Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge


Grass bag

aygag^asix^ “grass basket, grass bag, carrying basket”
Language: Unangam Tunuu (Eastern Aleut dialect)

Gathering fish, kelp, seafood. / That’s why it’s got the open weave, so water drains.

—Mary Bourdukofsky / Maria Turnpaugh, 20003

This Unangax^ grass basket has an open weave that allowed for air and drainage when storing fish, seaweed, sea urchins, mussels, clams, or other seafood. Grass harvested late in the summer or even after the first snowmelt is preferred for this type, because it is longer and stronger than grass picked in mid-summer. The basket is decorated with colored yarn.

Culture: Unangax (Aleut)
Region: Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Object Category: Baskets, bags, boxes
Dimensions: Length 22cm
Accession Date: 1927
Source: Frederick W. Skiff (seller)
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 156372.000