Baskets of all kinds served many important uses in traditional Secwepemc society. Baskets were used for food storage and gathering, cooking, and for general storage. Although baskets mainly served practically purposes they were always well-crafted and held aesthetic appeal. Decorative elements such as alternating colours woven into a pattern, cherry bark adornment, and other artistic touches created useful yet beautiful tools for all to use.
The Secwepemc made baskets from a variety of plant materials. Cedar root baskets and birchbark baskets were the most commonly used. Baskets made from cedar root were valued for cooking because they could be woven so tight so that they could hold water. Hot stones would be placed inside them to cook food. Birch bark was used to create a wide range of baskets. Two of the main uses included, baskets for gathering food as well as baskets for carrying infants. Other materials used for basket making included spruce root and pine needle.
Cedar Root Baskets
The Secwepemc used coiled baskets made from split cedar roots or spruce roots.