Museum of Anthropology

Ethnographic Collections

WSU's ethnographic collections contain nearly 2,000 items from various areas of the world. The collections include North American Indian basketry from the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, California, the Great Basin, the Southwest U.S., and the Eastern U.S. The major basketmaking techniques and materials are represented in these collections.

Coiled Pomo gift baskets, like the one pictured at right, are decorated with feathers, shells, and beads. Gift baskets were presented as an honor and recognition of accomplishment and typically did not serve utilitarian purposes.

This twined basket (bottom right) is a Wasco "Sally bag." These soft round bags were worn at the waist to collect root foods such as biscuitroot, camas, and bitterroot.

One of the important ethnographic collections at Washington State University is the McWhorter Collection, donated to the University by Lucullus V. McWhorter and his family. This collection includes ethnographic items from the Columbia Plateau, especially the Nez Perce and Yakama groups.


Photo: Pomo gift basket
Pomo gift basket

Photo: Wasco Sally bag
Wasco "Sally bag"

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Museum of Anthropology, PO Box 644910, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4910 • 509-335-3441 • Contact Us