- Museum number
Nest of thirty baskets made of birch bark.
- Production date
Diameter: 32 centimetres
Height: 35 centimetres
Width: 15 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Birchbark nests are rare: As at March 15 2005 R.Phillips is working on a painting by Devis (?) which includes a set; another set is in the New York Historical Association, Cooperstown, NY, in the Thaw Collection, from the Lord Elgin collection.
Correspondence in the Hudson's Bay Archives refers to a birchbark nest, possibly that mentioned above in the Thaw Collection, approximately 20 years later than the Sloane Collection group here at the B.M.:
"Humphrey Marten (Albany) to Hudson's Bay Company (London), private, 15 September 1765, Hudson's Bay Company Archives, A. 11/3, fo. 90, in which he mentions sending each Committee member a "Nest of Roggins" as a gift. He sent the same gift in 1767: Humphrey Marten (Albany) to Hudson's Bay Company (London), private, September 1767, A. 11/3, fo. 112".
Archive information passed to the B.M. by Scott Stephens from the Hudson's Bay Company Archives, Winnipeg, Manatoba, via e-mail from Laura Peers, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, 13th May, 2005.
'European Review of Native American Studies', 21(2), 2007, (actually published September 2010) has an article by C Oberholtzer 'Eighteenth-century containers of Northeastern North America' pp 9-18 which mentions this item as 'The best example of Cree ingenuity is the nest of 30 baskets of incremental sizes....' (p. 12). Oberholtzer also gives the Moose dialect of Cree olakân, for basket, and says that the James Bay dialect was the basis for the English term used in the 18th century: oragan, rogan or houragan.
Mentioned in C. Oberholtzer 'Made for trade', American indian Art Magazine, 36(2) Spring 2011, pp 56-67, on p p 57-58. The Devis painting is in the Clark Institute, Williamstown, MA.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1976-1977 7 Oct-16 Jan, London, The Hayward Gallery, Sacred Circles: 2,000 Years of North American Indian Art
1977 16 Apr-19 Jun, Kansas City, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Sacred Circles: 2,000 Years of North American Indian Art
1982-1987 Jun-Jan, Museum of Mankind, Thunderbird and Lightning: Indian Life in North America, 1600-1900
1987-1990 3 Dec-Oct, London, Museum of Mankind, Living Artic: Hunters of the Canadian North
1999 25 Jun-2011 2 Mar, BM Room 26; Gallery of North America, Case: "The Subarctic"
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Am1753D10.2065a-ad (old CDMS no.)