The AMICA Library
AMICA Library Year:
Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Cylindrical, twined, burden basket with a reflexed bottom, slightly swelling wall and unelaborated rim; two, green strips of cotton material are attached with sewing, running vertically from rim to opposite rim, crossing at the bottom; attached to the cotton strips, and also arranged in two horizontal rows at the rim and base, are conical bells bent into shape from sheet tin; bells are individually attached with short swatches of cotton; fabric of the basketry is twill twining in alternate patterns over paired wefts (whole stems with bark remaining) creating a subtle pattern of alternating horizontal bands.
Early 20th century
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Materials and Techniques:
Wood (mulberry or willow), cotton, tin
Arizona, United States
Height: 8 1/4"; diameter 8 1/2"
Brooklyn Children's Museum
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Gift of the Museum of the American Indian, 1960
This basket form, in a slightly larger size, was used by the Apache as a burden basket. With an added shoulder strap, women would sling the baskets across their backs to hold firewood when out collecting. Baskets such as this were also used to collect berries. Cloth strips were characteristic of Apache burden baskets. Their function was to veil the wooden, structural supports, which this basket lacks; on this basket, the strips are purely decorative. The decorative intent of the basket maker is further revealed through the addition of bells to the exterior. The small size and elaborated decoration of the basket suggest that it was made for commercial sale, although it is quite authentic. Often skin was added on the bottom to prolong the basket's life.
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