Tohono O'odham (Papago)Miniature basket
, 20th century
Natural plant fibers
Gift of Mrs. C. C. Bovey
Friday, December 31, 2010Sunday, May 29, 2011
Starting as early as 1900 a curiosities market blossomed in Arizona, home to the Akimel O'othom (River People) and Tohono O'odham (Desert People), that profoundly influenced their artistic production. Basketry is a tradition created out of thousands of years of perfecting techniques handed down through the generations of Native women.
While the works of the Tohono O'odham and Akimel O'othom may appear almost identical in design, style and shape, a closer look will uncover remarkable individuality and creativity unique to each tribe as well as each basket maker. The baskets on display demonstrate a dexterity and precision that required an immense amount of time, skill, and resources to produce.
This exhibition also highlights how the tourist market opened the doors for new creative expressions and stands as testament to the ability of Native peoples to adapt to radical changes that were happening around them.