Skip Navigation

 Museum Explorer

Daily life in
the Americas

Rivercane basket

Length: 50.000 cm

AOA SL 1218;AOA SL 1219

Rivercane basket

From: south-eastern North America (Cherokee)
Date: early 18th century AD

Baskets have been important to many North American peoples for thousands of years. They are lighter and more flexible than pottery containers.

A Cherokee woman wove this basket from river cane, a tough woody grass found in rivers. Some river cane baskets are naturally waterproof, but this one is too loosely woven. By dyeing pieces of the split cane in different colours, and then weaving the strips in various ways, striking patterns have been made. This one was brought to London 250 years ago, and perhaps contained peace pipes.