A 3 flower (with natural and blue petals) topped basket that tapers down from the top and has 5 rows of natural color curlicue curls by Dr. Molly Neptune Parker, Master Basketmaker.
Molly Neptune Parker has received some of the highest honors for her work as a basketmaker. Here is one of her signature baskets, a flower topped basket. Her grandmother also made flower topped baskets as do her daughter, grandson and she is currently teaching her great-granddaughter how to make this basket form.
This graceful basket tapers from the 6.25" diameter at the top of the basket to a 4.25" diameter at the bottom. The alternating foundation and weaver splints of blue and white remind me of a bright blue summer sky with some small white clouds. Molly has placed 3 flowers atop the basket lid, each of natural color ash but the centers have a smaller blue addition - with an inner blue dyed strip of ash at the very center of each petal. (8 petals on each flower) The flowers have green leaves. The lid edge and basket top rim are bound with unbraided tidal sweetgrass. The very center of each flower has weavers of unbraided tidal sweetgrass. And the top center has a double loop "handle" of a thick sweetgrass braid. The basket is woven of brown ash, the traditional basketry material of Wabanaki basket weavers. (Wabanaki Confederacy - 5 Northeastern tribes; Abenaki, Maliseet, MicMac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot - who reside in Vermont, Maine and Eastern Canada)
This basket is 6.25" in diameter at top, 4.25" diameter at bottom. It stands 4.5" to the top of the basket lid, the flowers on the basket top add another 2" so 6.5" overall height.
In 2015 Molly received an honorary doctorate from Bowdoin College, Brunswick Maine. Bowdoin announced this honor by saying " Molly Neptune Parker is a true tradition-bearer, she has taught generations of tribal members across the country to weave, ensuring the continuance of this once-endangered Native art form. She has served as president of the Maine Indian Basketmakers’ Alliance and as a master teacher in the Maine Arts Commission’s traditional arts apprenticeship program.
She has demonstrated her craft at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and is a recipient of a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts; the Fellowship recognizes artists for both artistic excellence and efforts to conserve America’s traditional arts heritage for future generations. Mrs. Parker’s other awards include the Maine Arts Commission’s Fellowship Award for Traditional Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts’ Native Arts Award, and the First People’s Fund’s Community Spirit Award."