Molly Ockett birchbark box


Molly Ockett birchbark box


Molly Ockett was extremely adept in traditional Abenaki crafts, a fact much admired by the early white settlers of this region. Using techniques passed down through generations of her family, she created baskets, moccasins, leather-work, bark boxes, and pottery. She was especially skilled in beadwork, quillwork, weaving, and embroidery, as confirmed by a handful of surviving examples of her talents. This small birchbark box with cover, decorated with dyed porcupine quills, was made by Molly Ockett for the family of Israel Kimball (1769-1829) of Middle Intervale (Bethel) and is now in the collection of the Bethel Historical Society; a larger box of similar design was given to the Maine Historical Society in 1860 by Mrs. John Kimball of Bethel. A pudding dish made by Molly Ockett for Mrs. Bragg of Andover was described as "a work of art [that was] white with a roll on top, resembling the finest whiteware." A duck feather bed made by Molly Ockett for Mrs. Swan of Bethel attests to her skill as a hunter and craftswoman. The Maine Historical Society also possesses a decorated folding pocketbook originally made for Eli Twitchell of Bethel. The hemp material for this purse (currently on display in the Maine State Museum's "12,000 Years in Maine" exhibit), which is covered with Indian-style embroidery using the long white hairs of a moose dyed red, green, blue and yellow, was prepared by Molly Ockett, though the actual purse, featuring a silver clasp dated 1778, was not constructed by her.



Physical Object Record