Having long been a collector & admirer of South American Indian pottery, basketry and textiles. I thought it about time I wrote an article on the collectible and aesthetic trends of Arts & crafts as used in home decor. I have personally collected Navajo, and Hopi artwork. The recent trends in Home decor to return to sustainable Arts & crafts to enhance the home or professional building has spurred the creation of collectible baskets and pottery. Traditionally they were made by the women of the tribe, they were purely utilitarian; basketry was used for holding food and water until in the 19th century European metal containers began to replace them, basketry was almost a lost art. However Navajo basketry survived in its use as a Ceremonial Receptacle; used in Weddings, puberty rites, and in healing ceremonies, the Navajo women almost abandoned the art for the more profitable art of Rug Weaving. The younger generation had not taken on the tradition of basketry until very recently partially because of the taboos placed upon their manufacture, & partially because of the growing popularity of collectible Navajo Rugs; Navajo women were leaning toward the making of this more profitable Woven Art. Recently though the art of basket weaving has been revived, and it is significant. Contemporary baskets are more colourful, depicting the collective history of the Navajo nation, symbolizing the Navajo creation stories, which are surprisingly similar to those of the Australian Aboriginal, and the New Zealand Maori who tell of their creation legends in rock paintings and wood carvings. During a recent trip to Arizona, looking for collectibles for jogarrard.com home decor, I came across a Basket weaver, from Montana who has turned basketry into a contemporary art form. She collects willow for her basketry, and has developed a style all her own. But that is for another story… stay tuned I am not done with this yet!!
A collection of traditional baskets, made by the Papago Indians, known as “The People of the Desert”
the Mogollon who were probably the earliest South Western Potters. archeologists discovered their pottery remains starting in about 300 BC, in Eastern Arizona, where they lived and farmed successfully for over a thousand years.