Southwest Baskets

The Southwest culture area includes Arizona, New Mexico, southern Utah and Colorado, western Texas and northern Mexico. This vast area consists of mountains, mesas, and deserts. Southwestern Native communities were made up of various tribes that followed two separate lifestyles. Some such as the Navajo, Apache and Havasupai practiced farming and supplemented their diet with small game hunting and seed gathering. Other tribes such as the Puebloans and Pima relied on agriculture as sustenance practicing irrigation methods to cultivate maize, squash, beans, sunflowers, tobacco, and other crops. Most southwestern baskets were constructed by women for utilitarian and ceremonial uses as well as for sale to tourists. Each major technique of construction has been used in the Southwest including rod, bundle, and rod and bundle coiling; plain and diagonal twining; and plain, twill, and wicker plaiting. While some tribes practiced a single method of manufacture, others utilized a variety of techniques. As a result, Southwestern basketry may be grouped into four divisions, the Southern Athabascans (Apache and the Navajo,) the Hokan peoples (Havasupai, Walapai, Yavapai, Seri, and Maricopa,) The Puebloans (Hopi, Jemez, San Ildefonzo, San Juan, and Zuni,) and the Uto-Aztecans (Cahita, Huichol, Papago, Pima, and Tarahumara.)

Cisco’s collection of Southwestern baskets includes Apache, Havasupai, Hopi, Jicarilla, Navajo, Papago, Pima, Tarahumara, Yavapai, Yuma, and Zuni baskets

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