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Comparative Basket Weaving

Hi guys, Emily here! This semester during my practicum hours I have been putting together this exhibit: Comparative Basket Weaving From Temple's Anthropology Museum. The exhibit is currently located in the lobby in Gladfelter Hall. This exhibit includes bags and baskets from three different collections; Friedlaender Collection, Kaxinawa Collection, and the Miller-Toba Collection. Each of these bags and baskets have different uses and origins behind them. Three pieces from each collection have been chosen to be put on display within this exhibit.


The artifacts included in the exhibit from the Friedlaender collection are from the Malaita Island in the Kwaoi region of the Solomon Islands. They have been collected by biological anthropologist Dr. Friedlaender between 1950-2000. All of the bags used in the exhibit are considered carrying bags which were used by women to carry firewood, babies, groceries, and so much more. Some of the bags had long straps attached that women would place on their forehead to carry the bag.


The three baskets that were included from the Kaxinawa Collection were created by the men and women of Peru. These baskets were collected from Peru by Dr. Kensinger in the 1960s. The Kaxinawa men and women both created baskets but each had access to different materials. One basket on display was made by a man out of wood and vines. Another basket was weaved by his wife out of palm leaves. The third basket was constructed by both the man and his wife and both wood, vines, and palm leaves were used to construct this basket. The baskets made by men and the baskets made by women can be told apart by the materials as well as by looking at the construction and the weaving. The baskets constructed by women are more tightly woven and there is clearly more attention to detail.


The Miller-Toba Collection consists of baskets and bags from the Central Chaco in Argentina. The artifacts were collected by anthropologist Dr. Miller in the 1950s and 1960s. The two bags that are displayed within the exhibit are more modern bags that are used to mainly carry groceries. The basket that is on display is one that was made specifically to be sold to tourists. The practicality of the basket is not necessarily there but it is appealing to the eye appearance wise.


If you are interested in the exhibit come to Gladfelter to learn more! The Anthropology Museum is open Monday and Wednesday 12-4 pm, come in and ask about this exhibit!



Miller-Toba Basket, Tourist bag

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Temple Anthropology Laboratory and Museum 

Gladfelter Hall- Lower Level, Temple University

1115 Polett Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19122

anthlab@temple.edu

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