Hopi Pueblo Second Mesa Coiled Basketry Plaque

C4502J-basket.jpg

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Weaver Unknown
  • Category: Trays and Plaques
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo, Hopituh Shi-nu-mu
  • Medium: yucca, galleta grass, native dyes
  • Size: 17” diameter
  • Item # C4502J
  • Price: $750

This is an early Hopi Second Mesa coiled plaque, probably circa 1920s or so.  It has the fat coils and the muted colors of the earlier ones.  The image is possibly that of a Whirling Log design, but that may be a subjective opinion.  To get oriented, concentrate on the red lines that start from the center of the plaque, and then continue on successive coils, making a turn about half way through the design.  Whirling logs or not?  On the last three coils, there are red blocks, outlined in black, that are aligned with the four directions.

The foundation of the coils is a bundle of grasses.  The weft, or pictorial stitches, are made from the leaves of the yucca plant which were dried and dyed with colors from nature.  Traditionally, all the plant materials needed to make the fibers for basket weaving come from wild plants; none of them are domesticated.  The major source for Hopi coiled basketry material is the yucca plant, which once grew in greater abundance around the Hopi Mesas than it does today.  An intimate knowledge of nature and its products involves a sense of dependence on the cycles of the season.  Each plant has its time of collecting during the year, and each time is carefully observed by the basket weaver.” Teiwes 1996:11

“The colors in coiled plaques and baskets are limited to a palette of white, yellow, green, red, and black.  But from these five colors Hopi women produce a multitude of colorful and difficult designs.  The colors, white, yellow, and green are natural colors that come from yucca leaves.  Red (or orange-red) and black materials are dyed yucca leaves.  To achieve two of the three natural colors—white and yellow—the yucca leaves have to be collected at specific times of the year.  For green, leaves from the outer part of the yucca plant are selected during the entire year.” ibid 11


Photography by Michael Marchant

Condition: good condition with minor stitch loss and minor fading

Provenance: this Hopi Pueblo Second Mesa Coiled Basketry Plaque is from the collection of a gentleman from California

Reference: Teiwes, Helga.  Hopi Basket Weaving - Artistry in Natural Fibers, University of Arizona Press, Tucson

Relative Links: Southwest Indian BasketryHopi Pueblo, Hopituh Shi-nu-mu

Close up view of the weaving of this basket.

Weaver Unknown
  • Category: Trays and Plaques
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo, Hopituh Shi-nu-mu
  • Medium: yucca, galleta grass, native dyes
  • Size: 17” diameter
  • Item # C4502J
  • Price: $750

C4502J-basket.jpgC4502J-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.