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WHAT THE BASKET MEANS TO THE INDIAN : Page 176


The slightly hollowed basket plaque, which is one of the commonest and most widely distributed shapes, may be used as a meal tray in the pueblo home, or, heaped with propitiatory gifts to appease the wrath of an angry god, may adorn the village altar ; again it is seen in use among the gamblers, who toss their dice upon it; at ceremonial dances

of several tribes it is most important; the Navajo wedding feast cannot be eaten from any other dish; and when an Indian dies, members of the family reverently place food in basket plaques on the ground around his grave, that his spirit may refresh itself on its visits to earth. Because of the number of tribes using the plaque, and the great variety of uses to which it is put, no form of Indian basket shows more varied weaves and wider range of decorative design.

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