Part of Northwest Coast Hall.

Wall display of Haida baskets, some with painted decorations

Haida baskets were wove of split spruce root of of cedar bark. Baskets were often wither painted or otherwise decorated by a technique know as imbrication in which colored elements, usually dyed grasses, were wrapped around the weft elements. The design represents a beaver. It is highly conventionalized. Eye-like elements appear at many of the animal’s joints. The large incisor teeth and the cross-hatched tail are characteristic of representations of the beaver. The animal is represented as if it had been cut open from the mouth to near the tail, the edges of the cut spread apart, and the crown of the hat inserted into the animal. Thus the animal representation encloses the hat within it. This method of portraying animals is frequently used in three dimensional objects.