Museum Purchase

on exhibit | Early California Art and History, Science Special Gallery, December 2007 - September 2009

Basket trap, open work. Pomo Indians "Made of unpeeled creek dogwood shoots by plain twining. An excellent example of this type of little collected basket." (Craig Bates, 10/91)

From the History Information Station:"Object: Pomo fish trap made of creek dogwood shoots by plain twining. It was acquired by the Oakland Public Museum in 1910, and dates to the late 19th or early 20th century.History: Traps similar to this one are used to catch the Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus), which swims up California's streams to spawn in the spring. Commonly known as the eel, it is a favorite food of native Californians because of its high fat content. Eels are cooked and eaten when fresh, or split open and dried in the sun for future use. A fisherman places his eel trap in a shallow spot in a river where the current is not too swift and the bottom is gravelly, the type of place favored by the lamprey for spawning. He sets the trap on its side with the open end facing upstream, weighting it down with stones, and running an anchor line to a stake on shore. An eel swimming into this long thin trap is unable to turn around to swim back out."

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