G-0-83

G-0-83 Yavapai olla.

The Yavapai are a Yuman speaking people whose language is a closely related dialect to that of the Havasupai and Hualapai. The Yavapai lived south of these two groups in what is now west central Arizona and their name means "People of the Sun". They are divided into four sub-tribal groups: Tolkapaya, Kwevekapaya, Wipukpaya and Yevepe but it is difficult to separate out their respective basketry their body of work is collectively referred to as Yavapai. They were politically allied with the Apache but were not related to them. Their basketry is very similar to that of the Apache and is frequently misidentified as Apache work. The differences between Yavapai and Apache basketry are subtle but often distinct (admittedly some cannot be told apart). Generally, the Yavapai make a heavier use of devils claw in their weaving resulting in a roughly equal ration between light and dark material. When human and animal figures appear on a Yavapai basket they often can be found in both a negative and positive treatment. Also on olla shaped baskets the necks are often quite short and wide in proportion to the rest of the jar minimizing the impact of the shoulder.

This olla exhibits a classic Yavapai form and a very close ratio of black to white in its geometric pattern making this basket very distinctly Yavapai and much less likely Apache. Coiling is to the left using three peeled rods of willow (Salix) for the foundation of the coil. Sewing splints are split peeled cottonwood (Populus) for the white and split devils claw (Proboscidea) for the black.

A visually bold and classic example from this important southwestern tribe, this olla measures 7 1/2"d. by 7"h. Circa 1940. $4,500.00