Vol. I. No. 2. (January, 1903)
Indian decorations in the home, pp. 10-12
moccasins, head-dresses, masks, pictures, spears, bows and arrows, drums, prayer-sticks, boomerangs, katchina dolls, fetishes, and beadwork might be displayed with artistic and pleasing effect. Without attempting to make a large collection, a dozen or a score of well-selected baskets could be so artistically arranged as to give a very pleasing effect to any room where they were displayed. A careful study of the various weaves found in North American basketry reveals wonderful ingenuity, taste, and skill. The Pomas alone have nine distinct weaves now in use and five that are obsolete, all of which have appro- priate names; and there are perhaps twice as many other weaves in use by different peoples. To see the various methods by which the stitches are made -how colored splints are introduced; how strengthening ribs are placed; how the bottle-neck baskets are narrowed and again widened; the various ingenious methods of finishing off the basket-all these afford subjects for interesting study. In the finishing of the baskets the Hopi basket weaver is required by inexorable custom to symbolize her own physical state. There are three styles of finish, known re- spectively as " the flowing gate," "the open gate," and "the closed gate." In some baskets the whole history of a nation is sym- bolized, and to an intelligent sympathy expressed towards the weaver and her ideas, I owe the gleaning of much myth- ological, traditional, and historical lore that had hitherto en- tirely escaped ethnologists and others interested in the history of the Indians. Colors, also, to the Indian are often significant of relig- ious interpretation, and to learn the methods for producing splints of pleasing color followed by the Indian woman, is to have a revelation of patience, industry, skill, and invention. Indian baskets can be made to contribute to the intel- lectual pleasures of any ladies' club or social gathering. Let a loan collection be made of as many baskets as can be found. Then let some intelligent and interested member of the club prepare a paper or deliver an extempore talk covering the following points : the geographical home of the tribe of the maker of the basket under consideration ; the weaver's own home ; the material used in making the basket ; how the colors are made, and the significance of the design, whether imaginative, ideographic, or symbolic. Such a talk could be followed by a general discussion and exchange of ideas that would prove to be profitable and instructive to the whole company."
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