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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Archaeology Pack Basket with Tumpline

Photo: Scott Leen

Archaeology Pack Basket with Tumpline


Ed Carriere

Native American, Suquamish, born 1932

Master basket-maker Carriere gathers cedar bark and roots from ancestral property that has been in his family since the 19th century. He spends hours preparing these materials for weaving, just as his ancestors did for millenia. His great-grandmother Julia Jacobs, who taught him how to weave, was one of the links in an unbroken tradition that he honors by re-creating weaving techniques that are more than 4,000 years old. He does this by working alongside archaeologists, who discover delicate basketry fragments in waterlogged sites that have, ironically, preserved them. Making baskets—a labor of love and an act of remembrance that is highly esteemed in his own community—has been historically undervalued as craft by settlers and academics. Carriere’s precise work challenges notions of artistic hierarchy and provides a nuanced view into the brilliance of transforming humble materials into works of memory and power.
Basket: Spruce root, cedar root,cedar limbs, cherry bark; tumpline: cedar bark, wool, beads, cloth
15 1/2 x 14 1/2 x 14 1/2 in. (39.4 x 36.8 x 36.8 cm)
Ancient and Native American Art Acquisition Fund
Provenance: The artist; purchased from artist by Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 2022
Photo: Scott Leen
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, American Art: The Stories We Carry, Oct. 20, 2022 - ongoing.

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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