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Basket-weaving is one of the oldest known Native American crafts--there are ancient Indian baskets from the Southwest that have been identified by
archaeologists as nearly 8000 years old. As with most Native American art, there were originally multiple distinct basketry traditions in North America.
Different tribes used different natural materials, tools, weaving techniques, basket shapes, and characteristic patterns. Northeast Indian baskets, for example, were traditionally woven out of pounded ash splints or braided sweetgrass. Cherokee and other Southeast Indian baskets were traditionally made from bundled pine needles or rivercane wicker. Southwestern Indians make baskets from tightly coiled sumac or willow wood, and Pacific Northwest Indians typically weave with cedar bark, swamp grass, and spruce root. Plateau tribes like the Paiute make twined baskets from hemp, while California tribes often stitch beads and feathers into their grass or reed baskets. Northern Indian tribes like the Chippewa craft birchbark baskets, and some Inuit groups even make baskets of whale baleen. As native people were displaced from their traditional lands and lifestyles, their traditions of tribal basketweaving started to change somewhat as they adapted to new materials and absorbed the customs of new neighbors. In Oklahoma, where many tribes were interred together, a new fusion style of basketweaving even arose. However, unlike some traditional native crafts, the original diversity of Native American basket types is still very much evident today.
If you are looking to buy baskets that were actually woven by Native Americans--either because it's important to you to have the real thing or because you want to support native people with your purchase--then here is our list of American Indian artists whose basketry is available for sale online. If you have a website of native baskets to add to this list, let us know We gladly advertise any individual native artist or native-owned art store here free of charge, provided that all baskets were handmade by tribally recognized American Indian, Inuit, or First Nation artists.
Thank you for your interest in Native American art!
Southwestern Indian Baskets|
Gallery of Navajo wedding baskets and other Southwest coiled basketry
by modern Navajo and Hopi Indian weavers.
Hopi Indian Baskets and Plaques|
Coiled Native American baskets and woven wicker plaques by contemporary
Hopi Market Basket Plaques|
Another nice selection of Hopi wicker and coil basket plaques.
Tohono O'odham Basketweavers Organization|
Basketry art for sale online from a cooperative of Papago Indian artists.
Northern California Indian Basketry|
Twined basket crafts from the Yurok, Hupa, and other
Indian tribes of Northern California.
California Indian Baskets|
Antique Pomo and other California Indian basketry crafts,
including trinket baskets, willow burden baskets, and basket hats.
Canadian First Nations Basket Arts|
Birch bark baskets from the Ojibway, Dene, and Atikamekw tribes.
Penobscot Brown Ash Basketry|
Award-winning decorative ash splint baskets. Email the artist for prices/availability.
Maine Indian Baskets|
Black ash and sweet grass baskets by three Wabanaki artists.
Ash splint baskets and fishing creels by another good Penobscot artist. Her niece is learning traditional basketmaking now and has her own site, Wind Dancer Basketry, where you can find good baskets in similar styles.
Chitimacha River Cane Baskets|
Traditional Southeast Indian rivercane baskets by an award-winning Chitimacha weaver.
Great Smokies Cherokee Baskets|
Single- and double-wall Cherokee baskets from the Eastern Cherokee tribal art gallery.
West Coast Weaving|
Traditional swamp grass baskets and mats by a Nuu-Chah-Nulth basket-weaver.
She weaves Northwest Coast basket hats and cloaks, too.
Alaska Native Artists|
Spruce root and seagrass baskets by Haida and Unangan weavers. Proceeds benefit an Alaska Native organization.
Alaskan Native Baskets|
Native cedar bark and spruce root baskets woven by a Tlingit artist.
Sierra Madre Indian Baskets|
Woven fiber baskets from Mexican and Central American Indian tribes such as the Tarahumara, Pima, and Seri.
Tarahumara Indian Baskets|
Yucca baskets woven by the Tarahumara people of Mexico.
|East Coast and Plains Indians were well-known for embroidering their regalia and jewelry with colorful porcupine quill designs, and they also wove the stiff quills into small baskets and birch-bark boxes. Some native artists, particularly the Ojibwe, still carry this tradition on today. Visit our quillwork gallery to view Indian quill baskets for sale.|
|The Plains Indian tribes did not generally do much in the way of basketry arts. Instead, they made containers called parfleche out of rawhide (hard, untanned leather) and painted them with traditional pigments. Some of these containers, particularly in the north, were shaped like birchbark baskets, but more often they were in the form of boxes, handbags, or cylindrical quivers. Some Plains artists still carry this tradition on today. Visit our Indian bags gallery to view parfleche and tanned leather pouches for sale.|
|Southwestern Indian Baskets||The Fine Art of California Indian Basketry||American Indian Basketry||Indian Basketry|
|Photographs and in-depth exploration of native southwestern coil basketry.||Color photos, art history, and interviews with California basket weavers.||1904 anthropology/art history text with lots of old basket photos.||More recent art history book on Native American basket making.|
|Indian Basket Weaving||Spruce Root Basketry of the Haida and Tlingit||Baleen Basketry of the North Alaskan Eskimo|
|Illustrated instructions for native basket-weaving by the Navajo School of Indian Basketry.||Photography and descriptions of Northwest Indian baskets and basket garments.||Here's an interesting book on the modern Inuit basket weaving tradition.|
About us: This website belongs to Native Languages of the Americas, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting endangered Native American languages. We do not sell baskets ourselves, so if you are interested in buying some of the baskets featured on this page, please contact the artists directly. This is not an exhaustive list of American Indian baskets--if you would like us to add your native basket site to this page, please contact us with your URL and tribal affiliation. We advertise any individual Native artist or Native-owned gift shop here free of charge.
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