The beautiful Mini Pack Basket by Penelope S. Minner is made from black ash splints. The splints, made from pounding black ash trees, have been used by Indigenous people for centuries. Black ash trees, and the harvested splints are in danger of being eradicated due to the Emerald Ash Borer.
Although this is a mini pack basket for collection/display purposes, full size pack baskets were used by hunters and trappers to bring their harvests home. Women used them to carry the plants and food they harvest. Today, with the reemergence of natural products gaining traction, more and more people are using these traditional baskets in their everyday lives for shopping, gathering, or simply transporting items from one place to another.
Penelope “Penny” Minner (Seneca, Turtle Clan) is a practicing basket maker who helps keep the tradition alive by teaching others. She has work in several Museum including the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.