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Millenium Basket (Wasco Sally Bag)

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Patricia Courtney Gold, a member of the Wasco Nation, grew up on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation of Oregon. She graduated from Whitman College with a BA in mathematics and worked in computer programming for many years. In the 1990s, she began learning Wasco-style weaving traditions. In 1999, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art commissioned Gold to create an artwork to commemorate the millennium. She chose to weave a basket inspired by one collected by Lewis and Clark in 1805-06 in the Columbia River region that is now in the collection of the Peabody Museum of Harvard University. While Gold basically replicated the Lewis and Clark bag's face design, she introduced some innovations. Not all faces are the same on her bag because, as she says, not all people are alike. As she does with all her baskets she included a small bead here to signify the coming together of the Native American and European cultures. This one has a moon symbol, to honor the lunar event of January 2000, during which the moon was unusually close to the earth. Gold is a 2007 NEA National Heritage Fellow.