Coiled Basketry in British Columbia and Surrounding Region (Summary 2 of 5)
(numbers in the text in parentheses refer to a page in the text)
Thompson Woman with Burden Basket, 1914, (S'Wixa with large decorated basket she made). Photos by James A. Teit. Canadian Museum of Civilization, 26620, 26621 & 26622
Importance of the N'laka'pamux Basket Makers
It would seem that much of the work is based on the observation of Thompson basket makers, as the following excerpt explains:
The Thompson are at the present time, and probably were in the past, the most prolific producers of coiled imbricated basketry of all the tribes comprising the Salish group, where it is supposed that the art had its origin. ... To a large extent the manufacture seems to have depended on the location in which the people made their homes, as well as upon there other occupations, which were more or less controlled by the conditions under which they lived. Certain parts of the country, as, for instance, the Cascade region, enjoy a comparatively moist climate, which produces dense forest growth. Owing to the proximity of good salmon streams and their custom of living largely on fish, the people were somewhat sedentary in their habits, and because food was plentiful they had leisure not only in which to manufacture baskets for the immediate needs of the household but to develop for these an artistic decoration which satisfied their love of the beautiful. Materials of the best quality for these purposes grew in abundance right at hand. (143).
The text also mentions that
Among the Thompson the greatest number of baskets were made by the Utä'mqt or Lower Thompson people who live in the Fraser River Canyon. [...] The Utä'mqt still continue to be the best basket makers of the entire Tribe. [...] Although the Utä'mqt dwell in a more favored region, the Ntlakyapamux'o'e ("Real Thompson") of Lytton and the Stlaxaai'ux of the Fraser River Valley above Lytton who live in a more arid, barren country also produced baskets in considerable numbers. (144).
Considering the tribe as a whole, probably more than two-thirds of all the women weave baskets. (145).
Boas, Franz, ed., Haeberlin, H.K., Teit, James, Roberts, Helen. "Coiled Basketry in British Columbia and Surrounding Region." Forty-first Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1919-1924, Washington, DC 1924, pp. 119-484.