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Medium Size Fancy Basket [Passamaquoddy] | Molly Neptune Parker
Native American Basket
A colorful Passamaquoddy fancy basket (7 1/2” wide x 5 1/2 high”) made by Passamaquoddy master basketmaker, Molly Neptune Parker. She wove the basket together using thin strips of split ash and strands of braided sweetgrass adding a series of carved flowers to the top that was a signature characteristic of her baskets as its was her mother’s who was also a basketmaker. This basket is one of three baskets, including an acorn shaped basket, made by Parker in the collections of the Tides Institute. Parker specialized in making fancy baskets, a style of decorative basket developed by the Passamaquoddies and other Native Americans in the latter part of the 19th century to sell to European-American tourists who begin to visit the area in increasing numbers at the same time. Parker was born in 1939 in Indian Township in northern Washington County, Maine. She made a great many baskets over her life, among other forms some were in the shape of strawberries, others in the shape of acorns that she was particularly known for. To make a fancy basket might take five days from start to finish. In 2012, the National Endowment for the Arts named Parker a National Heritage Fellow. She was also a founder and president of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance that sought to preserve, revive and extend the basketmaking craft. She taught basketmaking workshops in the area and sold her work locally as well as across the United States. She died in 2020. Artist: Molly Neptune Parker Classification: North American Basket Circa: 2008 Old Accession Number: 1518 Description: Passamaquoddy. Medium size fancy basket.