CEDAR ROOT BASKET NO. 3 OF THE SECWEPEMC MUSEUM
Cedar Root Basket No. 3 of the Secwepemc Museum
Made from cedar root, these baskets were mainly used for cooking and storage. The tightly woven coils made the basket waterproof. Foods could be boiled, or steamed by placing hot rocks into water at the bottom of the basket. Food was placed above the water on a layer of sticks; a lid placed on the basket kept the steam inside.
The rows of the basket were made by coiling the root around a narrow wooden slat. A bone awl was used to make a hole in the previous row and the root was fed through the hole joining the rows. The baskets were decorated with geometric and zoomorphic designs using a method of imbrication, a woven in method where the design is visible only on the outside of the basket. The inner bark of the chokecherry was used to decorate most baskets for its deep red color; it could also be dyed black by burying it in mud. http://www.secwepemcmuseum.com/