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Importance of Survival Skills

Primitive Cattail Survival Basket

Primitive Cattail Survival Basket


Common cattail (Typha latifolia) grows in many climates around the world Cattail is one of the most useful plants on earth They provide both food and material for making baskets, rafts, bedding, and shelter I am measuring twelve pieces about one meter long to make the structure of my basket Soaking the leaves in water will make them more pliable and prevent them from breaking After soaking for a few minutes they are ready for weaving I evenly bundle the twelve main pieces Then I position them so that the flat side faces inward to the middle Then I fold a thin leaf in half and wrap it around the center of the bundle I tightly twist it and then wrap it once more After performing another twist I bend the first leaf of the bundle ninety degrees and wrap it too I continue separating the bundle and twist the weave around each leaf Each six leaves will fill a ninety degree angle I continue separating each leaf and twisting the weave one time around each all the way around When the leaf I’m weaving runs out then I add another by folding it in half and joining it with the current leaf Once I go all the way around the wheel I continue the weave about two centimeters out from the previous one When I decide to form the sides of the basket I simply bend the leaves up and continue to weave Now I am doing two twists after each weave because the space is now wider between the leaves Once the base is formed it seems easier for me to work standing up I am finishing the cross weave and tying off the end It is necessary to remoisten the leaves before weaving the rim of the basket I am weaving the ends around the top crossweave I decided to remove every other end leaf to make the rim less bulky Loose ends can then be trimmed I’m weaving this cordage around the rim to make a shoulder strap Now I’m ready to forage This species of prickly pear is very common in southern California Sharp glochids make the collection of prickly pears a hazardous task The basket provides a safe means to transport prickly pears

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