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woven bulrush and basswood floor mat

Copyright Minnesota Historical Society Collections

Mats like this had many purposes. They were used in construction of wigwams, as interior partitions, as door and floor coverings, on sleeping platforms, and for drying food. This floor mat is woven from bulrush and basswood. The basic color is tan with dyed rushes woven to form purple and green stripes. The center stripe is a geometric chain-link consisting of one green chain surrounded on each side by two purple chains. The other stripes, closer to the ends, are similar chain-links of alternating green and purple. From Leech Lake Ojibwe Reservation.