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Keyser, Louisalocked

(1850–06 December 1925)
  • Marvin Cohodas


Keyser, Louisa (1850–06 December 1925), Washoe basket weaver, also known as Dat So La Lee, was likely born in Carson Valley (Nevada) or Antelope Valley (California and Nevada), the daughter of Da da uongala and a woman whose name she did not remember, who perhaps died in childbirth. Conflicting reports suggest that Keyser married three times, but only her marriage to Charlie Keyser is well documented. Louisa Keyser had no surviving children, so she is considered an ancestor to the descendants of Charlie Keyser's two previous wives, Delia Aleck and Maggie Miles Merrill. By the late 1890s Keyser was working in Carson City, Nevada, as a laundress and housekeeper for Abram “Abe” and Amy Cohn. Abe Cohn owned the Emporium Company clothing store, and Amy Cohn was transforming a portion of that store into a curio shop for Native American basket weaving. Recognizing Keyser's unusual talent for basket weaving, the Cohns soon relieved her of household chores, hiring other Washoe women in her place, and patronized Keyser as a full-time artist specialist. In return for her products, they provided Keyser and her husband with food, lodging, and medical attention until their deaths....

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