Which of these two baskets were made by an American Indian basketmaker?
The top basketry bowl was made in South Africa using Mokolwane Palm in Botswana.
The olla below was made in Pakistan.
Both are hand-woven, are coiled and have figurative elements in their decoration. Both were advertised online correctly. However, last night many Ebay vendors were also correct and some were not. One added two words after Native American, “I think”. Another individual was encouraged to research again the origin of the basket after informing him or her where the basket was made.
Over the years Ebay listings of baskets have been incorrectly ascribed to Pima and Apache tribes as well as to just general American Indian made. Aside from purchasing an excellent book to compare and contrast baskets made by different cultures Art of the Basket Traditional Basketry from Around the World by Bryan Sentance available through bookfinder.com for under $10 used, the following diagnostic flow chart is something basket collectors instinctively follow, the Basic 6.
- technique of manufacture: coiling or twining or plaiting
- foundation type: bundle or rod
- materials used for foundation
- materials used for decoration
- basket form: plaque, bowl, olla
- basket start: coiled or plaited
Each of these criteria can be broken down further such as closed coil versus gap stitch or solid rim versus rim ticking or direction of coiling, but often baskets made by certain cultures align readily using the Basic 6.
Print SavvyCollector’s annotated Basket Bibliography
Corinne Cain from SavvyCollector.com