Black Ash Baskets
Basket-making dates back centuries in
many Native American cultures. Baskets fashioned with black ash
were woven for everything from corn washing to berry picking. As
time progressed, ornamental or "fancy" baskets were added
to the mix. Baskets come in many styles and sizes for many uses.
They are quite sturdy and can be used by several generations of
make a basket out of Black Ash, a log that is 5-6 inches in diameter
is located. The trunk must have at least 4-6 feet of straight, unblemished
wood. The tree is cut into a log and then is pounded with the blunt
end of an axe. This separates the annual rings into pliable wood
strips are smoothed out with a knife, peeled into thinner strips,
and cut to different widths. The last step before weaving is to
soak the strips in water so that they are more flexible. To begin
weaving a basket, the weaver uses a form to get just the right shape.
The strips are woven together and might include strips of sweetgrass
or other natural fibers.
To find out more about traditional basket making, check out the
to Humans & the Forest page