Adobe Gallery Blog

Nineteenth Century Diné Very Large Basket - C4091H

Category: Baskets | Posted by Adobe Gallery Team Member | Fri, Jul 20th 2018, 1:16pm


Navajo Indian Basket - C4091HThe standard wedding basket as we know it today is rare in collections of nineteenth century Navajo baskets in museums such as the Smithsonian Institution, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Peabody Museum of Harvard University.  Most of the baskets in those collections are decorated with a variety of designs, none of which is like the design of today's wedding basket. Designs such as Spider Woman crosses, spirals, whirling vanes or zigzag designs were used. There were no tribal restrictions on designs in the nineteenth century.

This very large basket has a design that might be called a zigzag design.  Like traditional nineteenth century ones, this one is comprised of only two colors-golden color of yucca and dark brown of dyed yucca.  The large star pattern at the bottom center provides the opening for the ceremonial line break as one tip of the star divides the banded pattern above.  As was true then, and is still true today, the ceremonial line break is located at the point were the herringbone rim comes to an end. That is a deliberate action necessary for a medicine man to locate the ceremonial break when the basket is in use in a dark hogan during a ceremony in which the ceremonial line break must point to the east. 



Navajo Indian Basket - C4091H




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