Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Acadian Baskets

                 Acadian Gathering Basket (125-865)
                  Les Trois Pignons Cultural Centre
Following last week's post about Mi'kmaq baskets, this week we're looking at Acadian baskets and how to best describe them in the database. Permanent European settlement began in North America with the Acadians in 1604 who brought their willow framework ribbed basket. Here they use Ash or Maple with Spruce or Tamarack split root, “roots,” for both weaving and wrapping the diamond-shaped wraps known as “les oreilles” or “the ears.” The basket opening, or mouth, is “la bouche.” Two Old French linguistic terms still used by present-day basket makers. These potato gathering baskets were used in Acadian communities across Atlantic Canada. 
A close-up of "les oreilles"

Describing the Baskets
Framework of handle and rim wood circles intersected at right angles held together with two diamond-shaped wraps of roots on either side of the basket.  One set of ribs, braced between two wraps, woven with roots from each wrap towards bottom-centre. In work baskets, roots may be unpeeled. In fancy baskets, roots are peeled with each half woven on opposite sides.  Roots added by knotting, overlapping or inserting alongside rib.  Root wound around the rim twice with rounded-side facing out (hint: look inside of rim to see the twists).

Root Baskets of Atlantic Canada. Joleen Gordon. Halifax, Nimbus Ltd. and Nova Scotia Museum, 2005.

No comments: