Native American Baskets
Native American baskets of the Southwest are hand made. Southwest baskets serve many functions in a traditional Tarahumara household. A Tarahumara basket may be used to store corn, beans or a number of other things. As the floors of most Tarahumara homes are dirt, native baskets help keep personal items organized and clean. There are generally two types of woven baskets besides pack baskets for animals in the Sierra Tarahumara. The first and most common being of yucca or sotol. These are used constantly in everyday life. The second type is pine needle baskets and is most common in the higher elevations where pine trees are prevalent. These pine baskets are quite small and delicate. The yucca baskets are made in a variety of sizes and shapes. In the mountain country, the guari type is most commonly found. These baskets are usually a single weave and are round at the top and somewhat square, with four distinct corners, at the bottom.
The petaca is traditional to the canyon regions. It is round and frequently double woven. As the baskets can be quite bulky, the guari in particular, are often made in graduating sizes so they may be nested. The baskets are all made by twill plaiting, which results in a diagonal design. The basketmaker uses only her hands and teeth to fashion the basket, although the leaves are sometimes run across a stone to dull their sharp edges before they are worked. The Tarahumara Indians are located in northern Mexico where we do most of our work, baskets are imported unless otherwise noted. Native American baskets will look great in your room for wall, shelf and table decorations, center piece or dried flowers as well as in any rustic country ranch, log home, cabin cottage or western lodge style.