Basket Making and Gender Roles

photo taken by Melvin Ember

Samoan men weaving baskets. Photo Credit: Melvin Ember

In eHRAF World Cultures you’ll find collected ethnographic texts for indigenous people, ethnic groups, and western- and non-western cultures. All these texts are indexed with subjects based on the Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM), a vast thesaurus of indexes and categories. For example, if you use keywords such as “mats” or “baskets” in Basic Search you’ll find paragraphs and pages of texts referring to techniques of manufacture (e.g., checkerwork, coiling, twilled work, twining, wickerwork, wrapped work); materials; products; uses of mats and baskets; personnel and organization; etc.In Advanced Search you can further refine your search by combining the subjects “mats and basketry” with subjects such as “gender roles and issues,” “gender status,” or “division of labor by gender” to find relevant paragraphs on these specific topics.

The eHRAF Search Example & Methodology section shows how OCM subjects and culture names can be used to find information in eHRAF World Cultures.  Interested in trying out this unique cross-cultural database? Contact HRAF to request a temporary login.