Pictorial storage jar

North America | U.S.A.

Pictorial storage jar

U.S.A.

Figurative Olla basketry
Southwest, U.S.A.

Late 19th – early 20th century
Willow, devil’s claw
Height: 22 ¼ in. (55.5 cm)

Ex collection Galerie Bernard Dulon, Paris
Ex private collection, France

Apache Storage jar 55.5 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
Apache groups in the American Southwest produced various types of baskets, the largest variety was called an olla. Olla baskets were handcrafted in antiquity for water storage and containers for seed and corn. Liquid bearing baskets, for water and native beer (tiswin), were coated in piñon pitch to seal the interior and exterior surfaces (Roberts 1929).
As stated by Lars Krutak (Indian Arts and Crafts Board, USA), highly skilled women created these large vase-like baskets through the coiling technique, whereby three slender willow (Salix lasiandra and nigra) or cottonwood (Populus fremontii) shoots were bundled together to form a foundation or "rod." In turn, the rod was wound in a continuous spiral around itself and sewn under one of the three rods of the row or coil beneath it to eventually form the body of the basket. When new, the coils of the basket were white, but with age they appeared more golden in color. Intricate designs were sometimes interwoven between the rods with black devil's claw and red yucca root (Whiteford 1988). The exterior surfaces of these baskets were corrugated in form. Large ollas, sometimes as tall as 120 cm required two years of labor to create (Robinson 1954).
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