Images of cats from the British Museum collection, £9.99
Coiled basketry bowl
Probably from Santa Barbara, California, North
18th century AD
The bowl is coiled from rush (Juncus), and sumac. Vessels like this were constructed from three-rod coils, with split Juncus for the weaving, an awl being used to punch holes. Various names for large shallow baskets of this type were recorded, for instance ayuhat, in the Channel Islands Chumash language.
Porridge made from acorn meal might be served from this type of shallow vessel, after boiling in a deeper basket with near vertical sides (watik). Such a basket would be taken along on an outing. Everyone would deposit the food they had brought with them, and one woman taking charge of dishing out portions.
J.C.H. King, First peoples, first contacts: (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)