Traditionally, Pomo gift baskets were only decorated iwth quail and red headed woodpecker feathers. Following contact with white society, their baskets were made with other kinds of feathers. -from the Native American Art from the Permanent Collection catalog, 1979
Traditionally, Pomo feather baskets were made almost exclusively as gifts for important or revered people. Although baskets continue to maintain a spiritual significance in Pomo culture, by the early 20th century they were being sold to wealthy white collectors and tourists. At that time, women were largely responsible for the creation of intricate and artistic baskets such as this one, while men wove those for utilitarian purposes. Feather baskets represent hours of work; feathers must be dried, scraped clean of organic materials, and carefully slid between each stitch. Northern and Eastern Pomo call the bands of isosceles triangles that cover this basket the butterfly design; Central Pomo refer to them as the arrowhead-half design. -object commentary from Nuance of Sky: Edgar Heap of Birds Invites Spirit Objects to Join His Art Practice exhibition
Kathleen Howe, Nuance of Sky: Edgar Heap of Birds Invites Spirit Objects to Join His Art Practice (Claremont: Pomona College Museum of Art, 2013), 20 illustrated/color. Kay Koeninger and Joanne M. Mack, "Native American Art from the Permanent Collection" (Claremont: Galleries of the Claremont Colleges, 1979), 84, fig. 287.
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