A palmetto stem basket tray or holding basket for sifting grain. The bottom of this basket is tightly woven without any large gaps. This holding basket would have been paired with a sifting basket that had open gaps in the bottom of the basket. The weft and warp strips of palmetto are woven twill pattern with an over two, under two method. The basket has a square bottom and rounded outer walls. The palmetto strips are alternated with slick side and veined sides up to create a diagonal pattern. The basket has a double woven rim. The upper rim is palmetto stem, but the lower rim is a strip of plain weave textile.
In regards to the manufacture technique, Dorothy Downs writes in the "Art of the Florida Seminole and Miccosukee Indians" page 198-9: Collecting palmetto stems for basket making could require a full day's outing. Only the longest stems are gathered. They are cut with a machete and then split into sections with a knife. A smaller knife is subsequently used to scrape them and to make them smoother and thinner. Finally, all the stems are laid out in groups so that strips of equal width can be selected.
|Dimensions||W-19 D-3.5 inches|
|Collection||Baskets / Piper Collection|