Beginning a research paper isn't easy. Paper Masters suggests you start by noting the history and contemporary application of coiled baskets.
Baskets have been made and used by many cultures for many thousands of years. In fact, they pre-date recorded history. Baskets are structures that are traditionally made from flexible or rigid vegetable fibers that are interwoven, but that is where the definition ends. Basketry is different from weaving in that with weaving, the threads are so flexible that an apparatus must be used to put tension on the threads. The processes are similar, however, in that they both are a means of assembling separate fibers by wrapping them together in certain methods. Baskets are made with so many different materials and in so many ways, that their use is limitless. Basket making has been rediscovered into a contemporary art because it is fascinating, easy, and creative. One of the simplest techniques to learn are coiled baskets. The history and contemporary application of coiled baskets is part of folk art. In a research paper on coilded basketry, you may want to cover the following three topics:
- History and the use of coiled and other baskets
- Materials used in coiled baskets
- Method of creating coiled baskets
Discovery of Coiled Basketry
Researchers of basketry agree that it was not discovered or founded by a single race or culture. It instead developed simultaneously among many cultures. Basketry filled a need in societies throughout time. The methods are so simple that it was quite obvious to any culture that has some flexible vegetable matter on hand, to intertwine the materials for a purpose.
Use of the Coiled Basketry
The coiled basket was used by many cultures in a wide variety of forms. It was used by Native Americans for work-related purposes and ceremonial uses. Many of these techniques are replicated today because they were passed down to white settlers. The Pueblo Indians of the Southwest used both coiling and twining techniques. Coiling materials ranged from the wide bundles of grass used by the Hopi, to the rod coils in Apache baskets. Tribes in southern California coiled their baskets with grasses, rush stems, and yucca leaves. These tribes decorated their baskets with human and animal forms that were geometric in nature. Tribes in northern California tended to be more delicate in nature, as they coiled their baskets using stiff shoots of willow and hazel. The Pacific Northwestern tribes decorated their baskets to illustrate their use. The characters used where people in boats, whales or fish. Pulleyn states, "coiled baskets from this region are sewn with stiff materials worked over a wide core, and are round or rectangular in shape. The coils are covered with a pleated, flat strip, an imbrication, which carries a geometric design". Basketry is far from limited to Native Americans. Pennsylvanian German immigrants created them with rye straw coils to form baskets for utilitarian uses.