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.
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
Coiled Gift Basket
Made by Pomo people, California
Dates to late 19th or early 20th century