Yavapai Tray

H-0-31 Mescalero by Margaret Robinson.

The Apache peoples speak a branch of the Athabaskan language belonging to the Nadene family of languages, and are divided into a number of groups speaking closely related dialects. They migrated from the northern Canadian interior into the southwestern United States sometime during the late prehistoric period. The Mescalero branch settled in southern New Mexico and is one of the few tribes in New Mexico to produce basketry into the twentieth century. Mescalero baskets differ from western Apache by using materials primarily from the yucca plant as opposed to the willow and devil’s claw preferred by most of the other Apache groups (Jicarilla Apache being the other exception preferring to use either willow or sumac with dyed designs).

This cylinder basket is one of the few documented examples of Mescalero basketry to be encountered. Mrs. Corinne McNatt who, along with her husband, owed a general store at the Mescalero reservation purchased this basket from its weaver, Margaret Robinson, who wove the basket in 1960, long after it was generally thought that the Mescalero stopped making coiled baskets. The basket coils to the left and is constructed in two coiled foundation techniques: the bottom is done using traditional willow rod (Salix) and bundle foundation and the sides are done in the less common slat and bundle combination using oak wood slats (Quercus) and split yucca for the bundle in both types of coiled foundation.

A rare documented example of a Mescalero basket. 11"d. by 10 3/4"h. $850.00