Large Western Apache Figured Olla
Western Apache Figured Olla. Very Large Apache figured olla with wide slightly rising flaring shoulders and slightly flared neck. Willow and devil's claw. Design features stepped and zig-zag banded lines encircling the body of the basket and concentric outlined arrowhead geometrics encircling the top and shoulder. Interspersed throughout are human and coyote figures and an unusual geometric of unknown meaning which looks to be some type of pole or stand with an object hanging from it. While there is some debate, it is thought that the Apache did not weave coiled jars, or ollas, for their own consumption, but rather made them exclusively for sale. Descriptions or accounts of ollas are not found in existing literature regarding early Apache ethnographies. It is thought that the practice of weaving ollas probably began shortly after the Western Apaches internment at San Carlos. The concept of the olla would have been known to the Apache from their small woven water jugs. The weaving of large, elaborately figured ollas like this one is known to have begun a few decades before the turn of the century. After 1900, most Apache weavers were no longer making the large ollas. Polychrome ollas using red willow also began to appear after this time.
Condition: There are some small areas of stitch loss particularly along the shoulder of the basket.