Birch Bark Lidded BoxAron Griffith
We in the Southwest don’t get to see this sort of art, as a rule, but are really glad to have it. A Maliseet tribal member from Maine, the artist feels a strong responsibility to carry on the traditions of this small tribe.
Eastern tribes were incorporated into the larger, European culture many centuries ago, but are now reaffirming their identities and traditions.
Hand-gathered birch bark, hand peeled and etched, combines with sweet grass to make this well-proportioned, charmingly decorated storage box. Perfect for dresser or desktop display, it is useful, too; store buttons, stamps, needles – all manner of clutter-y objects.
The exterior has been painstakingly peeled to a warm, glowing brown. The graceful curlicues stand out beautifully against the “mountain range” in the background. One small kernel of red Indian corn nestles in the looped handle – a good-luck sign.
Large enough for real use, small enough to adorn a shelf or bureau top; wherever it is enjoyed, this unusual and lovely piece will transport you to the northern woodlands. beautifully.