Native Designs

Stockades


Chains or lines that delineate design lay-outs, were common on baskets made before 1840. The chains used in stockades seem to represent borders on the landscape or between people. Stockade designs showed how Natives felt about what remained of their traditional territory. On a Mohegan basket, inside the stockade design (within ancestral lands), the villages are represented by medallions - while outside stockade the villages are represented by plants. "The message was that people would lose their Mohegan identity when they left the tribal lands" (McMullen). On another Mohegan basket, medallions were painted both inside and outside the stockade design and the maker probably felt that "Mohegan people were Mohegan people wherever they lived" (McMullen).

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