Basket

From Academic Kids

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Baskets_four_styles.jpg
Four styles of household basket.

A basket is a container with an open top, usually made out of interwoven pieces of material. Wood, bamboo, wheat, other grasses, rushes, twigs, osiers or wicker are often used to make baskets, but they are also made today out of plastic. The first baskets were woven by gatherers to collect fruits, grains, nuts and other edible plant materials to be brought back and eaten, as well as for holding fish by early fishing peoples. A creel is a basket made especially to hold fish.

In contrast to weaving, in the making of baskets flexible fibers are interwoven with their complementary rigid fibers.

The kinds of plant life available in a region will affect an ethnic group's choices in material, as well as influencing the technique and therefore the texture of the basket. Rattan and other members of the Arecaceae or palm tree family, for instance, require a different method of twisting and braiding to be made into a basket from the thin grasses of temperate regions, as do other plants of the tropics with their characteristic broad leaves (bromeliads, for instance).

Although baskets have always been created to serve a utilitarian rather than an aesthetic purpose, the practice of basket making has evolved into an art in its own right. Artistic freedom allows basket makers a wide variety of colors, materials, sizes, patterns and details to choose from.

In basketball, the basket is the hoop with an open bottom as well as an open top in which a player tries to throw the ball, though in the early days of basketball the bottom was closed and people were obliged to fetch the ball from the basket using a ladder.

In Economics, the basket of goods is the selection of goods used to compute the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the measure of Inflation.

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