Vintage, Basket,
Burden style, with hide dangles and metal cones.
Traditional design from
San Carlos Apache tribe
Mary Jane Dudley.

Acquired in 2001.

13" deep x 14" wide at top.
3 3/4" wide at base.
25" long hide

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Orders from Florida will include 6% sales tax, which will be rebated if not applicable

For years a "burden basket" was just used for carrying things like food and wood. With the
basket slung on the wearer's back and secured
by a strap across the forehead, and hide strips bearing metal jingles, managing a burden
was both easier to carry and protected
from hungry critters. Such baskets were
functional, but often were decorated as works
of art, perhaps to "lighten" the load. Their individual touches and accents enhanced their attractiveness to collectors both within and
outside tribal cultures.

Apache burden basket weaving faded in
popularity during the during the Great
Depression, when affordable commercial containers became easier to acquire and
Apache children were removed from
opportunities to learn basketweaving

In recent years, Native American
basketweaving has had a re-surgence.
Mary Jane Dudley of the San Carlos
Apache band has benefitted from the
market for work by excellent artisans.

Burden baskets also play a major role
in Apache culture. They are worn ceremonially
by young girls passing into womanhood.
A great amount of time, skill and patience
goes into the process of harvesting cottonwood branches, and collecting willow strips and
devil's claw to weave into the design. All
these components must be "cured" to
become pliable enough to weave.

Mary Jane Dudley created her first basket
at the tender age of 13 under the tutelage
of her mother, Evelyn Henry, who in turn
had learned from Mary Jane's grandmother,
Cecilia Henry.

This time-consuming and painstaking process
is thus handed down through generations. It is deeply woven into San Carlos Apache culture.
For the artist, no price is great enough to
fully compensate for the time and tradition
that goes into a basket.

Fortunately, it is also a labor of love.


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Native Baskets




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