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Native Americans: Baskets at CR

The library offers this guide to resources as a way to support student understanding and awareness of history, culture, and contributions of Native Americans

About the Alice Spinas/Redwoods Collection of Native American Basketry

The Alice Spinas/Redwoods Collection of Native American Basketry is comprised of 212 objects of Native American basketry, regalia, and utilitarian objects from the Yurok, Karuk, Hupa, and Wiyot tribes of Northwestern California. College of the Redwoods purchased this collection in 1978 from local educator Alice Spinas in order to promote coursework and research in Native American culture, and the collection remains an important resource for our students and community to study the art, history, and culture of the region’s indigenous people.

Many of the most celebrated women weavers of the twentieth century are represented in this collection, including Ella Johnson, Nettie McKinnon, Nettie Ruben, Amy Smoker, Louise Hickox, Queen James, Minnie Frank, and Florence Harrie, as well as scores of other weavers whose names can no longer be attributed.

Selected baskets are currently on display on the second floor of the Student Services building on the Eureka campus and a few samples of different types of baskets appear in the photo display below. 

Photo display

Women's Ceremonial Cap, Florence Harrie, 1930-40s

Women's Ceremonial Cap by Florence Harrie, Karuk. 1930-40s

Women's Ceremonial Cap by Queen James, Yurok. 1940-1950s

Eating basket, Eastern Karuk or Shasta, 1900-1910

Eating Basket, Eastern Karuk or Shasta, 1900-10s

147D Nellie Devlin, circa 1940-1960

Trinket Basket by Nellie Devlin, Yurok.1940-1960s

143 D Ella Johnson Trinket Basket, circa 1930s

Trinket Basket made by Ella Johnson, Yurok. 1930s

Gambling Tray made by Florence Harrie, Karuk. 1920-30s

Jump Dance Basket, made by Nettie McKinnon and Amos Holms. 1940-60s

Market Basket by Dora Davis, Karuk. 1920-30s

Books about Basketry at CR

Books about basketry at Humboldt County Libraries

Connections to Academic Disciplines at CR

To make baskets requires knowledge of plants and the places and times where they are in season, land care practices, culture, as well as the art of weaving itself.


Art history



Forestry & Natural Resources Technology


Native American Studies


Women's Studies