California Indian Basketry
Wayne A Thompson
This richly illustrated photographic overview captures the beauty and artistry of the remarkable world-class, Native American Indian baskets of California, circa 1895 to 1940, known as the Florescence or Flowering. It is a tribute to these artisans and includes biographical snapshots of weavers and portraits of their masterpiece California Indian baskets, which today exist in museums and private collections throughout the United States. Collecting highly complex and artistic Native American baskets became a successful tourist business in the late 19th and early 20th century -- tourism in the United States exploded as a result of the expansion of the railway system to hitherto relatively inaccessible locations. This new business benefitted both collectors of this art form and the weavers who created them. The transition from woven baskets used for utilitarian use to more durable and less expensive metal cookware and storage vessels allowed weavers the time needed to innovate and create baskets specifically catering to tourist interests. During this period of Florescence, some of the world's most intricate, beautiful, and artistic baskets were woven, particularly by highly-talented weavers representing several Native American tribes located throughout California.