Sally Bag with Step Design, c. 1920, Wasco Culture
Sally Bag with Step Design, c. 1920 Wasco Culture, Columbia River Gorge
corn husk weft, native fiber warp, natural dyes, leather on rim 8" tall x 5" diameter Mint condition
Flexible cylindrical baskets, also known as 'sally bags,' are a hallmark of Columbia Plateau weaving. Historically often identified with Wasco and Wishram peoples, they were also produced by neighboring groups like Umatilla and Cayuse. Over time, traditional fibers like dogbane and grasses have been augmented with new materials, including cornhusks, yarn, and even beads. Rims are often finished with leather, with loops to attach the basket to a belt. Sally bags were used to carry and store roots and other foods, as well as medicines and personal items.
"The Step Design is symbol of growth....You grow from childhood to adolescence to middle age to elder, finally stepping up to infinity." - as explained by Pat Courtney Gold, Wasco basket weaver