The Pomo made this exquisite small basket with feathers, abalone pendants and clamshell beads tied with glass trade beads. The Pomo used shell beads as money, making such baskets treasured items often given as special gifts.
Coiled Gift Basket
Made by Pomo people, California
Dates to late 19th or early 20th century
Baskets such as this one made in the late 19th or early 20th century sparked a craze in collecting baskets made by tribes in northern California. This Pomo basket is exceptionally small and jewel-like, shimmering with iridescent green mallard feathers. The coil basket is decorated with abalone pendants and clamshell beads tied with glass trade beads. To the Pomo, shell beads were like money, making such baskets treasured items that were often given as gifts.
Curator, Latin American Art and Archaeology*
Florida Museum of Natural History
On display Sept. 23, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018, Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum celebrated the Museum’s rich history. Each Museum collection was asked to contribute its most interesting items and share the stories that make them special. Though the physical exhibit is closed, this companion website remains online, providing an opportunity to experience the Florida Museum’s most treasured specimens.
Exhibit Area: Objects Tell Stories
Theme: Beautiful Artistry
Want to see more? Explore more than 300 breathtaking color photos of plants, animals, fossils and cultural heritage materials from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s collections in the award-winning book All Things Beautiful available from the University Press of Florida.
*This title was accurate at the time the exhibit was on display in 2017. Please visit the collection website to verify current staff and student information.