Audio Presentation for the Basket Display

Large glass display case:
The first basket is a doll cradle board basket, made by Nancy Wyatt, a Chukchansi,in the 1940s for Evelyn Rudicell (Armstrong) who donated it to the museum. The picture shows how a baby would be placed in the basket.

The forked antler was used for handling hot stones. The stones were used in the cooking basket (next to the antler). Notice that the design is only on the outside. Wooden tools were also used like the one found inside the cooking basket. It was tempered – the wood was soaked, placed over the fire to dry it out, then soaked again, dried again and so on. Eventually, it was like iron. Cooking acorn: The basket would be placed on the ground and pounded acorn flour, water and hot rocks that had been heated in the fire would be placed in it. Rocks were lifted with a pronged instrument (deer antler or wooden stick). When the rocks cooled, they were removed and replaced with more hot rocks. The cooking and stirring process was continued until the acorn reached the consistency desired.

The next three baskets are winnowing baskets used for cleaning acorns, nuts, and seeds.

The large basket is a burden basket. The Indian woman had a strap that she put around her forehead and the basket hung down her back. It was used for gathering acorns and other foods. This basket dates to the 1850s and was given to us by the Williams sisters, descendants of Chief Hawa.

The smaller baskets were for miscellaneous uses. One was used like a colander or sifter.

Basket-making supplies: redbud, sour berry sticks, pine needles, white root, buffalo grass and straw. The dried plant that is tied together with purple fabric is sage used for purification and healing. The soap root brushes were used for cleaning baskets, combing hair or as a scrubber.

Rocks in front of the baskets had many uses: pestles, grinding stones, game balls…to name a few.