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Use Indian Baskets To Create Unique Mountain Home Decor

Apr 19, 2008
Indian baskets have a unique purpose and place in the culture of Native Americans. I love using these baskets in my home decorating because it is a very easy way to create great southwestern style in any space. It is interesting when you begin reading the history of Native basket making and find that the need for baskets actually started hundreds of years ago and is one of the most ancient art forms known in Indian history.

Indian baskets, weaved by Tribes like the Apache and Navajo are famous for their detailed, hand-crafted designs and interesting styles. As you learn about basket making, you will find that in most Native American Tribes, it is usually the women that make the baskets. Girls are taught by their mothers when they are still children to weave the intricate designs to create a beautiful basket. These baskets in turn serve many functions in the daily lives of the Native Americans and help the people survive economically.

One of the reasons baskets are made by the Native people and bought by those who wish to incoporate them into the home decor, is because they are very functional. In the beginning, baskets were weaved by Native Americans as a way to hold valued items such as food and clothing. Special baskets were even tightly weaved to hold water. Hundreds of years ago, Tribes needed to be able to potect their belonging while still being able to transport them quickly in case of and attack from another Tribe.

Unlike clay pottery, baskets were long-lasting and would not break. These days, Tribes still use baskets in their houses and dwellings to protect their items and keep them in order. They also serve as a means of income for many Native American people, and play a significant part in Indian events and tribal rituals, weddings, honor ceremonies, and many other Native events.

The variety of Native baskets is endless and each Tribe has their own designs and weave patterns. The Tarahuamara Tribe baskets are very popular and considered a true art form. The way these baskets are made is truly extraordinary and is very remarkable to watch.

The two types of baskets made by this Tribe are the yucca or sotol as it is also known, and pine needle baskets. Yucca baskets are very popular and come in many shapes and sizes. Pine baskets are more commonly found in higher elevations where pine forests are abundant, but are smaller than the yucca baskets and are more fragile.

One of the beatiful things about Native baskets is that each Tribe has its own style and weave patterns, creating a beautiful variety of baskets to choose from. The guari type, the most commonly used weave among the Tarahumara in the mountain region of Northern Mexico, is curved at the top, somewhat square, and consists of four distinct corners at the bottom.

The petaca is another type of weave used traditionally in the canyon regions, and is curved and often double woven. Sometimes the leaves are run back and forth on a rough stone to dull the sharp edges before the basket maker starts to weave.

Native Indian baskets also differ based on the region it is from. Baskets weaving is a beautiful art form and is very impressive to watch. Even if you do not have the opportunity to see a basket being made first hand, it is still easy to buy southwestern style baskets online and in stores that sell beautiful, rustic and country style home decorating accessories. Bring Native traditions to life in your home with authentic, hand-crafted Indian baskets.
About the Author
Craig Chambers is the director of Mission Del Rey and offers free information online about choosing Indian baskets for southwestern decor. For more information visit http://www.missiondelrey.com
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