) She seldom repeats patterns on different baskets without 
some variation. 


No. 10.— Woli'p.tsa (Elevated Bottom of a Robo? Clear Weather 
RobeO was one of the most intelligent and best informed women 
interviewed. She belonged to the Potato Gardens Band of the Nicola 
and at the time of the investigation was 32 years old. She had spent 
part of her life at Potato Gardens and part at Lytton, for her mother 
had come from the latter locality. When a very small girl she had 
begun to make baskets under the tutelage of interested relatives. 
As she was in the habit of making at least six baskets every year 
she had completed a large nimibcr, which included nearly all the 
different shapes, but her later efforts had been concentrated on fancy 
or modern forms and circular typos. 

Woll'p.tsa said that for fine work she exercised much care in the 
selection of materials. For the finest work she often scraped the 
sewing splints to make them thinner and more pliable. Two bundles 
of these were about enough to make a mediima-sized basket. She 
jireferred to make circular baskets and trays, although she had tried 
all the shapes. She thought circular forms were much easier to 
construct and looked as well as other kinds if not better. On 
burden baskets she always used elongated watch-spring bottoms, 
while on all other types she found the plain watch spring the easiest 
and best. She said she had made a great number of designs and 
could easily make others if she cared to try, but she liked best the 
"arrowhead" designs, of which three or four were favorites, also 
"spot," "line," and "star" designs. Again the reason given was 
that they were easier and ajjpeared as well as other patterns. She 
had never attempted any one-field, large designs such as that seen 
in Plate 33, b, which she did not know, although she had seen some 
like it. She always made what she called open designs, not those 
connected in several directions. She liked separate figures or those 
arranged in bands and had made all the designs on the basket pic- 
tured in Plate 33, c. That on the end was known as a "necklace" 
pattern; the others were all "arrowheads." She confessed, however, 
that she was ignorant of the proper names of a number of designs. 
That on the basket portrayed in Plate 24, b, she called a "flying goose" 
])attern, of which she declared there were many variations, but the 
variety best known to her was neither double nor executed in two 
coloz-s, but had the single figures all in one color. She had seen one 
old form which showed the head and tail of the bird, but had never 
attempted it. She had made the design on the basket in Plate 39, c. 
She considered the basket shown in the photograph to bo of very bad 
shape. It was started with walls which proved to be too nearly 
vertical and were later given more flare. She had also made the 
design on the specimen in Plate 3, b, but never those given in 
Plates 11, ft; 22, o, and 48, e. She did not know the names of these 
last two patterns but had seen the former and had heard it called 



"notch" design. A photograph shuilar to Plato 49, d, was also 
submitted to her. She had never made the design like the one in 
the center on the basket portrayed, but had seen it and this was the 
case also with the simple "mula" pattern of checks forming a dia- 
mond. Slie had forgotten its name but called it "clusters." 

Other designs made by Woli'p.tsa are shown in Plates 8, <Z; 9, 6; 
12, I; 25, a; 25, c; 34, a; 37, a; 37, h; 37, d; 37, e; 39, a; 39, 6; 
also A.M. N.H. 16/1269; 16/1273; 16/4620; 16/9151; 16/9629; 16/9631. 

No. 11. This informant was named .swi'xa (Hair Streaming Out?). 
Her parents had belonged to the Styue Creek and Similkameen Bands, 
Spences Bridge group. At the time she gave her information she 
was 78 years old. When a young woman she had made a number of 
baskets, but for many years before the time when she was questioned 
she had not made any. She had manufactured chiefly burden bas- 
kets and circular shapes of various sizes. In her work she had ranged 
from the smallest to the largest, but the majority of h