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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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Two antique French cane baskets, approx 54cm W and smaller (2)
Oct 31, 9:30 AM AEDT
Two antique French cane baskets, approx 54cm W and smaller (2)
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD1609 Bids
An Inuit lidded woven basket with simple cross form imbrication, 9 1/4 x 9 in. (23.4 x 22.8 cm)
Oct 27, 9:00 AM PDT
An Inuit lidded woven basket with simple cross form imbrication, 9 1/4 x 9 in. (23.4 x 22.8 cm)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $200- $300
$3209 Bids
Apache Indian rounded olla-form coiled basket
Oct 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Apache Indian rounded olla-form coiled basket
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $600- $900
$4105 Bids
Woven Indian Baskets with Wind Chimes
Oct 27, 11:00 AM EDT
Woven Indian Baskets with Wind Chimes
by Caza Sikes
Est: $200- $300
$1604 Bids
Huge Apache Figural Olla Coil Basket Native American People/Dog Pattern
Oct 30, 6:00 PM MST
Huge Apache Figural Olla Coil Basket Native American People/Dog Pattern
by Ace Of Estates
Est: $200- $500
$304 Bids
Native American Woven Basket
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Native American Woven Basket
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$303 Bids
Native American Basket
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Native American Basket
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$253 Bids
FOUR NATIVE AMERICAN (MAKAH) BASKETS
Oct 25, 6:00 PM PDT
FOUR NATIVE AMERICAN (MAKAH) BASKETS
by O'Gallerie
Est: $200- $300
$2253 Bids
Group of Native American Indian curios
Oct 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Group of Native American Indian curios
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $40- $60
$403 Bids
Vintage French Rectangular cane basket, approx 53cm x 38.5cm D
Oct 31, 9:30 AM AEDT
Vintage French Rectangular cane basket, approx 53cm x 38.5cm D
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD20- AUD40
AUD303 Bids
Three Dine Navajo Indian wedding baskets
Oct 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Three Dine Navajo Indian wedding baskets
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $80- $120
$502 Bids
Hupa Yurok Karok Indian basket, early 20th c.
Oct 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Hupa Yurok Karok Indian basket, early 20th c.
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $160- $220
$1302 Bids
Group of Native American basketry items
Oct 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Group of Native American basketry items
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $120- $160
$802 Bids
(2) Baskets, Papago Indian Basket
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
(2) Baskets, Papago Indian Basket
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$152 Bids
Native American Mini Pottery, Jamez, Tosa, Baskets
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
Native American Mini Pottery, Jamez, Tosa, Baskets
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$152 Bids
Woodlands Indian woven handle basket
Oct 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Woodlands Indian woven handle basket
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $40- $60
$202 Bids
PAIR OF SMALL COILED BASKETS, NORTHERN TERRITORY
Nov 07, 4:00 PM AEDT
PAIR OF SMALL COILED BASKETS, NORTHERN TERRITORY
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD1601 Bid
Vintage Native Tribal Basket w/ Devils Claw
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Vintage Native Tribal Basket w/ Devils Claw
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
A round Haida spruce root lidded basket, 2 1/2 x 4 3/4 in. (6.3 x 12.1 cm)
Oct 27, 9:00 AM PDT
A round Haida spruce root lidded basket, 2 1/2 x 4 3/4 in. (6.3 x 12.1 cm)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $150- $250
$1001 Bid
A round Haida spruce root lidded basket, 2 3/4 x 5 1/4 in. (7 x 13.3 cm)
Oct 27, 9:00 AM PDT
A round Haida spruce root lidded basket, 2 3/4 x 5 1/4 in. (7 x 13.3 cm)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $150- $250
$1001 Bid
A round Haida spruce root lidded basket, 4 1/2 x 7 1/4 in. (11.4 x 18.4 cm)
Oct 27, 9:00 AM PDT
A round Haida spruce root lidded basket, 4 1/2 x 7 1/4 in. (11.4 x 18.4 cm)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $250- $350
$1701 Bid
Large Dine Navajo Indian wedding basket
Oct 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Large Dine Navajo Indian wedding basket
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
Alaskan Indian coiled and lidded basket
Oct 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Alaskan Indian coiled and lidded basket
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $80- $120
$401 Bid
Columbian River Basin Indian sweetgrass basket
Oct 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Columbian River Basin Indian sweetgrass basket
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $120- $160
$601 Bid

Sellers Who Sell American Indian Baskets


Pook & Pook, Inc.

Pook & Pook, Inc.

Vickers & Hoad

Vickers & Hoad

Revere Auctions

Revere Auctions

Hindman

Hindman