A Tohono O’odham hoh or basket is made from a coil of bear grass (Nolina microcarpa, called moho in their language) sewn with bleached white yucca (Yucca elata - tokway). Other materials used include green or yellow-green unbleached yucca, black from the seed pod of the devilsclaw plant (Proboscidea parviflora - eehuk) and on occasion, red from the root of the Spanish or Shin Dagger (Yucca arizonica, oh’eetock).
A split-stitch basket 11 inches across and 8 inches tall. $275. (TUCSON)
The basket at left is 9.25 by 2 inches and was made by Sofia Antone of Fresnal Village.$120 (TUCSON) The turtle basket with a crinolated rim was wove in the 1940s and is 10 inches across. $220. (TUCSON)
The polychrome five petal squash flower basket was woven by Marian Cruz. 8.5 inches across. $400. Doris José made this red man in a maze. 7.5 by 1 inch. $300. (TUCSON)
This tall vase (12.5 by 9 inches) was woven by Gloria Raymond and depicts a saguaro harvest camp. Additionally unusual for thr transition from covered stitch to split stitch. $525. (TUCSON)
Two "pop-top" turtles (above and below)woven by Elaine Lewis of Sells, Arizona. The one at left is $68 and 6 by 4.5 inches. The one at right, with the more elaborate top is $75 and 6 by 4 inches. (BOTH IN SANTA FE)
Frances Manuel of San Pedro Village was the first weaver in modern times to revive this old style maze. This one was expertly woven by Delores Stevens. 11.5 inches across and $800. (TUCSON)
This split stitch duck is 8 by 6 inches and was woven by Phyliss Jones- another weaver with whom I've had the pleasure to work for a number of years. $125. (TUCSON)
A lovely combination five petal squash flower motif surrounded by a Friendship Dance woven by Marian Cruz. 10.5 by 2.5 inches. $975 (TUCSON)
A wonderfully woven split stitch duck basket, by my old friend, Barbara Juan. Barbara has been weaving for decades and is someone I consider a friend. She finished the head with stitching using the root of the yucca known as shin dagger. Just over 10 inches long and 5 inches high. $110. (TUCSON)
A cat with a removable head, by Elaine Lewis. 4.75 inches high. $90. (SANTA FE) The 'chalice' is an older basket (40+ years) and stands 5.5 inches high. $50.
Three matching split stitch baskets by Barbara Juan. Each is 7.25 inches across and $65. (TUCSON)
A good-sized vintage (20-30 years old) basket, 13 inches across and 5.25 inches high. $450. (TUCSON)
A very interesting design - probably representing a man in a ceremony waving sticks (crosses?) with long ribbons attached but a little girl looking at it flatly declared it is a "superhero with electricity coming out of his hands"....10 by 15.5 inches. $300. (TUCSON)
The the quail (6.76 by 7 inches and $125.) was woven by Fred Cruz. The small friendship dance basket is 6.25 inches across. $120. BOTH IN TUCSON)
A vintage (1950s-60s) basket with a serpentine black and yellow-green motif and four flying birds. 20.5 by 12 by 2 inches. $425. (TUCSON)
The red maze is by Dolores Stevens. It measures just under 9.5 inches across. $600. Spiders and lizards! Specifically Black Widow spiders as she added a bit of red yucca root for detail (click for larger image) 9.5 inches across and 1.5 inches deep. By Marian Cruz. $400 (BOTH IN TUCSON)
The maze pattern design is generally believed to represent the path that I’itoi - Elder Brother - took to his home near the base of Baboquivari Peak in order to evade anyone who might follow him. Relatives of the Tohono O’odham, the Pima or Akimel O’odham (River People), are recorded as having said that it was the floor plan of a home built by Se-eh-ha to confound his enemies. More recently the story has evolved into the maze as symbolizing the path of life. There is some disagreement as to whether the figure is entering or leaving the maze. The version that has the figure entering, holds that the small ‘nook’ near the center is where one sits and reflects upon one’s life before completing the journey. Regardless of the version, the design lends itself nicely to the path-of-life interpretation as while it has no shortcuts, there are no dead-ends either, and the entire path must be followed in order to complete the journey.
A size and shape of basket that used to be called a waste paper basket - and it can still certainly be used that way. 8 by 8 inches.Circa 1960s. $425. (TUCSON)
Some examples of Tohono O'odham horsehair baskets:
The double red and black Friendship Dance with a bonfire in the middle is 4.25 inches across and .5 inch deep. $800. The black Friendship Dance with people and dogs in the center is 3.5 inches across and .25 inch deep. Woven by Elizabeth Juan. $675.
The red and black butterfly basket is 2 3/8 inches across and was woven by Adeline Molina. $185. The tiny lidded basket is a mere 7/16 of an inch across. Mike and Flora Ambrose make these and they are $12. You might want to click on the image to enlarge it.... (ALL IN TUCSON)
Delores Stevens woven the turtle basket at left, which measures 9.5 inches across. The split stitch was woven by Barbara Juan (see the duck she wove further up the page. 10.25 inches across and 2 inches high, she finished it with red yucca root stitching.$85. (BOTH IN TUCSON)
The spider at left is an older basket. 7 inches across. $65. The four flying birds inside a star pattern is 11.5 inches across. Many flying birds represent seabirds -including pelicans- that the powerful summer storms sometimes blow in from the Pacific Coast. $220. (TUCSON)
The unusual square split stitch is almost flat and was woven by Delores Stevens who, best known for the covered stitch baskets, opted for a change of pace. 11 inches square, it is priced at $110. (TUCSON) The owl who appears to be hunching his shoulders, has a removable head and is 7.5 inches high. $150. (SANTA FE)