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Basket-Work of the

North American Aborigines

Otis T. Mason - 1884

 Gustav's Library Vintage Reprint

A classic work from Otis T. Mason of the U.S. National Museum of Natural History,   This work is often referenced by later basketry books.

The study of the minutest technique in the distribution of aboriginal arts is very necessary in making up our opinions on questions of Anthropology. The archaeologist is frequently caused to halt in the reconstruction of ancient society by his ignorance of the arts of the savages around him. This is especially true of an art which had its culmination in savagery or barbarism, and which began to decline at the touch of civilization, or at least to give place to higher types of the same art. For the discussions of problems that have arisen in the past the data then in hand have been sufficient; but as the investigations of social progress become more intricate the demands for greater detail in the observation of anthropological phenomena around us is imperative.
I have lately had occasion to examine all the baskets in the National Museum, and the results of this research may not be uninteresting as a contribution to exact technology in an art which may be called par excellence a savage art.
In a basket there are several characteristics to be observed, which will enable us to make a classification of the objects themselves and to refer them to their several tribal manufacturers. These characteristics are the material, the frame-work, the methods of weaving, the coiling or sewing, the decoration, their use, &c.

This 6-1/2" x 9-1/2", soft cover, facsimile reprint contains 144 pages, 65 of which are full page B&W plates and their descriptions illustrating over 100 baskets.  $13.95  




Yokut   Chilkat

Sample  Plates - click on image to enlarge