California Gaming Baskets

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Gaming basket Bingo at Our House: Natural white and dyed horsehair, vintage Bingo tiles and buttons, Abalone and Mother of Pearl Buttons, and Glass beads, by Linda Aguilar
Bingo at Our House: Natural white and dyed horsehair, vintage Bingo tiles and buttons, Abalone and Mother of Pearl Buttons, and Glass beads. Linda Aguilar

The California Gaming Basket Collection is a series of baskets inspired by traditional gaming in native culture; as well as the games introduced by the Church and others.

Two new baskets in Linda Aguilar’s series just arrived and are now on display through March 16, 2008.

Bingo at Our House: Linda tells the story of Bingo played at home – “we never marked the cards that would have ruined them; we used beans or buttons. My Mother would go to thrift stores looking for abalone buttons. When she found something with them; she would buy it, take it home, cut off all the buttons and then re-donate it to the same store, button-less! That was kind of mean.”

Gaming cards Lucky Night at the Casino: Natural Black and White Horsehair, Miniature Playing Cards and Dice, Vintage Bingo Tiles, Clam shell disks, Glass beads, and Abalone shell buttons.
Lucky Night at the Casino: Natural Black and White Horsehair, Miniature Playing Cards and Dice, Vintage Bingo Tiles, Clam shell disks, Glass beads, and Abalone shell buttons.

Lucky Night at the Casino: A whimsical look at gaming in California; cards, dice and bingo, are all part of the popular games that have made “Indian Casinos” the success they are today. She has included shell buttons, reflecting back to the bingo games once played at her house.

“Pi” Shells: “Pi” in the Chumash language means walnut dice. The homage is to a traditional form of gaming using dice made of black walnut shells. Dentalium shell was once a form of money, and dress clams used in dance regalia, both highly valued in traditional culture. She adds an abalone button as a signature.

A California Gambling Tray: The size shape and design are traditional; her use of material, horsehair, is not. Trimmed with red Horsefeathers and tiny clam shell disks, this is the largest basket that she has ever made, and possibly the largest horsehair basket. The obligatory abalone shell button is here as well.

Gaming dice Pi Shells; Natural white and brown horsehair, Black walnut shell dice, dentalium and dress clam shells, clam shell disks, abalone, mother of pearl buttons, Horsefeathers.
Pi Shells; Natural white & brown horsehair, Black walnut shell dice, dentalium & dress clam shells, clam shell disks, abalone & mother of pearl buttons, & Horsefeathers.
A California Gambling Tray; Natural white and black, dyed horsehair, clam shell disks, abalone button and Horsefeathers. Black walnut dice, filled with asphaltum and shell.
A California Gambling Tray; Natural white & black, & dyed horsehair, clam shell disks, abalone button & Horsefeathers. Black walnut dice, filled with asphaltum & shell.

Pacific Western Traders is located at 305 Wool Street in the Historic District of Folsom, phone: 916.985.3851

Courtney Puffer is a writer and art dealer, who runs Pacific Western Traders with his father, Herb, in Folsom, California. Courtney is extremely knowledgeable about native American art and customs. Sadly, Courtney passed away on 17th September, 2008, while on a business trip, but his writing lives on at NewsBlaze.