This week for Way Back Wednesday, we delve into the Tribal archives to show one of the prides of the CPN Cultural Heritage Center collections made by a Pokagan Band Potawatomi member.
Josiah Brown of Shelbyville, Mich. hand crafted this 2.5 ft multicolor hamper from black ash at the age of 16 years old.
Black ash basketry is almost a lost art. There are a few families such as the Pigeon family of the GunLake Pottawatomi and the Sagataw family of the Hannahville Potawatomi community who still actively make and teach the art of making Black Ash baskets. For Potawatomi in Oklahoma, a huge challenge is that Black Ash does not grow this far south, though some have attemped to make baskets with Blue Ash.