P-0-39 Fine oval Chemehuevi tray.

The Chemehuevi are a small tribe whose traditional territory was the Mohave Desert of southern California although their primary territory was in the eastern Mohave Desert between Needles in the north and Parker to the south. They traditionally spoke the Numic branch of the Paiute language, which belongs to the Uto-Aztecan linguistic family.

Because of their small population they produced fewer baskets than many other tribes but the quality of their baskets was exceptional, displaying beautifully controlled weaves along with elegant forms and simple yet aesthetically pleasing designs. The Chemehuevi weaver also took great care in processing her materials before weaving so the materials themselves tend to be even and fine.

This finely woven oval tray has a classic polychrome design done in black and yellow diamonds. The fine weave of this tray 6 coils to the linear inch and up to 14 stitches per linear inch) and the design content all suggest an accomplished weaver such as Mary Smith who often used polychrome diamond designs. Coiling is to the right using three peeled willow rods (Salix) for the foundation of the coil. The sewing splints are split peeled willow for the white, split devils claw (Proboscidea) for the black and split reed (Juncus) for the yellow. This basket does have some slight staining in the bottom as can be seen in the photograph but is still a worthy example.

9 1/4" L. by 7 1/4"w. by 2"deep. Circa 1920. $695.00