Apache Burden Basket
Handwoven Antique Apache Burden Basket. Burden baskets are generally woven in a twined technique using cottonwood or willow, then finished with leather straps and tin cones. The burden basket was used by the Apache women for carrying; either when moving from camp to camp, gathering firewood, or returning from a trip to the trading post. The basket was worn on the back with the tump line across the forehead to bear the weight of the burden. Burden baskets were and are also used in the Sunrise Ceremony, marking a young girls passage into womanhood. They are filled with gifts and food for the child's godmother and also are used to mark the course of the young girl's race, a part of the ceremony during which the young girl must run Eastward at dawn, a supplication to the sun to instill in the young girl the same vitality as it does with all living things. Over the last thirty years, burden baskets have been made for art and resale as well as for ceremony and can be found in a variety of sizes. This particular burden basket is adorned with checkered band designs and leather fringe.