A beautiful miniature Native American sweetgrass basket. A decorative trinket form which originated during Victorian times to provide a meager living for our noble original residents. Taking all manner of shape and form, these baskets, which are commonly made even still by many Northeastern tribes, used wood splints which were given color by native, vegetal dyes and painstakingly created adapting traditional native forms for which the makers were hardly compensated.
I believe the decorative handles, tiny and remarkable coils of wood, have been called "God's Eye" but that might be a Western application.
A recent email conversation with a friend reminded me of a myth I heard in Santa Fe, which could be quite true...that native peoples, in particular those who took care of our land before we came to trash it, learned to make baskets by watching birds make their nests. A beautiful sentiment, true or not, and either way these perfect little creations are far more affordable than they should be. You'll see them around. If there are absolutely no breaks, their value is sure to increase.
Miniature Sweetgrass Basket, (Potawatomi tribe?) Circa 1920 Collection Jim Linderman
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