This vintage bowl is very tightly woven and rigid with geometric designs continuing around the vessel. The colors are bright and vibrant.
The Akimel O’odham (River People—Pima) were major basket makers in the late 19th century, primarily making them for their own use. At the turn of the following century, basket weaving was being practiced in every home. This continued into the early 20th century, at which time basketry became a collectible commodity. The problem was that the collectors and dealers only paid $1.00 to $3.00 for a basket. The women soon realized that it was not practical to spend weeks making a basket when they could pick cotton and earn $2.00 a day.
By the 1920s, basket weaving had all but disappeared. By 1960, they were not even making baskets for their own use. They had, by then, substituted commercially made pots and pans for utilitarian use.
Condition: Excellent; minimal stitch breaks
Provenance: Acquired from my family’s private collection in Texas.
Recommended Reading: Indian Baskets of the Southwest by Clara Lee Tanner.