A Tradition of Basketmaking

A Tradition of Basketmaking (HM24WY)

Location: Tahoe City, CA 96145 Placer County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 9.998', W 120° 8.634'

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Art For the Market

Basketmaking is a tradition of the Washoe people of the Breat Basin that dates back thousands of years. Different types of baskets were made for holding water and cooking, winnowing seeds and nuts, collecting and storing food, catching fish and caring for babies.

After settlers arrived in the mid-late 1800s, the traditional Washoe way of life was disrupted. Many skilled Washoe basket weavers began to make fancy design or deh- 'gee-kup baskets for sale to tourists. However, only a dozen or so were considered major weavers.

Dat So La Lee (Louisa Keyser) was one of the first Washoe women to gain recognition for the innovative deh- 'gee-kup baskets she made for this new art market. Abe Cohen, owner of the Emporium in Carson City, recognized her talent and became her sponsor, business manager, and press agent from 1895 until her death in 1925. In exchange for the baskets he sold for hundreds of dollars each, he provided her and her husband Charley with room and board, clothing and some cash.

Summer tourists arriving by train or steamship in Tahoe City would visit the Cohen's "Basketwork" store at the end of the boardwalk near the Truckee River outlet. Here they would watch Dat So Lee make baskets using traditional materials like mountain willow, sedge, braken, fern and redbud.

Her baskets were known

worldwide for their exceptional artistry. Today they are worth many thousands of dollars and are exhibited in museums.
HM NumberHM24WY
Placed ByNorth Lake Tahoe Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, January 22nd, 2018 at 7:05pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 746754 N 4339154
Decimal Degrees39.16663333, -120.14390000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 9.998', W 120° 8.634'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 9' 59.88" N, 120° 8' 38.04" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)530, 775
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100-148 CA-89, Tahoe City CA 96145, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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