Test Home

Whirling Logs of Life Basket


Item Number: DR 440
Tribal Affiliation: Akimel O’odham Pima
Artist: Unknown
Medium: Willow and Devil’s Claw
Age: Circa 1900-1920s
Dimensions: 5” X 13”


SKU: DR 440 Categories: , ,


In Native American culture the symbol stood for the wind and its four directions, as well as well-being. The whirling log is an ancient symbol and was utilized by the Greeks, Romans and even the Egyptians.

Whirling logs are seen in baskets where they represent the four cardinal directions, as well as a complete lifespan, or generation. The four points of the symbol representing birth, youth, old age and death. As in this basket, some weavers artistically linked several of the whirling logs together in continuous circular patterns, thus binding one generation to another both in the past and future. This was a sacred motif to many Native Americans.

The symbol of whirling logs representing the wind, the four cardinal directions, and life through the generations was not used on baskets made after WWII due to the Nazi perversion of the symbol into a swastika.

Condition: Excellent – original condition with minor stitch loss and beautiful patination
Provenance: Acquired from a private collector in Arizona.
Recommended Reading: Baskets of the Southwest by Clara Lee Tanner

Additional information

Weight 33 oz