University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology


Volume 40 / Issue 1 (1998)


Issue Cover

Special Issue: Pomo Indian Basket Weavers, their Baskets and the Art Market

On the cover: Laura Burris Willum (1895-1919), a Pomo Indian basket weaver and her 3-rod coiled boat basket.
Collection Object Number: NA7946
Photo by H. C. Meredith, ca. 1905. UPM Neg. No. S4-140386


Pomo Basket Weavers in the University of Pennsylvania Museum Collections

By: Sally McLendon

The Deisher collection in the University of Pennsylvania Museum is the best-documented single collection of California Indian baskets from the classic period, 1892-1918. It is particularly rich in the works of weavers who spoke Pomoan languages, and even includes “photographs of quite a number of weavers with baskets … and also a bit of family […]


The Development of the Commercial Market for Pomo Indian Baskets

By: Sherrie Smith-Ferri

“CANASTROMANIA” Term for “basket fever” coined by Smithsonian curator Otis Mason, from the Latin word canistra, meaning basket (1904:187) Attracted by the beauty and romantic aura of Indian baskets, the United States was swept up in a veritable “basket craze” around 1890. Smithsonian curator Otis Mason commented that the fad “almost amounts to a disease,” […]


Building a Collection

Native Californian Basketry at the University of Pennsylvania Museum

By: Judith Berman

One afternoon in April of 1905, a Pennsylvania Dutch mill owner named Henry K. Deisher stopped by the University Museum for an appointment with the curator of the American Section. Being a col­lector of Native American basketry (Fig. l), Deisher hoped the curator would show him such “Indian bas­kets” as were not on exhibit in […]


Change and Continuity

Transformations of Pomo Life

By: Victoria Patterson

The towns and small cities of Northern California that cluster between San Francisco and Eureka are best known today for their orderly rows of vineyards and associated wineries. Visitors flock to Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma counties not just for the wine, but also for the quaint charm of Mendocino Village at the ocean’s edge; the […]


Exhibition on Pomo Indian Weavers and Basketry

By: Pamela Hearne Jardine

This special issue of Expedition is devoted to Pomo Indian ethnohistory and bas­ketry and accompanies the University of Pennsylvania Museum’s traveling exhibition, “Pomo Indian Basket Weavers, Their Baskets and the Art Market.” Curated by anthropologists Dr. Sally McLendon and Dr. Judith Berman, the exhi­bition focuses on a group of Native weavers in California who made […]