Native Americans : Northeast Woodland Tribes : birch bark baskets (part 1)

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We had to see what we could do with birch bark.  Our friends living in Massachusetts, sent us a whole box of it! (Thanks Lisa!) You should have seen us when we got the package.  It was like Christmas, all of us waiting to be together to open ‘the box’.

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We decided to make baskets (or boxes) first.  We first made a paper pattern from one of the books we were using.  To have a feeling on how to make the folds and how to follow a pattern.

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We decided on a design, and made our own patterns, because we needed to make sure it fit in the pieces of birch bark we had.

DSC_0043-smallIt was a little challenging to figure out the size we wanted the basket to be, and then adding the sides, and how tall we wanted the sides.  But we worked it out.

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We made the pattern in a piece of paper.  Then we cut it out.

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We practiced with the paper pattern, to make sure we knew how to do the folds.

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Then, we traced it on the bark.

DSC_0049-smallCut it with scissors, because it was thin enough to do so.

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Folded it.

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And then sewed it with yarn (or leather) needles, and artificial sinew (that we split because it was a little too thick.)

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They turned out so cute!

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These tiny baskets.

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Lucas put a handle in his and sewed the sides differently than Siena’s.

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Siena’s actually held water for a while.  Mine had a little crack in the fold.

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We have more birch bark and I think we’ll be making more!