Basket block, ca. 1860

Contributed by Abbe Museum

This record was added to Maine Memory Network through the efforts of a student at George Stevens Academy. More info about student projects.


Wabanaki basket makers often form their baskets around blocks, or molds. Blocks are often passed down in families, used by many generations of basket makers. The use of blocks also allowed basket makers to standardize certain forms of baskets, which helped meet the market demand for their work.

Among the Wananaki tribes, it is believed that, basket making is a skill that has been passed from generation to generation for thousands of years. Wabanaki baskets are made from brown ash tree, also known as the "basket tree."

Many tribal people used basket selling as a way to make a living outside of non-native towns and cities and, toward the turn of the century, when resorts and vacations began to appear in places where Wabanaki villages used to be.

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About This Item

  • Title: Basket block, ca. 1860
  • Creator: Penobscot
  • Creation Date: circa 1860
  • Subject Date: circa 1860
  • Media: Spruce
  • Dimensions: 15.25 cm x 9 cm x 9 cm
  • Local Code: 3032
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Abbe Museum
26 Mount Desert Street, PO Box 286, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
(207) 288-3519

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