Yavapai TrayI-0-137

I-0-137 Yokuts feast bowl.

The Yokuts, whose members traditionally spoke the Yokutsan language belonging to the Penutian Superfamily of languages, lived in the central San Juaquin Valley region of California. Their territory stretched roughly from Stockton in the north down to Bakersfield in the south. They were formerly called the Tulare Indians by the Spanish settlers meaning “people of the tules”, tule being a type of marsh plant found in the shallow lakes and wetlands that once existed throughout traditional Yokuts territory. They were at one time a very large tribe with sixty-three sub-tribal divisions with estimates of 25,000 to 35,000 people in 1772 when the Spanish first arrived in the area (Latta). Today their population has shrunk to a fraction of that number. The Yokuts were well known for their beautifully woven polychrome baskets with some of the very finest North American Indian baskets coming from the hands of Yokuts weavers.

This large basket is the type that were reserved for serving quantities of food for visiting celebrants at social and religious functions where large numbers of participants needed to be fed. Many of these were lined up filled with food including the prerequisite “acorn mush”. This finely coiled example bears the classic Yokuts design bands of stylized rattlesnakes and this example has two additional design
elements near the rim. A small “signature” or weaver’s mark can be seen woven into the bottom of the bowl. Coiling is to the right (with the work surface on the interior) and using a bundle of deer grass (Muhlenbergia) for the foundation of the coil. The sewing splints include split sedge root (Carex) for the white, dyed bracken fern root (Pteridium) for the black and split unpeeled California redbud (Cercis) for the red.

A large and impressive traditional Yokuts feast bowl. 22"d. by 11"h. Circa 1890. $16,500.00