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How To Use Indian Baskets To Create Unique Country Decor

Aug 5, 2008
Indian baskets have been part of Native American culture for many years. I enjoy using these hand-crafted baskets to bring southwestern style to my home. It is fascinating when you begin studying the history of Indian basket making and find that the use of baskets actually started centuries ago and is one of the oldest art forms known in Indian history.

Indian baskets, weaved by Tribes such as the Pueblo, Apache, Navajo and Tarahumara are famous for their beautiful, hand-crafted designs and elaborate styles. As you read about basket making, you will find that in many Native American Tribes, women are given the task of basket making and learn the art as a young girl from their mothers. Baskets are used for many things in the daily lives of the Native Americans and are a source of economic survival for the people.

As you will see, Indian baskets not only work well as rustic decorating accessories, but they are also very useful. Originally, baskets were created by Native Americans as a way to protect valued things such as food, clothing, animal hides, blankets and even water. Hundreds of years ago, Indian Tribes changed locations regularly and needed ways to protect their belongings while still being able to carry them quickly.

Unlike pottery, baskets were resistant and would not break. Today, Tribes still use baskets in their households and dwellings to keep their belongings clean and organized. They also serve as a means of income for many Indian Tribes, and play an important role in Indian events and rituals, such as Navajo wedding ceremonies, and in rights of passage ceremonies.

There are many kinds of Indian baskets and each Tribe has their own variations. Southwestern, Tarahumara Indian baskets are some of the most sought-after in the world and are considered a true form of art. The way these baskets are made is truly incredible and is very thrilling to watch. The two types of baskets that this Tribe makes are the yucca or sotol as it is also known, and baskets made of pine needles. Yucca baskets are very popular and are woven in a variety of designs and sizes. Pine baskets are more commonly found in the mountains where pine trees are prevalent, but are smaller than the yucca baskets and not as durable.

There are many kinds of weaving styles Indigenous people use in basket making that differ between Tribes. The guari style, the most popular weave among the Tarahumara in the Northern Mexican mountain country, is round on the top, somewhat square, and has four distinct corners on the bottom. The petaca is another type of weave used generally in the canyon regions, and is round and often double woven. Sometimes the leaves are run across a stone to dull the sharp edges before the basket is made.

Native baskets come in a variety of styles, designs and colors depending on the Tribe and the area where it is made. Even if you are not able to go to the tribal location and choose a unique basket of your own, you can still own a piece of this Native form of art. It is easy to buy southwestern style baskets online and in stores that sell chic, rustic and country style interior decorating accessories. Bring American Indian culture to life in your home with one of a kind, hand-crafted Indian baskets.
About the Author
Craig Chambers is the director of Mission Del Rey and offers free information online about purchasing Indian baskets for southwestern style decor. For more information visit http://www.missiondelrey.com
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