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WHAT THE BASKET MEANS TO THE INDIAN : Page 178


legends of as many tribes; another plaque shows four streams flowing in regular, beautiful lines from a lake in the centre to the edge; a Hopi, yucca plaque, with unfinished end, reveals the age of the girl who wove it; a spider-web design wrought into another, is a prayer for rain to the spirit which presides over the gossamer clouds that bring it to the suffering people in the desert; a circle set with small stars represents the constellation Corona; a star which radiates toward every point of the compass may be read as a petition for favorable winds while the crops are growing, and yet, to another tribe, the same design may have a totally different significance. But every line on an Indian basket is eloquent with meaning if we could but interpret it—that is what makes the study of basketry so interesting to the collector and so important to the scientist. A pattern which looks like a flash of lightning to desert Indians, whose every thought is directed toward signs of rain, may mean a mountain stream to a tribe living among the Sierras, or, again, it may be intended to represent the incoming tide to Indians with homes near the sea. Still another grain plaque in this small collection, has

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