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Cedar Basketry Background and History

Essays on the historical significance of cedar, general background of cedar bark basketry, cedar baskets, basketmakers specializing in cedar basketmaking, as well as harvesting and preparation of red and yellow cedar. Thuja Greek "thyia" (for a juniper or a fragrant-wooded tree) from "thyo" (perfume). Plicata plaited (leaves, branches) - Latin "plicare" (to fold).

Cedar: Tree of Life To The Northwest Coast Indians
by Hilary Stewart, Bill Reid
Information on gathering, processing and using cedar bark, withes and roots for basketry along with much other cedar lore.

Cedar Bark Weaving
Feature article by Paivi Sumi, weaving expert.

Cedar - A Great Provider
Western red-cedar (Thuja plicata) and yellow-cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis), including harvesting and preparation is described in this article by the Royal B. C. Museum. In .pdf format.

Cedar - Tree of Life
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development article that discusses the harvesting and use of Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata). Red cedar has a long history of use by Plateau peoples and the Northwest Coastal Native American people, from Oregon to southeast Alaska for basketry and other functional arts. Learn about the spiritual and ceremonial aspects involved in this harvest. A separate slide show is included.

Cedar Bark Basket Kit Little Brown Jug Kit by Judy Zugish
Little Brown Jug Kit (approx. 6" diameter). Strips of Western Red Cedar, strands of Alaskan Yellow Cedar, color elements of dyed bark - all these combine to create a charming basket.

Cedar Bark Clothing
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development article that talks about the use of Western Red Cedar and Alaska yellow cedar in woven garments such as capes, skirts, hats, cloaks, aprons, woven cedar shirts, leggings and diapers. Discusses the harvest and preparation involved in both Western Red Cedar and Alaska yellow cedar. A separate slide show is included.

Curtis Photo Collection
Portfolio of photographic images of prints contained in "The North American Indian" by Edward S. Curtis. Northwest cedar basketry featured in numerous images.

Haida Cedar Basketry
Haida cedar basketmaker Lisa Telford from Alaska. A multi-slide presentation explains Lisa's work and offers much on cedar basketry.

Native Materials In Northwest Basketry
Sharle Osborne and Kathey Ervin have put together a list of common and scientific names for the material types used in Northwest basketry and the parts of the plants used.

Old Growth Cedar
Old growth Western red cedar (Thuja plicatais) the magic tree of the Pacific Northwest.

Olympic Peninsula Cedar Basketry
Sharle Osborne and Kathey Ervin focus on cedar basketry from the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

Royal British Columbia Museum
This museum's collections include Northwestern cedar and spruce root First Nations basketry. Their entire ethnology collection is accessible in a searchable database.

Northwest Basket Weavers - Vi Phillips Guild
Membership organization based in Seattle, Washington. Home to many basketmakers using cedar and other Pacific Northwest basketmaking materials.

Weavings of Cedar Bark
An article from 'Ksan Historical Village and Museum Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art and Culture in Hazelton, British Columbia, Canada describes the historic nature of cedar bark weavings.

Western Red Cedar (Cupressaceae Thuja plicata) Factsheet
The Dendrology program at Virginia Tech has put together this fact sheet on Western Red Cedar that includes images of the bark, leaf and cone along with other information on range, economic value and uses.

Western Red Cedar Used As Dye Plant
Feature article by Paivi Sumi, weaving expert describing her use of cedar bark to dye fleece with the bark of the cedar tree. These same procedures will work for basketry materials such as black ash or oak woodsplint.

More Cedar Basketry
Additional resources on cedar basketmaking, cedar basketry supplies, cedar baskets and cedar bark basketmakers.

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