Ethnology Collection - Potato Basket

An Important Commodity

Ash splint baskets, like this one, played a crucial role in the economic survival of many Mi’kmaw people. Originally made for domestic use and occasional trading, these baskets became an important commodity starting in the 1700s with the influx of European settlers. This potato basket was made by the late Noel and Rita Smith, whose baskets are prized as much for their artistry as their utility. Notice that the wooden bail handle is lashed with splint inserted into wooden ears. This is unique to this basket.

Object type: 
Mi’kmaq Ash Splint Potato Basket
Object #: 
Collection name: 
Date (age/made): 
20th century
Gloscap First Nation, Nova Scotia
Birch Bark and Spruce Root
20 cm x 8cm