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Arts And Crafts: Chief's Coffin

Chief's Coffin pattern
Chief's Coffin pattern

Small handled baskets like this one are known as egg baskets, although they were certainly used for other purposes. The egg basket, more often made of white oak, is a typical form of the Appalachian region. Baskets such as these were used to gather eggs from hen houses. The rounded bottom allows the eggs to settle into the bottom of the basket to prevent breakage from rolling around. The basket is woven up from a square base, tapering inward to a circular rim. The interlocking handle of this basket is woven into the form, providing strength and stability. Butternut bark was used to achieve a dark color; the pattern is called the Chief's Coffin design with the "coffins" woven in a diagonal band around the lower portion of the basket.


 

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