Basket, 19th-20th century

Not on Viewexpand_more

The Tohono O'odham (Papago) and Akimel O'odham (Pima) live in a large area of the Southwest including, central Arizona and extending down into Sonora, Mexico. Tohono O'odham translates to "desert people" and Akimel O'odham to "river people." They are essentially one people with minor differences in culture, dialect and environment. Baskets have been an integral part of their daily lives. O'odham baskets were so tightly woven that they could be used to transport water or as basins for washing. Additionally, baskets were used for storing and preparing food. Large shallow bowls, such as this one, were the most common form. Traditionally, the O'odham use splints of bear grass or cattail to make coils that are stitched with devil's claw and willow. The classic O'odham basket has an abstract, geometric design that is built out from the center black disc in a radiating or whirling pattern.

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