Object: Basket

Qwu’lh-hwai-pum (or Klickitat)
North America: Columbia River area
Unknown date: likely 20th century
Materials: Cedar and grass

The Qwu’lh-hwai-pum (or Klickitat) tribe traditionally lived in the area around the Columbia river in what is now Oregon, and Washington. They are part of the Shahaptian (or Sahaptin) language family, along with other Plateau tribes like the Nez Percé, and Yakima. The Qwu’lh-hwai-pum were one of many tribes from the Columbia river area that were “discovered” by Lewis and Clark on their great transcontinental expedition in the early 1800’s.

For thousands of years the Columbia river and its many tributaries served as the main means of transportation for the native tribes of the area. Fishing and trade in food items like deer and salmon meat as well as baskets thrived along the river banks. Baskets were important for gathering and storing food and personal items. Twined baskets were used to harvest root crops, coiled baskets were used for collecting berries while flat cornhusk baskets were used for storing dried roots. Below you will find a video that shows many of these basket styles and how they are made.

[Kathryn S. (Barr) McCloud]

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Ethnology @ SNOMNH is an experimental weblog for sharing the collections of the Division of Ethnology at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.


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