Spruce Root Rattle Top Basket by Isabel Rorick

Isabel Rorick, a distinguished Haida artist, crafted the spruce root rattle top basket with the cresting wave design. Measuring 3.5 inches in diameter and 3 inches in height, this basket is a prized piece among serious collectors. Consequently, the fact that this particular basket has been sold highlights its desirability and the high esteem in which Isabel Rorick’s work is held.  https://tribalcrafts.com/nwc-wood-carvings/

Isabel Rorick’s Legacy and Techniques

Raised in Old Masset, Isabel Rorick learned the art of weaving spruce root baskets from numerous relatives, with her grandmother, Selina Peratrovich, having the most significant influence.  https://www.americanindianmagazine.org/media/913  To enhance her skills, Isabel actively visited museums and studied books to master traditional Haida basketry techniques. Although she moved away from Haida-Gwaii, she frequently returns to gather the necessary weaving materials. As a result, each basket or hat she creates stands as an exquisite piece of art. For those interested in Haida basketry, https://www.amazon.com/Spruce-Root-Basketry-Haida-Tlingit/dp/0295983175  offers valuable insights.

Cultural Significance of Northwest Coast Art

Totem Poles

Totem poles are integral to Northwest Coast villages, serving as memorials to significant ancestors, histories, or events. Moreover, artists adorn these poles with animal and bird crests important to the family, often depicting the origins of their history. Therefore, communities position totem poles prominently to celebrate their rich cultural heritage.


Masks play a crucial role in Northwest Coast art, representing various forms of life, both real and spiritual. For example, artists carve masks depicting animals, sea creatures, birds, and a range of human and spirit figures. Additionally, masks symbolize the shaman’s spiritual helpers, believed to offer influence during times of need. Furthermore, families use masks in homes to ward off harmful spirits, highlighting their protective and ceremonial roles.


In conclusion, Isabel Rorick’s artistry and the broader spectrum of Northwest Coast wood carvings and basketry reflect the region’s deep cultural traditions and artistic excellence. These creations are not only visually striking but also carry significant historical and cultural meanings. Consequently, they are treasured artifacts in both local and global contexts.

Haida spruce root rattle top basket

Isabel Rorick   Haida

Rattle top basket with cresting wave design

Spruce root, alder-dyed spruce root, maiden hair fern stems, & Haida-Gwaii mini agates – 3.5 x 3 inches