From Features to Figures: Quantitative Analysis of California Native American Baskets

Author(s): Rosemary Brother

Year: 2018


There are only a few recognized experts on California Native American basketry and their informed opinions establish the current state of knowledge. It takes years of experience under the guidance of a knowledgeable mentor and examination of hundreds of baskets to develop such expertise. While analysis by the few experts may be quantitative, scientific, and exacting, designation of a basket’s ethnic identification continues to be subjective. In some instances, authors cite little but their own research. This raises the question whether statistical analysis of basketry attributes can be used to identify a basket’s ethnic origin.

To answer this question, baskets of selected northeastern California Native American groups, will be statistically compared to test whether ethnic origin is indicated in the results, and whether linguistic affiliation or geographic propinquity best account for differences and similarities between basket weavers. The analysis will include sixty-five different basketry attributes from each of one hundred fifty to two hundred individual baskets. The potential for seeing previously unknown associations between ethnic groups is likely. Newly recognized associations have the potential to influence future research on population migration, genetic studies, and linguistics.

Cite this Record

From Features to Figures: Quantitative Analysis of California Native American Baskets. Rosemary Brother. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443364)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.189; min lat: 31.803 ; max long: -105.469; max lat: 43.58 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21173