Site menu:

Native American Baskets

Baskets were a really useful things to have, especially in a primatve culture that didn't have plastic. I believe almost all the Native American tribes used local materials to make baskets. The result was a wide variety.

They were also extremely labor intensive to make and good ones required a lot of skill to make. When cheap replacements became available few were made and the skills needed to make them died out. This was not always true of course; the Papago's of Arizona being a example of Native Americans who turned basket making into an art form that could generate income from tourists and collectors.

Finally, importers discovered they could import cheap baskets from Africa, Pakistan, and other places that looked almost exactly like the Native American baskets. The profit margins are very good if you can buy foreign imports cheap and sell them as authentic old work.

As a result of all this, the Native American baskets offered for sale on a site like Ebay include all of these items and it is NOT easy to be sure what you are buying. An honest seller with lots of positive feedback may be convinced they have a real basket when they don't. On the fun side, sellers who know nothing about Native American baskets may write poor item descriptions and provide the educated buyer with a bargain.

Indian Basket Example

This is a basket made by the Papago Indians in Arizona, USA. In 1987 they changed their name to Tohono O’odham, meaning “People of the Desert.” They reside mostly in the Sonoran desert of southeastern Arizona and northwestern Mexico.