160318-44 Antique Maidu Indian Basket Gambling Tray
Large bowl form;
With an early nature, wear primarily to stitches on rim, a few scattered damaged body stitches, but overall in very good condition. Willow field, redbud motif, left coil. A rare example.
The Maidu lands in North Central California extend from the State Capitol region of Sacramento to the Sierra Nevada mountains and include regions surrounding the American and Feather Rivers.
The Maidu were exemplary basket weavers, weaving highly detailed and useful baskets in sizes ranging from thimble-sized to huge ones ten or more feet in diameter. The stitches on some of these baskets are so fine that you need a magnifying glass to see them. In addition to closely woven, watertight baskets for cooking, they made large storage baskets, bowls, shallow trays, traps, cradles, hats and seed beaters. To make these baskets they used dozens of different kinds of wild plant stems, barks, roots and leaves. Some of the more common were fern roots, red bark of the redbud, white willow twigs and tule roots, hazel twigs, yucca leaves, brown marsh grass roots and sedge roots. By combining these different kinds of plants, they were able to make geometric designs on their baskets in red, black, white, brown or tan.