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Culture:Native American; Tlingit
Title:Lidded Rattle Basket
Date Made:1890s-present
Materials:spruce root, bear grass
Place Made:Canada; United States; Northwest Coast; Northern British Columbian Coast; Southern Alaska
Measurements:with cover: 5 1/8 x 5 1/2 in. diameter; 13.0175 x 13.97 cm
Accession Number:  SC 1960.141
Credit Line:Gift of Charlotte Heussy McAllister, class of 1930
Museum Collection:  Smith College Museum of Art

This Tlingit basket is representative of most Tlingit basketry. Made out of finely twined Sitka spruce root, the basket is flexible and features a hollow rattle lid (now damaged) that was once filled with small stones or seeds to produce a rattling sound when shaken. The "embroidered" geometric decoration that surrounds the entire basket consists of aniline dyed bear grass in colors of red and purple. Bear grass was dyed with either native plants or with commercial aniline dyes during and after the 1890s (when the tourist trade allowed Tlingit women to acquire aniline dyes from Europeans). Aniline dyed bear grass is brightly colored, and does not fade as rapidly as naturally dyed fibers. Rattle lid baskets were primarily sold for the tourist trade. AP2018


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