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May 22, 2012

Ojibwe birch bark makak

Filed under: Item of the Day — Lizzie Ehrenhalt @ 9:30 am

Ojibwe birch bark makak

Birch bark makak (basket) with floral embroidery made by Rebecca LaFromboise of Redby, Minnesota.  The basket is assembled with basswood (linden) lacing. The exterior edging consists of four evenly spaced birch bark triangles laced to the rim and secured under wood strip reinforcements. The front wall face of the basket is decorated with a floral motif featuring a three-petal flower, one leaf and three curled stem extensions. The motif is embroidered with dyed porcupine quills in shades of red, yellow, light green and dark green.

A card in the basket includes this statement by the artist:

When our Ojibwe ancestor’s [sic] came out of The Big Woods [of] Minnesota and Wisconsin 250 years ago and migrated west onto the Northern Plains of the Dakota’s, they brought with them the ancient art form of birchbark work. These decorative baskets were used for utilitarian purposes. The bark is white birch, the rim is made of ash, and the twine is bass wood fiber. We call these baskets Wigizi Mokok (Birchbark baskets). I and my family are Chippewa from the Turtle MT. Band and reside in Dunseith, N.D. at the heart of Turtle Island, enjoy Megwetch (Thank You).

For details, view the makak in our online collections database.

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