SOUTHWESTERN INDIAN BASKETS Their History and Their Makers
By Andrew Hunter Whiteford
School of American Research Press
First edition, softcover, 1988, 219 pages, beautifully illustrated
Comprehensive and lavishly illustrated, Southwestern Indian Baskets remains the definitive treatment of this ancient and complex art.
From the Back Cover
“Andrew Hunter Whiteford has written a comprehensive history of this oldest southwestern craft that is unique in focusing as much on the people who make the baskets as on the baskets themselves as objects. While not neglecting design, form, and technique, Whiteford moves beyond them to investigate the historical and social contexts from which particular kinds of baskets emerged and changed. He describes how baskets answered the people’s needs at various times during their history—first as inherently useful objects and later as saleable merchandise. A historical sketch of each tribe precedes a basketmaker’s-eye view of how the baskets were made and how aesthetic and technical conventions evolved through time.”
The ancient peoples of the American Southwest made beautiful and useful baskets long before they planted corn or molded clay into pottery. Their historic descendants-today's Pueblos, Paiutes, Yuman-Pais, Pimas, and Papagos-and the Navajos and Apaches who migrated later to the region fashioned baskets for both practical and ceremonial uses. Basket techniques, materials, shapes, and designs reflect the distinct aesthetic traditions and unique histories of the various tribes. Basketry from the Southern Paiutes, Navajos, Apaches, Yuman-Pai Tribes, Piman Peoples, and the Pueblos are discussed. It is the “go to” book for questions on southwestern basketry.