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FRED TOMAH

 

MALISEET BASKET MAKER http://wabanakiart.com

 

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Here is simply put, a true master of his craft. His creations speak far more in volume than whatever words I could possibly come up with. So, I am going to let him do the talking and his crafts do the convincing. Treat your eyes to a wonderful exhibition and visit ---we do not have a current website for Fred Tomah ---
Snow Owl – August, 2004
 

About the Master Basket maker and the owner of The Wabanaki Baskets site:

“My name is Fred Tomah. I am a Master Basket maker from The Maliseet Tribe. My reservation is located in Northern Maine just outside a Town called Houlton in the county of Aroostook.

The Maliseet Tribe is a Federally Recognized Indian Tribe and culturally is a part of a larger group of Indians called the Wabanaki - People of the Dawn. There are four Tribes of the Wabanaki, the Penobscot Nation, Passamaquoddy Tribes, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and the Aroostook Band of Micmac's.

I have been making brown ash baskets for nearly 35 years. I was taught by my ancestors, who learned it from their ancestors. Although my baskets are highly prized and sought around the globe by collectors, the baskets within the gallery are available.

I make over a dozen styles including the quadrifoil twill weave basket. My Katahdin Arctic Butterfly Basket is featured in the
Smithsonian.

I will be adding other twill weave styles not represented here to the gallery as my time permits.

So list this site to your favorite list and keep checking for updates.

Thank you for your visit and your interest in my Baskets.
If by chance you do not find the basket style you like, drop me a line at Fred Tomah
3-2 Clover Court, Maliseet Indian Reservation,
Houlton, Maine 04730
and see if I can make it.” Fred Tomah

If you rather E-Mail me please due so at
fredtomah@yahoo.com.

About the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA): 

The MIBA is a nonprofit, Native American arts service organization dedicated to preserving the ancient traditions of ash and sweetgrass basketry among the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes in Maine.

About the some of the baskets, go to the website Wabanaki Baskets for more:

 
The Katahdin Smoke Signal Basket
“The four tribes of the Wabanaki consider Mt. Katahdin, Maine's highest mountain-where the sun first rises on the land, a sacred place. In homage to Katahdin, the basket derives its name.” Fred Tomah
   



Hand-woven Brown Ash square bottom arched sides basket in twill weave quadrifoil construction with additional twill weave smoke signal design motif accented with Brown Ash handle and rim.
Dimensions: 10" H X 10" wide
   
The Katahdin Arctic Butterfly In Turquoise
 

Hand-woven Brown Ash square bottom arched sides basket in twill weave quadrifoil construction accented with twill quadrifoil lid
and Katahdin Arctic butterfly motif.
Baskets are signed, dated and
numbered.
   

This basket is featured in Fine Galleries in
New England and is on view in The National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution
   
Perhaps the most difficult generation of baskets I make. These are the Lidded Katahdin Arctic Butterfly Baskets.

A recent development in the Katahdin basket design inspired by a little butterfly living on Mount Katahdin, this very special basket was first created for the Abbe Museum of Bar Harbor Maine in what became a series of lidded baskets on the Katahdin theme.

The butterfly on the lid represents the Arctic butterfly, an endangered species that is the only butterfly indigenous to the mountain.

Trapped by glacial ice thousands of years ago, this little butterfly evolved into it's own species. These baskets are made in homage to this butterfly.

The design on the side of the basket represents Mt Katahdin and, hovering above the mountain, an eagle
   
The Tomah Basket Backpacks
   

 
Hand-woven Brown Ash BackPack. This basket is woven over an 85-year-old puzzle mold. It measures 20" in height with a base of 12" by 8"
   

Inside View

 

"From Alaska to Maine outdoorsmen who seek the best seek this
BackPack.

Special effort, by demanding standards set by my ancestors, is
used to select the right wood for this BackPack.

This is the most difficult basket I make. Each rib of this basket is
hand cut to fit it's selected place.

Recognized for their strength, Ice fisherman often flip this basket
upside down and use it for a seat when fishing."

 

http://wabanakiart.com

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Created August 13, 2004

 
 
 

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