Native American

Set of Nesting Boxes

Artist: Irene Desmoulins and Mildred Agounie
Culture/People: Anishinaabe, Odawa
Place: Great Lakes, Canada
Media: Birchbark, sweetgrass, quills, cotton thread, and dye
Dims: varies
Date: 2001
RTC No: NA0673a-e
Gift of Ralph T. Coe, 2011


“Much more work is put into such a project than first meets the eye. First of all, there has to be a design that is suited to all five sizes of lids and which still maintains its integrity down to extreme miniaturization. Secondly, the makers have to take into account many niceties of different scales of technique, including sizing the quills for each box and even doubling some of the running stitchery binding the sweetgrass edging so that the boxes will stand wear and tear. There are little touches of reinforcement for the bigger boxes, even so, the results are both delicate and fragile, structurally and aesthetically.” —Ralph T. Coe

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