Skip to main content

Nuu Chah Nulth Basket

Curated Submission
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
15 x 7.5
Materials & techniques
Cedar, bear grass, glass; Weaving, dye
Delta Museum and Archives Society DE1968.1
In the tradition of the Nuu Chah Nulth people of the British Columbia west coast, baskets tended to be smaller and tightly woven using a coiled twining technique. The tight compact weave was very important to make the basket waterproof in the dense rainforest region in which they resided. The tight weave and flexibility of the materials also made it possible to adapt the technique to provide a protective cover over valued objects – in this case a glass pickle jar. Such smaller baskets also allowed for convenient stowage in smaller protected areas such as tree trunks or rock clefts.
Bear grass is tough and fibrous, and as it dries it turns from green to creamy white. It also is easily dyed; in this case aniline dye creates the vibrant pigmentation. The weaving continues underneath the jar, creating a soft contact surface. The design includes both waterfowl, which are common to the area, and orange flowers, though it is unknown what species of flower is depicted.
Submit a related artifact
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Pinterest Email More...

Main sponsors

  • Logo of the Imperial Oil Foundation with accompanying characteristic oval 'Esso' symbol.

Institutional partners