A Maliseet from Maine, Aron feels a strong responsibility to carry on the traditions of this small tribe, which has survived, despite 500+ years of European domination, in the super-populated Northeast.
In 1992, the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA) was formed to support and promote the traditional craft of basket making among the Maliseet and other Wabanaki tribes. Griffith makes dolls and boxes from the bark of birch trees in the traditional way, drawing his inspiration from nature with designs representing animals and plants found in the forests of Maine.
Aron uses traditional materials such as brown ash and sweetgrass to make functional and decorative pieces, as do other contemporary artisans from the Maliseet and related tribes. Their designs have inspired artists, anthropologists, and the general public alike with their beauty and uniqueness.
The butterfly designs on this box are traditional to this Eastern tribe, as they also are, interestingly enough, to tribes of the Southwest.
This well-proportioned, beautifully decorated box was created by laborious, skillful handwork.
Hand-gathered birch bark, hand-peeled, sewn, and etched, as well as the braided sweetgrass around the top and bottom of the box, make this beautiful work of art a direct descendant of historic Maliseet storage boxes.
The etched butterflies seem to dance gleefully on all sides, and on the lid.
The characteristic white bark of the birch tree is visible on the interior of the box.
Unusual, and totally authentic, this is not something we in the southwest see very often.
A lovely, historic addition to your box collection, and/or to use as a graceful, attractive catch-all.