About Northern Californian Basketry
Northern California Basketry
Most basketry we find today originating from the Northern Californian region are Tolowa, Yurok, Karuk, Hupa, Shasta, Modoc, Pit River, Hat Creek, Wiyot, and Wintu. The Klamath of Southern Oregon are also included in this section as their basketry is nearly identical to the Modoc.
Baskets, the mostly developed art of the Northern California tribes, can be given a tribal affiliation based on an analysis of materials used, weaving techniques, form and style.
Northern California can be divided into Northwest and Northeast regions.
Northwest: This region includes the Coastal ranges and Klamath Mountains. From the coast, the native population inhabited the redwoods and coastal forests, mountains and valleys and along the rivers including the Eel, Mad, and Klamath rivers. The tribes of this region that we focus on are the coastal Yurok, the northern Karuk and the Hupa Group peoples primarily of the Hoopa Valley (south of the Karuk), which include the Hupa, Chilula and Whilkut. For the most part, the basketry motifs are woven using a half-twist overlay technique.
Northeast: This region includes the Cascade ranges east of the Klamath Mountains, which include Mt. Shasta; major rivers including the Pit and McCloud rivers. East of the Cascades are the Modoc Plateau, a volcanic region drained by The Hat Creek and Fall Rivers in the southern part, and The Great Basin, a dry scrub land east of the Warner Mountains, which extends into Nevada. The tribes of this region we focus on are the Pit River (Achomawi), Hat Creek (Atsugewi), Wintu, Modoc and Klamath (although of Southern Oregon, their basketry is so similar to the Modoc we include them in this section). The basketry motifs are primarily woven using the full-twist overlay technique which distinguishes these baskets from those of their western neighbors.