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). 
 

 

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)

A cat with a removable head, also by Elaine Lewis. 4.75 inches high. $90. (SANTA FE)

An unusually large vintage (20-30 years old) basket, 13 inches across and 5.25 inches high. $450. (TUCSON))

The the quail  (6.76 by 7 and $125.) was woven by Fred Cruz, as was the Gila Woodpecker on the saguaro (4 inches high and 3 across - SOLD). BOTH IN TUCSON

 

The red maze is by Dolores Stevens. It measures just under 9.5 inches across. $600. The basket with the four flying birds has a heavier coil count, which makes it a serviceable basket for use, if you so choose. (If used for serving breads or rolls, we recommend lining in it with a napkin, if for mail, no precautions are necessary. 11.5 by 2.5 inches. $175. (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.

 

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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

 

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 newer spider basket has a spider woven of red yucca root. 6.5 inches across. $75. The tortoise is 8.75 inches across. $110 (TUCSON) 

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGES

 

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)

 

The basket with the four eagles was brought in by an old friend who has been weaving all her life, Regina Lopez. 8.5 inches across. $110. The large (7.5 by 8.5 inches) split stitch basket was made by Nathan Jones, from Fresnal Village. $125 (Tucson)

 

The basket design at left uses coyote tracks...where the tracks drag - a tired coyote's tracks as one weaver explained to me. 6.5 inches across and $125. By Delores Stevens in red yucca root. The small maze was woven by Doris Jose and is 7.5 inches across and about 1.5 inches deep. $300. 

 

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 Marian also made this tightly-woven maze basket.  7 3/8 by 1 1/4 inches. $300.(TUCSON)