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Washoe or Northern Paiute basket
ca. 1940s
Western Nevada
Willow, glass beads
17 x 16 cm
Transferred from Indian Arts and Crafts Board

Sandra Eagle (Pyramid Lake Paiute/Shoshone) miniature basket
Pyramid Lake Reservation, Washoe County, Nevada
Willow, shell beads, glass beads
2 x 3.5 cm
Gift of R. E. Mansfield

Washoe basket
ca. 1900–1905
12 x 15 cm
Presented by Archer M. Huntington

Washoe basket weavers are highly regarded for their finely executed basketry. This is a classic tightly coiled and beautifully rounded degikup. During the early 19th century, Washoe women, and most notably Dat so la lee (or Louisa Keyser), wove exquisite degikup for the curio trade. Value for their artistry, nonutilitarian or “fancy baskets” such as this degikup, were woven from willow. Their design was created with bracken fern, as is this case here, and also redbud. This basket may have been made by Scees Bryant Possack (1858–1918), Dat so la lee’s sister-in-law and a respected weaver in her own right.

Western Great Basin basket-beading techniques are somewhat unique. As seen on this miniature by Sandra Eagle, the basket is made first then beads are sewn individually in the interstices of the basketry stitches.

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