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Basket Materials

Tohono O'odham baskets are handmade using the native plants of the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona. No dyes are used on Tohono O'odham baskets; weavers rely solely on the natural colors of desert plants. Sustainably collecting, growing and preparing these natural fibers require respect for and knowledge about the natural world. Before a weaver places the first stitch, she has to spend countless hours harvesting and preparing her materials.

 

 

Beargrass

The coil - or warp - of the basket is made of beargrass, a long, narrow green grass with razor sharp edges and a flowing stalk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White & Green Yucca

Yucca Elata is used to create the white and green stitches - or weft - of each basket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devil's Claw

The black stictches are made from Devil's Claw, a cultivated plant whose pod dries to a naturally black color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few of the most traditional baskets still use desert willow and cattail. Miniature baskets are often made out of horsehair.