Elizabeth Hickox’s Lidded container

Meet the Artists of Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists

A basket made of black and white materials.

Elizabeth Hickox (Wiyot), Lidded container, ca. 1924, twining and porcupine quills, Denver Art Museum Collection: Purchase from Grace Nicholson, 1946.388A-B. Photograph © Denver Art Museum

Artist’s Language

We do not yet have a Native-language translation of this text.


Elizabeth Hickox was a master basket maker. Her incredibly fine work is apparent in the 800 stitches per square inch that appear in her baskets. Hickox combined plant material, usually the dark five-fingered fern, with yellow porcupine quills (dyed with lichen) to create a strong color contrast and dynamic abstract designs. The lid’s tall knob handle is one of Hickox’s hallmarks and her own invention. Hickox sold her baskets to a dealer who marketed them to collectors, and, in turn, Hickox was able to provide a good income for her family, enjoy travel, and acquire the latest fashions of her day.