Native American


Artist: Unknown
Culture/People: Iroquois Confederacy
Place: Eastern United States or Canada
Media: Brown Ash Splints, paint, and Hickory or Oak
Dims: 6.5 x 12.5 x 9.75 in, (16.5 x 31.7 x 24.7 cm)
Date: c. 1825
RTC No: NA0028
Gift of Ralph T. Coe, 2011


This basket has always been a favorite. Its humbleness betrays its complicated production, sturdy utility—with an exterior worn smooth after years of use. The beauty of the basket is readily available, its colors and textures making viewing pleasurable and has one thinking of where it came and who made it. Unfortunately, we do not know the maker’s name.

The diagonal patterning is created through a weaving technique known as plaiting; in this case, the maker has carefully alternated the rows so that on the surface one sees the variation of wefts—following a vertical line notice how the wefts go under and then over the other wefts. Confused? That’s ok, look deeper—see that diagonal patterning that is alive with energy?

The weaver expertly prepared and evenly sized each ash splint, which were also dyed before commencing the construction of the basket.

Wish to learn more about Ash splint baskets? Please visit with Kelly Church (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Ojibwe) for more information. Kelly has participated in our Side-by-Side Artists Programs by organizing two splint wood basket-making workshops at the Coe Center in 2016.

Do you have information about this artwork?

We'd love to hear about it.

Email Us

Please include the RTC No. in your email. Thank you!