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).
From left to right: 9 inches across, the red butterfly in the star is by Mary Pablo. $110. The turtle, which has a raised back, was woven by Lashell Adams. 8.25 inches across. $175. This red snake encircling the spider in its web is by Mary Pablo - the only Tohono O'odham weaver I know of who will still weave snake patterns. 7.25 inches across. SOLD. The star motif with coyote track around the perimeter is by Julia Lewis. 7 inches across and $110. (ALL IN SANTA FE)
Miniature horsehair baskets: the one at left with a rattlesnake design is by Elena Mendez. She learned from her mother, Donna, from who I was fortunate to purchase many fine horsehair baskets over the years.1.75 inches across. $200. The one next to it is by Carmelita Juan. 1.5 inches cross. $15. The two turtles are by a relative newcomer: Rochelle Enos. The black turtle is just over 1.5 inches across and the lighter color one 1.75 inches.Each is $20. (TUCSON -but we also have work of theirs in Santa Fe as well)
The oval shape split stitch basket at left is 9.4 by 9 inches and $85 while its sister basket at far right is 8.25 inches across and $70. The unusual basket in the middle is made with a coil fo cattail rather than the more common beargrass. It was made by one of the oldest active weavers, Linda Mike. 9.5inches across and $75. (ALL IN TUCSON)
(click for larger images) All were woven by Fred Cruz. The howling coyote next to the saguaro is 5 inches tall. $110 .And then: the Grumpy Cat. Just over 5 inches high. SOLD. The horse, saddled up and ready to ranch is 4.5 inches high and 5 inches long. $80. The desert tortoise next to the steer skull resting against the saguaro is 6 3/8 inches tall and SOLD. (ALL IN TUCSON)
A beautiful polychrome basket, 16.5 inches across with a double row of Friendship dancers and a rattlesnake motif (sans head and tail). $1400.
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. SOLD. (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)
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. SOLD (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. $125. 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 bug-eyed (?!!) spider at left is 6.5 inches across and $68. At right is a spider in its own imaginatively woven web, .6 inches across. $60 (SOLD). (BOTH IN SANTA FE))
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) Many flying birds represent seabirds -including pelicans- that the powerful summer storms sometimes blow in from the Pacific Coast. $220. (TUCSON)