Family First Workshop: Woven Baskets

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Family First Workshop: Woven Baskets

By Julia Hood, Coordinator of Education | @LearnReynolda

The May Family First workshop was the final public program during George Catlin’s American Buffalo. In it, we made small burden baskets, reminiscent of what some of the sedentary plains tribes might have created. Indeed, George Catlin painted scenes of both the Hidatsa and Mandan villages. These tribes made twined burden baskets.*  Other Plains tribes, ones who were nomadic, would only have made coiled gambling baskets and used other materials (like hide) to make carrying and storage containers.

If you had to create a storage container based on materials in the natural world, what would you use? How would you make your container?

The baskets we made in our workshop use a twining technique. The basic basket structure begins with eight pieces of a reed (or vine) lashed together at their centers. These then fan out into sixteen spokes. We then took jute and yarn and twisted two strands around the spokes to build up the basket walls. If you would like to make your own twined basket, download these instructions.

To see our workshop participants hard at work, check out the photographs below.

Some finished results:

Love D.I.Y. art activities? Read all Family First Workshop blogs.

*Wyckoff, Lydia L., Woven Worlds: Basketry from the Clark Field Collection at the Philbrook Museum of Art (Tulsa, OK: University of New Mexico Press, 2001), 142.


Nice article. Lovely.

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