Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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kigw “basket”
Language: Haida

When we collected berries we put skunk cabbage leaves in the bottom of the basket, because they acted like wax paper to catch the juice. We didn’t want the juice to drip down our backs, and we saved it to use when putting the berries away.

—Delores Churchill, 2005

Raspberries, salmonberries, currants, blueberries, huckleberries, and salalberries ripen during summer in southeast Alaska and Haida Gwaii. Haida artist Delores Churchill identified this large spruce-root basket as a collection vessel into which berry pickers emptied their loads. The dark bands are a traditional Haida design, woven from roots dyed with hemlock and iron soaked in urine.

Culture: Haida
Region: British Columbia, Canada
Object Category: Baskets, bags, boxes
Dimensions: Height 39cm
Accession Date: 1883
Source: James G. Swan (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E088965