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Burden basket

Mebêngôkre burden basket
ca. 1920
State of Pará, Brazil
Cane, buriti fiber, cordage
44 x 43 x 47 cm
Collected by Francis Gow-Smith

An essential item among the Mebêngôkre (Kayapó) was always a large basket with tumpline, a storage and moving container made by men from two different kinds of vine wrappings. The basket was typically used to store all household belongings. Mebêngôkre villages were temporary residences where people spent only part of the year. When it was time to move, entire families trekked through the forest to a new camp. Women carried the baskets laden with family belongings. Baskets such as this were also used to collect Brazil nuts and rubber in the late 1800s, when Mebêngôkre found work in European extractive industries.

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