American Indian Baskets

We feature traditional Native American basketry from the Apache, Eskimo, Hopi, Hualapai, Hupa, Karuk, Klamath, Maidu, Makah, Maricopa, Mission, Mono, Navajo, Paiute, Panamint, Pima, Pomo, Skokomish, Tohono O'odham, Washo, Yavapai, and Yurok peoples.

Please follow the links to these at the bottom of the page.

Even before recorded history, American Indian basketry approached the level of high art.  The ancient peoples made baskets long before they learned to create pottery.  For thousands of years baskets served as their only gathering, carrying, storage, cooking, and serving vessels, and were held among their most prized possessions.
 
Baskets were made to serve practical, social, and ceremonial functions.  Even utilitarian baskets were constructed and decorated with a great deal of care, skill, and pride of craftsmanship.  Since the earliest times, the most important implements in a basketmaker's possession have been her hands, teeth, experience, patience, and resourcefulness, supplemented in modern times simply with a knife or awl.
 
Basketmaking, from the gathering and preparation of the materials through the final stages of construction, is a demanding and very time-consuming craft.  The fact that it has endured essentially unchanged for thousands of years is a testament to the enduring value and sense of accomplishment that weavers still find in creating a fine basket.
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