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Beargrass, Devil's Claw, & Yucca Beauty

Large Papago Basket

This is the classic style Tohono O’odham (formerly Papago) basket made for trade with bear grass coils for the warp, and weft made from yucca leaves (tan) and devil’s claw (black).

Papago Trade basket

This is a small Papago basket which uses devil’s claw for the dark weft and mesquite root for the caramel color decoration. The edge shows one of the common decorative treatments with strips of devil’s claw. One of the detail pictures shows how expertly the …

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Large Vintage, Papago Basket

This basket is about 14 inches across the top and 10 inches diameter at the bottom. It is about 12 inches deep. We bought this in the early 1970’s, but believe it is from the 1930-1950’s.

You can see in the first and last picture that …

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Tohono O’odham Turtle Plaque

This small turtle plaque was woven by Rachel Pablo in the 1990’s. It is about 5 inches in diameter and just two-dimensional. Compare this to this raised Turtle Plaque where the turtle’s shell is elevated. The eyes and …

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Tohono O’odham Five-Pointed Star

You can see the star that is made in a reverse pattern in white on the black background of devil’s claw weft on this small plaque.

Open Weave Lidded Tohono O’odham Basket

This small basket was woven with the white yucca weft far apart to show off the green of the bear grass warp. Baskets like this need to be kept out of the sun or the green color that makes them special soon …

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Open Weave Tohono O’odham Basket

Unlike the previous basket, this one is made without a lid. You can tell from the label that it was woven by Michelle Juan, who used off-white yucca weft wraps over the green bear grass coils. Compare this weft technique with the split-stitch …

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Tiny Gem

This small vintage basket is only 3 inches in diameter and 2 inches high. We believe it was woven in the early 1900’s by a very skilled craftsperson. It has the four-way start at the center. The tightly-woven rounds are finely narrow. The basket sides have 9-10 rounds, ...

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Coyote Tracks Motif

This nicely crafted round Papago Indian basket has dark brown/black patterns (made of devil’s claw) in the “coyote tracks” design which circle the start. The natural-colored background weft is of split white yucca. As could be true of a wandering coyote, the tracks meander …

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Whirlwind Motif

This shallow basket was probably woven in the Papago era, before 1987 when these Indians changed their name to Tohono O’odham, meaning the Desert People. It has the vintage feel of a tightly woven piece of basketry. The whirlwind design and edge detailing are made with devil’s …

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