Native Designs

Indians of the Northeast assigned meaning to the symbols on their baskets. Shapes like domes, dots, triangles, leaves, curls and bars were beautifully arranged into designs we call medallions, strawberries, trails, stockades and vases. Basket designs represented communities of people, places, territories; stories of the Nipmuc people.

"Artists might add representations of their own primary considerations - family, tribal members, plants for food and medicine, or the trails and paths traveled" (Tantequidgeon & Fawcett)

Medallions are four domes or other shapes placed around an open central space. Nipmucs and other Natives had unique ways that they made their medallions. To many, these medallions represent groups of people, or family strength. This design is a traditional way to depict sky-domes that represent the "four directions that guide the traveler or call the winds" (Tantequidgeon & Fawcett).

Stains, Dyes and Paints Native Designs - Domes