Herb Steeping Basket


Rigid coiled basket with dark cedar root body imbricated with interwoven tan colored willow root. Alternating vertical bands of tan and brown. Small lipped neck with a large bottom. The water tight body is nearly round. Tanned hide handle. Design/Pattern: Alternating vertical bands of tan a brown., height: 4"; neck: 2"; Width at Top: 4 1/2", William Manning organized his collection by categories listing this basket in the category: Hard Weave Baskets and noting that it was ""Water tight, used for steeping herbs." Source: Accession record 1, Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, 1926 W. M. Manning Indian Collection inventory.

Cultural Narrative: 

This is cedar root. When I first saw this I was thinking of a rattle that took a lot of work with those little stitches. My mom said that her aunt when they would travel back home they would have these to drink from and everyone had their very own cup. But i never saw these because they would burn everything when people died back then. My grandma would take a cup like these with us when we went out on her horse and I would ride on the back so she wouldn't go out alone and she'd stop and scoop up water and give it to me to drink, and I'd see the coils and patterns inside when I drank the water. With our people with ceremonies we drink first before anything. Elaine Emerson