Historic Hualapai (Walapai) Basket


Item Number: DR 443
Tribe: Hualapai (Walapai)
Artist: Unknown
Medium: Regional grasses, vegetal paints
Age: 1920’s-1930’s
Dimensions: 2 1/2″ x 6″


SKU: DR 443 Categories: ,


The ancestral homelands of the Hualapai people are the western Grand Canyon uplands of Arizona. Hualapai is pronounced “wah-lah-pie.” The spelling Hualapai comes from Spanish, which has no letter “w,” and the spelling Walapai comes from English. Both are used today, although the tribe officially uses the spelling Hualapai. This name means “people of the pines” in their own language.

Woven sometime during the 1920-30s, this is a small (2 ½” x 6”) handsome hand-twined basket. There are contrasting diagonal bands on the sides in brown with the brown repeated in contrasting strips along the rim. This basket appears to be in near perfect condition with no stitch loss. A trader’s tag is still attached with description and price.

Initially, Hualapai made twined bowls for storage, gathering, carrying and other utilitarian uses. These baskets were made from local materials such as: willow, cottonwood, mulberry, yucca, mountain mahogany, sumac, catclaw and devil’s claw. Most baskets were functional containers such as large firewood and burden baskets, conical seed gathering baskets, small baskets used as scoops and bowls, as well as pine pitched baskets used for water.