Doll Head Lidded Basket

Culture of Origin: Seminoleearly to mid 20th century

U.S. Department of the Interior Museum

U.S. Department of the Interior Museum
Washington, DC, United States

This basket and its lid are coiled from southern sweet grass (Muhlenbergia sp.). The coils are decoratively stitched at evenly-spaced intervals with purple, pink, teal, red, blue and orange thread; the thread color is uniform within each coil. A portion of a Premium Saltines cracker box (e.g. paperboard) is used as part of the start of this early to mid twentieth-century piece.

The lid's "knob" is the head and neck of a Seminole woman fashioned from palm fiber. She has green, orange and yellow beaded necklaces, black hair, and a sewn-on mouth and eyes. Seminole lidded baskets were made for tourists beginning in the 1930s and 1940s. The concept of adding a doll head to the lid is commonly attributed to Deaconess Harriet Bedell (1875-1969), an Episcopal missionary who lived among the Seminoles from 1933 to 1960 and encouraged the revival of Seminole doll making and basket weaving.


  • Title: Doll Head Lidded Basket
  • Creator: Culture of Origin: Seminole
  • Date Created: early to mid 20th century
  • Location Created: Florida
  • Physical Dimensions: DIA 8, H 6 inches
  • Provenance: INTR 07132 a + b
  • Subject Keywords: North America, Native American, American Indian, Seminole, Florida, Harriet Bedell, doll
  • Type: Basketry
  • Rights: U.S. Department of the Interior Museum
  • Medium: card stock, thread, sweet grass, palm fiber, beads, Saltines

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