Tohono O’odham Man in the Maze Lidded Basket
Tohono O' Odham handmade lidded basket made by unknown artist. The Papago Indians, now called Tohono O' Odham (People of the Desert), inhabit over 50 villages within their beautiful reservation in southern Arizona. Here they still gather the materials for their baskets as their ancestors did. This authentic piece of Native American art consists of two parts: the warp (inner coil) is made of bear grass, the weft (design) is harvested either from the soap tree yucca, the pod of the devil's claw (black), or the roots of the banana yucca (red). This basket is embellished with three Man in the Maze motifs. The legend of the design is that the "man" is an ancestor spirit named I'itoi who comes from his home in the mountains at night to cause mischief, then takes a bewildering route (the maze) back to his home to avoid being followed.