Known as Nootka (Nuu-chah-nulth) or Makah baskets, these are miniatures, woven of cedar and sedge grass. An individual who is more familiar with baskets from this region than I, tentatively identified the vase (woven over a tiny glass bottle) as Nootka and the lidded basket as Makah. The Makah are a Salish people and the Nootka or Nuu-chah-nulth a related people who are also closely tied, apparently, to the Kwakiutil peoples. The vase is 3.5 inches tall, with sea birds, an eagle and a man in a canoe. $125. The lidded basket is 1.75 by 1.25 inches and $60. It has a sea bird and a salmon motif.

The baskets below come from the Seri people. The Seri live along the desert coast of the Sea of Cortez and call themselves Comcaac. Seri baskets or hataal are woven of haat or torote (limberbush/jatropha cuneata). Occasionally they use a red dye from the bark of the white ratany plant (heepol/Krameria grey). The black is generally an aniline dye. 

A series of Seri baskets, the first by Mercedes Díaz who also carves ironwood. 5.5 by 3.25 inches. $50. The next is by Maria Luisa Molina and measures 4.5 by 2.75 inches. $60. the next is an older one we acquired from a local collection.5 by 3.75 inches. $75. The last is quite unusual, it is a split stitch style basket usually reserved for utility baskets, The Seri descriptive word for such a basket is hasj’itoj, which means ‘basket with eyes/ Woven by Mercedes Diaz. The first we have had of this type of basket in more than 40 years. 3.75 by 2.25 inches. $30. (ALL IN TUCSON)

A wonderful basket by the venerable Maria Astorga. It shows the deer and mountain sheep that are important to the Seri along with the saguaro and ocotillo. 4 by 6.25 inches. $250. (TUCSON)


A Navajo tsaah or ceremonial basket, circa 1960s, 13 inches across. and 2.75 inches deep. $200. A Pima basket, 7 inches across and 3.5 inches high.Excellent condition. 1930s-40s. $400. (SANTA FE)

A small (4 inches across), but VERY finely woven Apache twined willow burden basket. $300. (TUCSON) The small lidded birchbark and porcupine quill embroidered basket was made by Marie Kotchea from Fort Liard in the Northwest Territory (Canada) in 2011.  3 inches across and 2 inches high. $110. The larger one is birchbark and embroidered with raffia by Margaret Hill, who wrote the date of completion on the bottom: 1/17/04. She is Ojibwe from the Mille Lacs Band in Minnesota.(1929-2009) Her Ojibwe name was Misi-zaaga'iganiing and she was a First Peoples Fund Community Spirit Award honoree in 2008. 9.25 inches across. $400. The Apache burden basket at far right is 7.5 inches long from the rim to the bottom of the tinklers and 4.25 inches across the top. $90. (ALL IN SANTA FE)

The Navajo ceremonia basket with blue was woven by the award-winning weaver, Sally Black.  2.5 by 10 inches. $400. The one with he SPiderwoman crosses was woven by her sister, Peggy Black.2 by 11 inches. $450. (SANTA FE)

Currently living close to Mescalero Apache country Terri wove this of available materials, so in addition to willow for the coil and the seed pod of the devilsclaw plant for the black, she used 'white root' for the lighter color. It comes from a grass-like plant that grows along the Rio Grande, and which is no more than knee-high but has sturdy light-colored roots that she collects and prepares. 13.25 inches across and about 1.25 inches deep. $1275. The one at right depicts a Gaan Dancer - also known as a Mountain Spirit Dancer. 11 inches across and about 2 inches deep. $975.

The basket directly above is by Aurelia Molina. 14 inches across and 4 coils per inch. $400. A very unique design.


This basket was woven by  Patricia Martínez and shows the cardon cactus, a Seri man and woman and their dogs. 5 inches high and 5.75 across. $100.



Horse polychrome basket by Terri Goode. This is her contemporary interpretation of older Apache baskets that included horse motifs as well as Miwok designs to acknowledge her father’s tribe and her heritage. Woven from sumac (tiin kushii a  - “sour water”), devils claw (baii - “milk” as the chewed seeds are said to taste like milk), wild mulberry (ith tee - ‘gun’ -because it was also used for making bows), and redbud (cercis canadensis) from California (from her father’s reservation (Miwok). This particular basket incorporates what she calls “white grass” (calledhúlup in Miwok) which is gathered in the Fall. In the Spring it has tiny purple blossoms but the plant soon withers down to the roots so a stake must be placed nearby in order to re-locate it come Fall. 15.5 by by 9.75 by 4 inches

Her work can be found in the collection of the Arizona State Museum.

Terri Goode, of the San Carlos Apache Reservation, has been making baskets for over 25 years, having learned from her mother and her grandmother, Adella Telto, a member of Geronimo’s band that was sent to Ft Sill, Oklahoma. Teri made her first coiled basket when she was 10 years old under her grandmother’s guidance. Her grandmother showed her what types of material are needed for both burden baskets and coil baskets.