Apache -- Western Apache
late 19th–early 20th century
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General Description

The Western Apache reside in eastern Arizona between the Salt and Gila rivers. The populations have a long tradition of basket weaving, a practice intimately related to textile arts. Women weavers create bi-chrome or polychrome designs by incorporating wooden strips from local plants, such as willow (Saliz spp.) and cottonwood (Populus spp.) for the light-colored ground and Devil’s claw (Proboscidea parviflora) for the dark frames and patterns. The bowls and trays, which can vary considerably in size, regularly boast a dark central circle and finished rim. While the Western Apache incorporated figuration, the most common designs include geometric or abstract motifs, such as crosses, spirals, and stars. Pertaining to northern New Mexico, the Jicarilla Apache similarly excel at basket weaving (their Spanish name literally means “little basket”), producing rich polychrome radial patterns.

Adapted from

DMA Label Copy (1996.226).