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Fancy Karuk Basket by Elizabeth Conrad Hickox In the late nineteenth century, non-Indian patronage of traditional Karuk, Yurok and Hupa basketmakers resulted in a decorative form that included fitted covers with extended knobs. The extraordinary skill of Elizabeth Hickox, daughter of a Wiyot mother and a German father, is apparent in this example. File Catalog Entry: "Fancy Basket" Karuk Woven by Elizabeth Conrad Hickox (1873-1947) Klamath River, Northern California ca. 1918 4 3/4" h. incl. lid Myrtle sticks, split willow (Salix spp.) or wild grape (Vitis californica) root, maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum), yellow dyed porcupine quills T135 Grace Nicholson, Pasadena, California, c.1918; J. Rauzy; Larry Wendt, Santa Fe The people of the Klamath River in northwest California twined beautiful baskets that were used for many purposes. Like this specimen they had warps of myrtle sticks and were tightly twined with wild grape root. The wefts are covered with an overlay of dyed porcupine quills, white bear grass and shiny black maidenhair fern stems. Three-strand twining was used around the base of the basket and around the knob on the lid. Elizabeth Hickox developed a distinctive style that raised Northern California basket making to a high art, combining technical virtuosity with an enormously varied range of designs beautifully developed on a single shape. (c.f. Dockstader 1973, pl.146; Conn 1979, p.345; Gogol 1985, p.32) Much of her extraordinarily refined talent was devoted to the making of small trinket baskets like this one, which in every way typifies the technical and aesthetic excellence which has made her the most renowned basket maker of Northern California. The people of the Klamath River in northwestern California twined beautiful baskets that were used for many purposes. Warps of hazel or myrtle sticks were tightly twined with split pine root which were covered with an overlay of yellow quills sometimes combined with shiny black maidenhair fern or red fern stems to make designs. In this basket, Hickox has replaced pine root with finely split wild grape root as a weft and hazel sticks or myrtle, as warp for greater fineness. In an extravagant display of technique she has used only yellow dyed porcupine quills as overlay in forming the design elements. Since porcupine quills are only about 2" long - each row of each design requires splicing in a new weft element. Using maidenhair fern as the design background is another innovation of hers. Three-strand twining was used around the base of the basket and around the knob on the lid. Humboldt State University 1991, p.66, fig.20; Muckenthaler Cultural Center 1991; Penney and Longfish 1995, p.188; Vincent 1995a, p.61.
diameter 4.75 in, height 4.75 in, width 3.75 in