This larger (5" diameter) round ash and tidal sweetgrass basket is by Kenny Keezer, Passamaquoddy. The basket's sides of natural ash have at bottom 2 rows of curlicue curls, at center 3 rows of sweetgrass braid X's and at top 2 rows of slant curls. The lid has a decorative bow handle, a signature style of the Keezer family. The center top of the lid is woven with tightly and finely braided tidal sweetgrass and then there are 2 rows of sweetgrass X's. At outer edge the weavers are again rows of tightly and finely braided tidal sweetgrass at the very edge of the overhanging lid. - This is a lovely, elegant basket by Kenny that combines 3 types of decorative work.... unusual for a basket to have more than 2.
Kenny Keezer is the youngest son of much honored Clara Neptune Keezer (1930-2016), 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 5" in diameter - larger than most of his work; 2", 2.5, 3, 3.5, & 4" are what he more commonly makes. This basket is 4" high to the rim, the large ribbon handle adds another .75" to overall height of 4.75"
Clara Keezer almost always placed a sweetgrass braid between the inner rims of her baskets. Kenny does this as well. You can see this in the photo of the basket open with the lid resting upright on the top.
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 very finely and tightly braided tidal sweetgrass to weave inner portion of the lid and to wrap the rim of the basket lid. 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.