Cat Head w/ Arrows
Historians say the Shakers learned basket weaving from the native Algonquin. The shakers made simple and utilitarian baskets for themselves but developed more decorative styles or “fancy baskets” to sell to “outsiders” in their stores.
The Cat Head is one of those fancy baskets. Its name is derived from the bulbous shape and distinctive pointed bottom corners that resemble the silhouette of a cat’s head and ears. Traditional Cat Head baskets are made using a mold. This basket, however, has been shaped by hand without a mold. Some say that making a Cat Head basket requires Shaker perseverance and feline dexterity. I would add that lots of practice and a little luck are also helpful.
To enhance the decorative aspect, overlays in the shape of feathers or arrows have been added to this one of a kind basket.