Category Archives: Native American Baskets Blog Category

These great Native American baskets were a major means of providing containers for the first Americans. They used them from as far back as prehistoric times to the present. The weaving and skill level in some tribes reached a very high level of artistry. This shows both in the making of the basket and the designs, as well as the materials that were used. A few skilled basket makers still make their living weaving these beautiful vessels and containers. However, because of the conservative styles, many of the geometric and pictorial designs have not changed through the centuries. Tribes in the Southwest like the Navajo and Hopi are famous for their utility baskets. A great example of a usable baskets were made by tribes like the Apaches.

They made baskets that could hold water in them by smearing pitch to the outside of the water jugs. In whatever terrain they were in, they used the available material to make them. These locally collected materials were picked seasonally when they were at their strongest and most supple. They were then split and prepared, again in season and stored until the baskets could be woven. The weaving itself was seasonal. In olden days, it was timed around other hunting and gathering activities. Prayers accompanied each phase.

1915 – 1920 Paiute Beaded Basket

1915 – 1920 Paiute Beaded Basket

This 1915 – 1920 Paiute beaded basket is an amazing work or art! Bead work was done directly onto an old basket with a tightly fitted lid. The lid’s design runs continuously from the top of the lid to the bottom of the basket. A very skilled bead worker covered the exterior. This was done with a lightning pattern in metallic gray and black designs on translucent white background. Its small button-like handle on top of the lid carries over the design. This diminishes the cover on the entire bottom of the basket. The inside rim of the basket and the rim of the lid that fits into it tightly, are intact. There are no missing beads. The sphere is in perfect condition and measures 3 1/4? in diameter by 3 1/4? tall with the lid. Beads are trade beads, Venetian Glass Seed Beads.