This case includes four examples of basketry from Indonesia. Three of these were part of a donation made by Colin Henderson Smith and Gloria (neé Burroughs) Smith. They acquired these when they were teaching in Sarawak (Melanesia). Sarawak is part of the Island of Borneo, which is politically divided between Melanesia, Indonesia (Kalimantan region of the island), and Borneo. It is often difficult to determine the country of origin for these objects because the political borders have occasionally changed.

No Pic
U993.3.31
Sieve with Handle
Rattan or Bamboo; Wood
Sarawak or Kalimantan, 20th century

The bowl of this sieve is constructed of plaited rattan or bamboo with a point at the bottom. The rim is made of a split rattan rod lashed by fibre thongs to the woven sieve. The handle is split wood or rattan lashed to the rim and then wrapped together to form a handle. The bend in the wood creates a loop by which the sieve can be hung.

From the Collection of Colin Henderson Smith and Gloria M. (neé Burroughs) Smith.

Bibliography: Chin and Mashman, Sarawak: Cultural Legacy; Richter, Arts and Crafts of Indonesia.
No Pic U993.3.10
Carrying Basket
Wood; Rattan or Bamboo
Sarawak or Kalimantan, 20th century

This is a type of knapsack or basket probably used for carrying an infant ("kiang benang") or for carrying loads ("selabit"). The small size of this basket may indicate it was a toy or model of a similar, but larger, carrying basket. The back of the basket work is flat and is made of wood and woven rattan. The sides are loosely plaited with unsplit rattan in an open-work design. The shoulder straps are of bark. Strips of bark are also strung through the loops on the front to close the gap and secure the load within the basket.

From the Collection of Colin Henderson Smith and Gloria M. (neé Burroughs) Smith.

Bibliography: Chin and Mashman, Sarawak: Cultural Legacy; Richter, Arts and Crafts of Indonesia.
No Pic U993.3.77
Storage Basket
Bemban; Rattan; Dye; Bamboo
Melanau (Rejang or Kanowit basket)
Sarawak, 20th century

This basket is typical of the storage baskets made of bemban and rattan by Melanau women. The base is made with a square or hexagonal pattern. The upper part allows the mouth of the basket to widen into a circular opening. Decorative patterns can vary from simple checks to elaborate designs modelled after flora or fauna, or have spiritual significance. This example combines three types of patterns: the hook, or leech, the "Gelong paku" (fern top or padi shoot), and the Pedada flower (also called the tiger track or durian flower). Red, black and natural are the traditional basket colours, but recent baskets, such as this one, often use synthetic rather than natural dyes. Baskets of this type have been recorded since at least 1896. The weaving techniques are used to make handbags and other articles for daily use or the tourist trade.

From the Collection of Colin Henderson Smith and Gloria M. (neé Burroughs) Smith.

Bibliography: Chin and Mashman, Sarawak: Cultural Legacy; Richter, Arts and Crafts of Indonesia.
No Pic U981.2.29
Storage Basket
Bemban; Rattan; Dye; Bamboo
Melanau (Rejang or Kanowit basket)
Borneo, 20th century

While similar to U993.3.77 in form, this basket differs in its decorative pattern and type of dyes used. Natural dyes were used for this basket. Black colour was made by soaking the stem and leaves of a plant called tarum in water Strips of rattan could be made even blacker by burying them in the mud of the river for about ten days or by washing them in lime. Soot or black mud was also used to dye strips black.

Red colour was obtained by boiling scales of the ripe fruite of a rattan ("jerenang"). This resin could be collected and pressed into lumps for storage until needed. The dye paste was also a trade item and used in Chinese medicines. The paste was softened by heat and rubbed onto the strips of rattan to colour them.

This basket was donated to the University of Victoria in December 1966, by Commander and Mrs. A. J. Tullis.

Bibliography: Chin and Mashman, Sarawak: Cultural Legacy; Richter, Arts and Crafts of Indonesia.

Basketry was also made for many different puposes in North America. This display include several examples of First Nations basketry which illustrate how objects made for daily use or storage of goods are, at the same time, works of artistic beauty.
No Pic
U981.2.67A-B
Basket; Lid
Spruce root; Fern; Grass
Tlingit
Southeast Alaska or Northwest Coast, Canada
Late 19th - early 20th century

This round woven basket has a rattle-top lid. The diagonal twining weave of spruce root and maindenhair fern is covered with false embroidery, or imbrication, of grass. The lid is made so that it can hold seeds inside a hollow cavity. These rattle when the basket is moved. The natural colours have darkened due to age and exposure.

The basket was donated to the University of Victoria in December 1966, by Commander and Mrs. A. J. Tullis.

Bibliography: Condition report (in document file).
No Pic U990.7.6A-B
Basket; Lid
Spruce root; Cedar root; Grass
Tlingit
Southeast Alaska or Northwest Coast, Canada
Late 19th - early 20th century

Another example of a Tlingit rattle-top basket, this is decorated with imbrication in a geometric pattern coloured with natural dyes.

It is part of the Tony Hunt Collection of Historic West Coast Baskets acquired by the University in 1990.
No Pic U990.7.16A-B
Basket; Lid
Spruce root; Grass
Haida or Tlingit
Southeast Alaska or Northwest Coast, Canada
Late 19th - early 20th century

This storage or trinket basket has an imbrication decoration of dyed grass. It is part of the Tony Hunt Collection of Historic West Coast Baskets acquired by the University in 1990.
No Pic U981.2.93
Basket
Cedar Bark and root; Rush; Cherry Bark
Lillooet, B.C., Canada,
Late 19th - early 20th century

This coiled basket has a rectuagular, hopper shape. The bottom is flat, and the lower half of the basket is coiled without any decoration. The upper portion is beadedin a gold and dark brown rush. The rim coil is imbricated in gold and dark brown cherry bark.

The basket was donated to the University of Victoria in December 1966, by Commander and Mrs. A. J. Tullis.
No Pic M964.1.554
Coat
Silk
Turkey ? or Iran ?
n.d.

Furhter researchis required to determine the origin of this embroidered silk coat, or how it came into the collection of Katharine and John Maltwood. It has a blue silk lining and over all embroidered paisley and flower design worked in red, orange, black, green, blue and yellow on the beige ground. The pattern suggests a middle eastern origin, but this is not certain.

From the Collection of Katharine and John Maltwood.