Baskets, Cultural Objects
General McAlexander Rib Basket (large)
PeopleMaker/Creator: General Washington McAlexander
PlacesBethlehem, Pilot ((Little River District)
- Diameter (ear-to-ear): 11 inches
- Height of weaving: 6 inches
- Height with handle: 11 inches
This white oak rib basket has a secondary rod attached to rim with figure-eight lashing. Its hand-whittled ribs are widely spaced and flattened. The handle hoop is nailed together. The weavers are also white oak.
Keywordsrib basket, egg basket
General Washington McAlexander (1904-1999) was born in Patrick County to Asa and Mary Calline Thomas McAlexander. After marrying Minnie Lee Bowman, also of Patrick County, the McAlexanders moved to Floyd County. General farmed and worked construction for many years. He built the couple’s third home on their farm when he was in his mid-seventies.
According to family members, General McAlexander taught himself to make baskets. His baskets are strong and serviceable while lacking refined details such as joinery of the hoops and finish work with the weavers.