Family Treasures: Vintage 1940’s Papago Basket
Another shallow basket bowl from the display cabinet in my parent’s dining room, this time from the Papago peoples of New Mexico. Also known by their native name of Tohono O’odham, they are known for the “Man in the Maze” design..
These can look similar to an Apache basket from afar but the most obvious difference is Papago baskets are woven on a grass core, base or weft. Apache baskets use three rods as the weft instead.
Another distinguishing factor, although not consistent, is Papago baskets often include colorful decoration using analine dyes where Apache and even Pima baskets use only black Devils Claw for embellishment.
This example shows a beautiful and I believe somewhat rare Yellow mixed with the natural neutral in a stepped design with a cross element. Dating to the 1930-40’s this basket is in amazing condition with only some fading from years in the sun.