This vintage wicker basket is an example of a traditional feature of Hopi life, ceremonial, and social.
Wicker plaques, like this one, are made on Third Mesa of the Hopi land, and were used as ” a kind of currency, within the community”, as one expert has written; given as thanks, gifts, and awards.
This plaque probably dates from the 1950’s-’60″s, and has very lovely color; the front has faded with time into a soft, misty palette, but the back displays a more vivid display of the original rainbow hues.
Basketry is becoming a lost art among the southwestern tribes, with fewer and fewer young people willing to put in the time, effort, and considerable apprentice period required.
This attractive plaque is an authentic example of an ancient craft, turned into an art form. The wicker is from natural sumac shrubs.
It still has the original, yellowed tag on it, proving that the old pieces we still have are not changed in price from when we acquired them.
Displayed on either side, in a table stand, hung on the wall, or flat, this is a very appealing, and unusually colorful example of Hopi culture.