Basket woven with plant fiber and heavily beaded with black, white, orange, blue and red beads. Flared stem base with cone-shaped lid. Two straps cross over the top and are secured at sides.

Basket, early 20th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

This Somali wedding basket was given to the bride on her wedding day. It would become a place to store personal items, such as jewelry, but first it would be used for a playful wedding-day ritual. Filled with treats, the basket would be covered and tied shut with string. Male guests, including the groom, would then compete to open it within a certain amount of time. In the end, the groom was expected to win—the tied basket being a metaphor for his wife.

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Details
Title
Basket
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2010.73
Curator Approved

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Basket woven with plant fiber and heavily beaded with black, white, orange, blue and red beads. Flared stem base with cone-shaped lid. Two straps cross over the top and are secured at sides.