First Nations Baskets at the Langley Centennial Museum
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Mouth or Funeral Box Large Berry Basket

Mouth or Funeral Box Large Berry Basket

Photo by LCM Staff

Catalogue Number
984.27.01

Inventory Number
5399

Object Name
Mouth or Funeral Box Large Berry Basket

Basketmaker
Likely Rose Oppenheim or her mother Hannah Oppenheim

Design Description

Mouth or Funeral Box Large Berry Basket

Facing Mouths, or Funeral Box, typical of Nlaka’pamux; Red & Black lines

Shape and Use

Storage or Berry, Rectangular, Flared Top

Weave

Coiled Bundled, Imbricated.

Materials

Split cedar root; bark of the chokecherry, natural red, treated dyed black, bear grass, sun-bleached white.

Culture

Nlaka’pamux, most likely Spuzzum or Lower Fraser Canyon.

History

Donors: Mr. & Mrs. John Davison Manley, Vancouver Collector: Probably J.D.’s mother, Margaret Ellen Senkler Manley, or possibly Mayor Charles Stanford Douglas, J.D.’s grandfather

Notes

Not a whole lot is known of John Davison Manley, but there is information on his family, as he donated some family papers to the Vancouver Archives in 1978. The Manleys have been around Vancouver since the beginning of the 20th century. John’s father was Lt. Davison Barrett Manley. DB and his brother Lt. John Fitzpayne Manley were the sons of Elizabeth Fisher & Frederick Manley of Ontario. Elizabeth was likely a widow when she married Charles Stanford Douglas, 13th Mayor of Vancouver in 1909. Aside from his mayorship, CS Douglas was a realtor, journalist, crematorium owner, and former mining broker. He was a widower who had his wife’s niece and nephew, named Fisher, living with him, and Elizabeth may have been a relative of CS’s late wife, as she had the maiden name Fisher. The Douglas family lived in a well-to-do area of Vancouver close to Stanley Park and employed three servants, a housemaid, chauffeur, and cook. Davison was working as an insurance accountant, John was attending law school, and Charles Fisher followed his uncle, employed as a real estate agent. This privileged lifestyle did not prevent tragedy from entering their lives, however. Lt. Davison Barrett Manley served in France with the 19th Battalion, the Canadian Highlanders, First Division between 1914 and 1917. Lt. John Fitzpayne Manley was a member of the 72nd Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders, and in 1915, he signed up with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces for Overseas duty. He was killed on April 9, 1917, on the first day of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Sadly, CS Douglas died six days after JF was killed. It must have been hard on the family to deal with two funerals at once. However, Elizabeth lived to see her remaining son’s wedding. Davison Manley married Margaret Ellen Senkler in 1920. It is not known whether they had any other children than John Davison, but if he was born shortly after the marriage, then JD Manley would have known his grandmother Elizabeth before her death in 1927. Margaret Senkler was the daughter of barrister John Harold Senkler, the granddaughter of Lt. Gov. Arthur Norton Richards, and grand-niece of Supreme Court Justice Sir William Buell Richards. The Senklers were also a privileged family in Vancouver, which employed three servants. One of these servants was their housemaid, Rose Oppenheim, the daughter of German Jewish immigrant Louis Oppenheim, and Hannah Nukwa Oppenheim, the daughter of Spuzzum chief Osamote. I believe that this basket originated with Rose, made either by her, her mother Hannah, or her Spuzzum relatives. The basket is of classic Nlaka’pamux weave and design, and I have found no other connection to the Fraser Canyon peoples aside from the one with Rose. For more information, please refer to the family biographies of Rose Oppenheim, and John Davison Manley. Rose Oppenheim There is a long family history for Rose. She was born about 1879, to a German Jewish gold seeker & merchant, and a Spuzzum chief’s daughter, who very likely came from Nlaka’pamux basketmakers. Rose was the second youngest daughter of Louis and Hannah Oppenheim, who had eight children in Yale, BC. Her elderly father died when she was ten, and her mother remarried a Nicola rancher six years later. Hannah had two children with Eli Martel. Rose and her sisters were fortunate to attend All Hallows School, and would have carried the lessons from there throughout their lives. By the time Rose was 21, all of her siblings were working away from home except the four youngest. Rose worked as a housemaid for the Senkler family, and it is likely during her employment for them that she may have given or sold this basket to them. The basket may have been made by Rose herself, by her mother, or her Spuzzum relatives. Rose was 23 when she married her first husband, John Mitchell. He passed away a year or so before her second marriage to Edward Christafferson in 1913. He died in 1939, but she lived on to be 95, passing away in Nanaimo, 1976. Rose had four children. Original LCM Website information: Code 5399 Catalogue Number 984.27.1 Year Acquired 1984 Description Coast Salish storage basket, with cherry bark imbrication. General Comments lid in storage, basket on exhibit 12/97. Aug. 2004 - The basket lid was found on 55-76 broken in 6 pieces. [Note: the lid referred to probably does not belong to this basket.]