The images in this section reflect a small portion of the sophisticated basketry and artistic endeavors of Chinookan people, historically and in recent times.
Sauvie Cedar Basket | 600AD
Cross Warp Basket
Basket Collection | Tokeland Hotel
Lizzie Brown Kindred displayed these valuable baskets at the Tokeland Hotel, which she owned and ran with her husband William Kindred from 1885 until her death in 1930. Lizzie Brown, whose family settled near the camp used by the family of Chief Toke in 1858, was born in Bruceport in 1862. Her family lived only three miles from the Shoalwater Reservation, established in 1866. At one point in her life, Lizzie Brown also lived on the reservation at Georgetown, where she learned to speak the Chinook language. According to the Willapa County History Project, edited by Mrs. Nels Olson in 1965, Lizzie obtained strings of beads and many of these baskets as personal gifts from Indian friends.
Such baskets were created by Native women who gathered materials, such as roots and twigs, and sometime small limbs and bark, during the spring and summer months. These materials would be cured, dyed and dried before the fall rains came. Processing Would include soaking, peeling, and splitting the woody materials to make them soft and pliable, yet still strong. The natural cream color of the baskets came from bear grass, with yellow from Oregon grape root, wild cherry bark for dark red, and swamp mud for black (McCausland, “Tokeland Hotel, A History”; Willapa County History Report, 1965: 94).
There is no date provided for this image; however, the baskets were displayed during Lizzie Brown Kindred’s lifetime. The Kindred family opened the Tokeland Hotel in 1885 as a travel respite for those bound for Nahcotta or South Bend. By 1889, travelers could reach Portland aboard a steamer from Nahcotta. By the early twentieth century the hotel became a travel destination, a resort hotel with a clubhouse situated near a nine-hole golf course, with horse stables and summer cottages also on the property. After Lizzie Kindred’s death, her husband William and daughter Maude ran the hotel until they both died in 1943 (McDonald, 1966: 172; Allen, 2004: 38).
Landry’s Smoke Signal Museum
“Behind the painted ‘teeth’ of the smiling sea serpent that decorates the front of the Smoke Signal Museum on the Shoalwater Indian Reservation is a large collection of authentic Indian relics and traditional and modern Indian arts assembled and owned by the Landry family” (caption on back of postcard, ca. 1983).
The front of this building is also accented with fishnets tied to poles. One area of the building features carved paddles and canoes and there are pulleys and tongs from early sailings ships. A collection of baskets that includes those made of local sweetgrass and some with a distinctive Shoalwater design. According to Irene Charley Shale, “Each tribe had its own designs” (in Seattle Times, April 22, 1979).
Baskets at Landry’s Smoke Signal Museum
“A large Indian basketry collection is a feature of the Smoke Signal Museum on the Shoalwater Indian Reservation. Some baskets were made long ago and used by five generations of the Landry family which operates the museum. All were woven by Northwest Coast Indians” (caption on back of postcard, ca. 1983).
Baskets at Landry’s Smoke Signal Museum [close-up]
“Big baskets are woven of grass and reeds for food storage by Northwest Coast Indians. Clam baskets at top left were used by the Landry family that owns the museum, which is filled with authentic Indian relics and art. Admission is free” (caption on back of postcard, no date).
Traditional Potlatch Mask at Landry’s
“The moveable wooden feathers of this traditional potlatch mask are fanned out, telling Northwest Coast Indians that a potlatch, a feast, and gift-giving ceremony was in progress. The mask was carved by a century-old British Columbia Indian and is owned by the Landry Museum” (caption on back of postcard, ca. 1983).
Plains Indian display at Landry’s
“This buffalo skull, tom-tom drums, buffalo shield, and [illegible] ceremonial dancing costume are part of a [display] of Plains Indians at the Smoke Signal Museum, owned and operated by the Landry family on the Shoalwater Indian Reservation on Washington State Highway 105” (caption on back of postcard, ca. 1983).