North America/Arizona
Tribal Group: Hopi

Hopi Indian 2nd Mesa wicker plaque front 11 inchesHopi Indian 2nd Mesa wicker plaque reverse 11 inches

Vintage Basket, sumac wicker
plaque from Hopi Third Mesa.

Size: approx 11 1/2" dia.


Our fellow collector/dealer, Steve Elmore writes:

"Hopi baskets are truly the last ethnographic baskets being made
in Native America and remain an essential component of traditional Hopi culture even today."

"...the baskets are also essential to the Hopi carrying on their
traditional way of life, and the baskets have many social and
ceremonial functions besides that of mere utility. For example,
certain women’s dances require each dancer to have a basket
to participate, and of course, many of the kachina ceremonies
use traditional baskets. Hopi baskets also serve as a kind of
currency within the community. They are traded, used for paying
obligations, and often sold to traders and collectors for real
currency. Significantly, the baskets are essential in each traditional Hopi wedding, as the bride’s family pays back the groom’s family for making the bride’s wedding clothes with baskets. This ‘payback’ can take a year or more to
complete and require the making of up to a 100
new baskets. The size of the payback is a real point
of pride for the bride’s family as well as all the
individual women who wove the baskets. Carrying on
such traditions and ceremonies are one of many ways
that the Hopi are able to preserve their distinct culture.
There are two principal kinds of baskets: wickers
which are made on Third Mesa and coils which come
from Second Mesa villages. Coils are considered
sturdier and harder to make than wickers which
have a pleasing texture to their sweeping
openness. Kachina images, as usual, command
higher prices and more attention. The wickers are
made from scrub sumac and the coils from yucca
and galleta grass."

Quotation from Steve Elmore published material does not
constitute endorsement or confirmation by Steve Elmore of
any estimates
relative to this specific basket. His opinion
is provided for general information only.


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