Mary Adams, Wedding Cake Basket, 1995. Sweetgrass and black ash splints. 20x13x13 inches.


Born in 1917 on the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation on the U.S.-Canadian border.

Mary Adams began basket weaving as a young child. By the time she was ten, she bartered her sewing baskets for groceries. She married, bore twelve children, and has continued to make baskets for income and to fulfill her creative need. She says, "Making baskets is my medicine. I'll die if I don't keep making baskets."

Wedding Cake Basket fuses Mohawk and Iroquois basket weaving with the Western European ritual of the wedding cake, using materials such as sweetgrass fibers and splints made from black ash logs.

Today Adams lives on the Mohawk Reservation in St. Regis, Quebec, where she teaches basket weaving at the reservation's museum.

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