North America/Arizona
Tribal Group: Hopi

Hopi Indian 2nd Mesa wicker plaque Reverse Side

Vintage Basket, wicker, plaque woven
from dried sumac. Wicker baskets
are woven at Third Mesa.

ca 1920s

Size: approx 15" 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. 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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