Contributed by Abbe Museum
Though this porcupine-weave basket has been attributed to Molly Molasses (or Mary Pelagie, 1775-1867), it is not certain that she made it. But, it is known that Molly Molasses sold a variety of Penobscot-made wares around Bangor and Brewer through the first part of the 19th century.
A porcupine weave is made by folding and pinching the splints so that they created spikey points. Molasses was known to have done this to create a visual interest and make the basket appear more fancy.
Mary Pealgie Nicola, also known as Molly Molasses was a Penobscot woman who was born about 1775. Molasses lived until the age of 92 and had a reputation in the Bangor area for fine work. She was painted, photographed and written about in books and local newspapers. Her baskets were considered to be art rather than souvenirs.
About This Item
- Title: Fancy porcupine-weave basket, Penobscot, 1862
- Creator: Molly Molasses
- Creation Date: 1862
- Subject Date: 1862
- Town: Brewer
- County: Penobscot
- State: ME
- Media: Ash
- Dimensions: 9 cm x 15.25 cm x 15.25 cm
- Local Code: 1914
- Collection: Mary Cabot Wheelwright Collection
- Object Type: Physical Object
Cross Reference Searches
Standardized Subject Headings
- Abenaki Indians
- Indians of North America--Maine
- Indians of North America--Maine--Penobscot Indians
- Indigenous peoples--Arts & crafts
- Penobscot Indians
- Wabanaki Indians
For more information about this item, contact:Abbe Museum
26 Mount Desert Street, PO Box 286, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Use of this Item is not restricted by copyright and/or related rights, but the holding organization is contractually obligated to limit use. For more information, please contact the contributing organization. However, watermarked Maine Memory Network images may be used for educational purposes.
Please post your comment below to share with others. If you'd like to privately share a comment or correction with MMN staff, please use this form.