Baskets were the Havasupai’s most important domestic utensil. They made baskets of every shape imaginable. Because of their isolation of living on the floor of the Grand Canyon, they continued to make traditional baskets into the 1930s without outside influence. The arrival of tourists and their eagerness to return home with something from their travels had a large influence on the market of native baskets and other trade goods.
This is a beautiful example of a well-woven basket in the shape of a bowl. The absence of black material (devil’s claw) at the start of the basket or around the rim of this bowl confirms this is Havasupai basket instead of an Apache basket. It is 4” x 7” in size – a nice utilitarian size. The design is still slightly visible and the basket is in remarkably good condition considering its age.
The ancestral homelands of the Havasupai people include the Grand Canyon bottomlands along the Colorado River in Arizona. Known for being the only permanent, continuous inhabitants of the Grand Canyon, the Havasupai have lived along the bottom lands of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon for over 800 years. The Havasupai call themselves “Havasu ‘Baaja”, which means “people of the blue-green water,” referring the pristine color of famed Havasu Falls and its surrounding pools and waterfalls.
Condition: Very Good – original condition – there is some fading of the red and green design colors and there is minimal stitch loss.
Provenance: Purchased from a private collector in Texas.