This small round natural ash basket with purple accents is by Kenny Keezer, Passamaquoddy. The basket's sides are covered with decorative slant curls.The lid has a decorative bow handle, a signature style of the Keezer family. The top of the lid is woven with plain tidal sweetgrass. Kenny's slant curls are very delicate and on this basket he uses a thin splint of purple dyed ash to make these tiny curls really stand out!
Kenny Keezer is the youngest son of much honored Clara Neptune Keezer (1930-2016), a Passamaquoddy basket maker who was a winner of a NEA 2002 Heritage Fellowship award for her basketry work. Kenny learned basketry from his mother and incorporates many of her signature styles into his work.
The basket is 2.5" in diameter and 2.75" tall - (including 1/4" bow handle). The bow handle on the lid is one of his mother's signature elements on her work. Clara almost always placed a sweetgrass braid between the inner rims of her baskets. Kenny does this as well -
Among many honors, Clara Neptune Keezer was given the NEA Heritage Fellowship award. - According to the NEA website, this award is "the country's highest honor in the folk and traditional art" -... and includes all folk arts and crafts including but not limited to - music, dance, performance art and traditional crafts and arts. This basket is made of brown ash splints, the traditional material of Maine and Eastern Canadian Wabanaki basketmakers and also incorporates plain tidal sweetgrass to wrap the rim of the basket. Tidal sweet grass grows on tidal marshes within view of the Keezer home in the most Northeastern corner of this country... The land and people of the dawn- The Passamaquoddy reserve near Eastport Maine where the dawn hits this country first. The grass here has been picked, dried, combed and braided by Kenny.