Basket, Burden with hide dangles and metal cones.
Traditional style from San Carlos Apache tribe by Mary Jane Dudley.
deep x 14" wide at top.
3 3/4" wide at base.
25" long hide dangles
For years a "burden basket" was just used for carrying
like food and wood. With the basket slung on
back and secured by a strap across
the forehead, and hide
strips bearing metal jingles,
managing a a burden was both easier and protected
from critters. Such baskets were
but often were decorated as works
of art, perhaps
to "lighten" the load. Their individual touches
accents enhanced their attractiveness
both within and outside tribal cultures.
Apache burden basket weaving faded in popularity
the during the Great Depression, when affordable commercial containers became easier to acquire and
were removed from opportunities to
learn basketweaving techniques.
In recent years,
Native American basketweaving
had a re-surgence. Mary Jane Dudley of the San Carlos
Apache band has benefitted from the market for
Burden baskets also play a major role in Apache culture.
They are worn ceremonially by young girls passing into
A great amount of time, skill and patience
goes into the process of harvesting cottonwood branches,
and collecting willow strips and devil's claw to weave into
All these components must be "cured"
to become pliable
enough to weave.
Mary Jane Dudley created her first basket
at the tender
age of 13 under the tutelage of her mother,
who in turn had learned from Mary Jane's
This time-consuming and painstaking process is thus handed down through generations. It is deeply woven into San Carlos Apache culture. For the artist, no price is great enough to
fully compensate for the time and tradition that goes into a basket.
Fortunately, it is also a labor of love.
Myers , FL. 33908