Native American Basket Making
A basket weave refers to any fabric weave where the weft (or warp) of the fabric is woven into a basket-like structure. Traditionally, a basket is typically made of stiff yarns and is made using a variety of fabrics, such as wool yarn, cotton twill, and wools, while other materials like metal wire or horsehair can also be utilized. Typically, baskets are woven by hand with a loom. The basket can then be tied with a string to form a variety of attractive designs. Weaving by hand is often done because it allows for fine, even highlights in patterns.
Today, there are many types of baskets that are handmade in every part of the world. There are many Native American basket weaving traditions in which baskets are made or woven, including one particular tradition in which baskets are hung from trees. In this tradition, the weft of the basket is tied to a branch, which causes the branch to break off and drop the weft into the basket.
Native American basket making is not only about weaving baskets but also about basket making itself. As with other Native American styles and cultures, Native American basket making often involves gathering materials and creating artistic shapes and designs using different native elements. For example, geometric shapes are commonly used. Many Native American tribes, for example, have beautiful baskets that include geometric shapes such as circles, squares, triangles, and others. These shapes and others, when used in a particular way, can create an amazing array of different designs and patterns.
Basket weaving is also an important part of many Native American tribes. One type of basket that is commonly used in Native American basket making is a gourd basket. A gourd basket, sometimes called a gourd snare, has a hole in the center of it. Often times the gourd will have a small potter’s wheel sitting inside of it. This potter’s wheel is often used to fashion a simple basket into a more complex design.
The basket is very important to the Native American culture. One of the most common ways that people start a new basketry is by forming a basic frame or “starter circle” for their basket. This circle is then filled with soil, grasses, herbs, flowers, seeds, berries, leaves, and other natural fibers. It is after the starter circle is formed that most Native American basket makers fill in the rest of the basket with more natural materials, such as corn meal, sisal fibers, and chenille fibers, among others.
When Native American basket making techniques are viewed on a contemporary level, the Native American culture is seen as an important and prominent component of American Indian art, history, and culture. These baskets have played a vital role in the Native American spiritual process. Today you can find many Native American basket makers selling their handcrafted baskets online. You may also find some in local museums.