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What is a Buttocks Egg Basket?
Handwoven ribbed baskets, are also known as the melon basket, buttocks basket, fanny basket, peanut basket, gizzard basket, bow basket, egg basket, gathering basket and many other regional names. This is the basket with the familiar "ojo de Dios" or God's eye wrapped pattern on each end of the basket where the handle meets the rim. Wherever you travel in North America, you'll more than likely see these ribbed buttocks egg baskets.
Although now found world-wide, hand woven ribbed baskets originated in Europe and were very common in Great Britain. Since many settlers in North America came from the British Isles, ribbed baskets traveled across the Atlantic, appearing logically in the Eastern colonies.
As the settlers headed into the mid-Atlantic, through Pennsylvania, down the Appalachians, across the Cumberland Gap, across Kentucky, and Tennessee, into the Ozarks and beyond to Oklahoma - so did the ribbed or buttocks egg basket. Not necessarily in that order. At the same time, settlers carried this style north into Maine and Canada.
So it came to be that Native Americans also wove this particular style - as they were influenced by the baskets entering their territories.
Native North American vines were used to replace the commonly used willows of England. As creative basket weaving artisans everywhere do, the early settlers experimented with whatever grew in abundance in their area. The ribbed baskets that we think of as traditional styled egg baskets are usually made of split hardwoods, but this style also works well in honeysuckle and other native vines.