Skip Navigation

Coiled Storage Basket with Black Figures on Yellow Field

Arts of the Americas

This woven storage basket echoes the shape of a Pueblo water jar. Smaller versions of this form would have been lined with pitch and used, with a lid, to hold water, wild grass seeds, or domesticated corn and beans. By the late nineteenth century, the shape was enlarged for the thriving art market. Exact meanings of each design have been lost, but figures depicted with horns, as seen here, usually refer to power coming from or going to the sky. The woven, interlocking forms of light and dark suggest the Apache belief of complete harmony with all elements of the universe.

Esta cesta de almacenaje tejida hace eco de la forma de las ollas de agua Pueblo. Versiones más pequeñas de esta forma pueden haberse recubierto con alquitrán y usado, con una tapa, para contener agua, semillas de pasto salvaje, o maíz y frijoles domesticados. Hacia finales del siglo diecinueve, la forma se agrandó para acomodar el floreciente mercado artístico. El significado exacto de cada diseño se ha perdido, pero figuras representadas con cuernos como las que se ven aquí, usualmente significan poder que proviene o va hacia el cielo. Las formas tejidas interconectadas claras y oscuras sugieren la creencia Apache de completa armonía con todos los elementos del universo.
MEDIUM Willow, black devils claw
DATES early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 28 3/4 x 14 13/16 x 23 in. (73 x 37.6 x 58.4 cm)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Frederic B. Pratt
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Very large high shoulder storage basket with a complicated design. Vertical zig zags that are chain like forms alternate with vertical row of diamonds that are empty in the center on the top diamond, then one with a + in the center then in filled solid. The other vertical spaces are filled with combinations of horned men with deer, birds or some other animal in combinations that appear to interact with each other.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.