Longhouse - Front

Cedar Root Collection and Processing

The Fraser Valley is an especially favourable area for the collection of the cedar roots used to make baskets, because much of the valley has a high sand content in the soil, especially around the river's edge. Cedar root collection would be especially easy-going, as compared to collection in areas with less sandy soil. This practice almost entirely relied on the collection of roots from old-growth cedar, as it is reported that second-growth cedar does not produce the same type of root as old-growth cedar, and its roots were considered inferior.

Once the root was collected, it was shed of its outer layer by drawing it through a split branch which was held tightly closed; the root was then split in half down the middle and several times further down its length. The end product was dried and stored. Cedar roots needed to be soaked prior to use when stored for long periods of time.

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