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American Indian Baskets

Richly patterned and wonderfully woven, American Indian baskets contribute to the wide variety of decorative arts conjured by these tribes throughout history. Woven basketry is one of the oldest artistic traditions explored by American Indians and offers a fascinating window into the unique artistic approaches of these cultural craftspeople.

Examples of American Indian baskets date back to nearly the 7th century B.C. As the tradition grew over the subsequent generations, different tribes began incorporating motifs and materials indigenous to and indicative of their geographic and cultural origins. Cherokee peoples of the Southeastern United States tended to weave baskets using local materials such as river cane wicker and occasionally bundled pine needles, while tribes along the Northwest Coast, like the Snohomish and the Tlingit, used cedar bark and tall swamp grass.

These tribes explored patterns that reflected their respective origins and, at times, conveyed narratives important to their cultural documentation. While such traditions have become crossed in the displacement and relocation of tribal cultures across the continent, antique American Indian baskets still hold some of this vibrant history in their carefully woven strands.


Quick Facts

  • Baskets were one of the most utilitarian objects to be conjured by American Indian cultures, and their wide variety of shapes reflect that use. Larger, vessel-like baskets could be used to store water or grain, and shallower baskets for trays for serving or carrying
  • Following weaving, the artist would cover the vessel with pine pitch, rendering it relatively waterproof. As baskets predated the innovation of pottery, American Indians proved incredibly resourceful in modifying materials, like baskets, to suit their needs
  • While different tribes shared weaving techniques, they often differed in the patterns they evoked in their weave. The southwestern Papago and Apache tribes both employed the coiling technique, yet Apache baskets typically relay much more complex geometric and rhythmic

Recommended Items at Auction

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RARE PAPAGO PINE NEEDLE COIL BASKET
Dec 03, 9:00 AM MST
RARE PAPAGO PINE NEEDLE COIL BASKET
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Est: $0- $0
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Est: $0- $0
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Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
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Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
MIXED NATIVE AMERICAN WOVEN BOWL
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Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Native American Papago (Tohono O'odham) Woven Coiled Basket
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Est: $100- $10,000
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Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
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Est: $100- $10,000
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Dec 10, 9:30 AM EST
2 Papago Baskets
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Est: $40- $1,000
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Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
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Est: $0- $0
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Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
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Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
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Est: $150- $250
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Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
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Est: $300- $400
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Dec 04, 1:00 PM CST
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Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
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Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Early Piedmont N.C. Handmade Painted Basket
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PAIR OF PAPAGO WOVEN TRAYS C 1900-1920
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
PAIR OF PAPAGO WOVEN TRAYS C 1900-1920
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Native American Potato-Stamped Woven Basket
Dec 08, 10:00 AM EST
Native American Potato-Stamped Woven Basket
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Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
A Native American Woven Basket
Dec 03, 1:00 PM EST
A Native American Woven Basket
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Est: $275- $2,750
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Sellers Who Sell American Indian Baskets


Bonhams

Bonhams

Jackson's International

Jackson's International