Everything there is to know about traditional Native American basket weaving.
Native American basket weaving is an intricate and powerful art, representative of the legends and ceremonies of the Indian nations and their cultures. George Wharton James’s Indian Basketry is an invaluable aid for the artist, designer, craftsman, or beginner who wants to recreate authentic and often extinct basket forms and decorative motifs of the Native American peoples.
Filled with 355 illustrations and photographs of Native American basket weavers taken at the turn of the twentieth century, this pioneering study—first published in 1901—provides in-depth information about specific aspects of Indian basketry, including:
• Its role in legend and ceremony
• The origins of forms and designs
• Materials and colors used
• Weaves and stitches
• The symbolism and poetry woven into each basket
• Tips for the collector
• And much more!
From Yolo ceremonial baskets to Oraibi sacred trays, Indian Basketry traces the origin, development, and fundamental principles of the basket designs of the major Indian tribes of the southwestern United States and Pacific Coast, along with comments on the basket weaving of a number of other North American tribes.
To me this is a damnable state of affairs. If prior possession entitles one to any right in land, then the Indian owns the land of the United States by prior right. The so-called argument that because the Indian is not wisely using the land, and that therefore he stands in the way of progress and must be removed, and further, that we, the people of the United States, are the providentially appointed instruments for that removal, is to me so sophistical, so manifestly insincere, so horribly cruel, that I have little patience either to listen or reply to it.
If this be true, what about the vast holders of land whom our laws cherish and protect? Are they holding the land for useful and good purposes? Are they “helping on the cause of civilization” by their merciless and grasping control of the millions of acres they have generally so unlawfully and immorally secured? Thousands, nay millions, of acres are held by comparatively few men, without one thought for the common good. The only idea in the minds of these men is the selfish one: “What can I make out of it?”
Let us be honest with ourselves and call things by their proper names in our treatment of the weaker race. If the Indian is in the way and we are determined to take his land from him, let us at least be manly enough to recognize ourselves as thieves and robbers, and do the act as the old barons of Europe used to do it, by force of arms, fairly and cheerfully: “You have these broad acres: I want them. I challenge you to hold them: to the victor belongs the spoils.” Then the joust began. And he who was the stronger gained the acres and the castle.
All the height it has
Of ancient stone.
As the chime ceases there lingers for a space a faint musical hum in the air; the stones seem to carry and retain the melody; one is loath to move for fear of losing some part of the harmony.
I feel an indescribable impulse to climb the four hundred odd steps; incomprehensible, for I detest steeple-climbing, and have no patience with steeple-climbers.
Before I realize it, I am at the stairs. "Hold, sir!" from behind me. "It is forbidden." In wretched French a weazen-faced little soldier explains that repairs are about to be made in the tower, in consequence of which visitors are forbidden. A franc removes this military obstacle, and I press on.