Specializing in Native American Crafts Since 1916

Antique Baskets

The Navajo baskets is perhaps the oldest invention of Native American culture. Fragments of baskets and other weavings are found in the earliest sites of the “ancient ones”, those peoples thought to be the predecessors of today’s modern Puebloans who left their dwellings and mysterious painted symbols on stone and vanished. Originally utilitarian, Native American Indian baskets were used for cooking, carrying, and storage, but as with all utilitarian items of the Native Americans, they were also an expression of art and Tribal identity. At the turn of the century, Native American Indian baskets began to be woven for trade as well as for tribal ceremony. Being made of organic materials, few antique Native American Indian baskets survive. Today there are few practicing Indian basket weavers who retain these skills and even they will tell you that they are unable to create a basket as fine as the antique Indian baskets of old. In the Southwest, some of the most elegant were those of the Apache and Pima woven in tray or olla shapes using native plant material for the frame and weave. The Cameron Trading Post specializes in antique Native American Indian baskets of the Southwest such as Apache trays and Apache ollas, Pima trays, and basketry of the Tohono O’odham, Chemehuevi, Hualapai, and Havasupai of the Grand Canyon. Antique Indian baskets are prized for their excellence as well as their colour, patina, and designs that may trace their history back to the very dawn of Native American ancestry. Also shop our wide selection of contemporary baskets!

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