A beautiful basket utilizing very tightly braided tidal sweetgrass to make decorative X's on the sides and lid of the basket. It has an elegant double bow handle on the lid. This basket by Kenny Keezer, Passamaquoddy is made of ash heartwood - somewhat darker than the nearly white ash used in many Wabanaki baskets. (Wabanaki Confederacy - 5 Northeastern tribes resided/residing in what is now Maine, Vermont and Eastern Canada - The Abenaki, Maliseet, MicMac, Passamaquoddy & Penobscot)
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 4" in diameter and 3.25" tall - (including 1/4" bow handle). The bow handle on the lid is one of his mother's signature elements on her work. This has a very decorative double bow handle on the lid, most of the Keezer's baskets have a single bow handle 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. The basket of brown ash heartwood also incorporates plain tidal sweetgrass to wrap the rim of the basket and braided tidal sweetgrass to made the decorative X's. 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.