Apache Basket Info

 *** 46th Anniversary 1969-2015 of our American Indian Art Gallery now located in Aliso Viejo, California ***

Nation's largest selection of Antique American Indian Art,  Navajo Rugs and Navajo Blankets and old antique American Indian baskets

Jeff Wood, President ; Len Wood, Founder (Retired)

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We Buy and Sell Estate Collections of Antique American Indian Art


NEW ADDRESS : 36 Argonaut, Suite 120 , Aliso Viejo CA 92656 Open Mon-Fri 11-4 By Appointment Only ; Online Catalog/Shopping Cart Open 24/7




Len Wood's
Indian Territory, Inc.

Jeff Wood, President
The Nation's largest

selection of Navajo Rugs, Indian Baskets and Antique

American Indian Art


Len Wood's

36 Argonaut , Suite 120

Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

phone: (949) 497-5747 
orders: (800) 579-0860
(email orders anytime;

 phone orders Mon-Fri

 11-4 Pacific Time )


Gallery Open By Appointment Only

Mon-Fri 11-4

Pacific Time




  Brief Overview of Apache Basketry  
Of all the baskets of the southwest region , early three rod coiled Apache baskets of the Western Apache and Yavapai Apache are the most collectible.

While coarse twined burden baskets are still woven today, Apache fine coiled willow basketry on the three rod foundation died with the Great Depression of the 1930's.  A number of influences converged at this time.  Tourism to the Southwest slowed. The basket collectors market dropped off as wealthy collectors bought up existing collections of basketry from "less liquid" collectors.  The Industrial Revolution produced  cheap pots and pans so labor intensive basketry was no longer practical or necessary culturally.  Apache children were sent to government schools and discouraged from traditional weaving.

An artform perfected over thousands of years was lost in a decade as weavers took up new lines of work .  Generally, only the relatively quickly made open weave single rod burden baskets continued to be made for the tourist industry.

When the economy and interest in basket collecting returned after World War II, fine three rod coiled basketry had disappeared; there was no economic incentive to spend months weaving fine basketry in the new inflationary economy.For these reasons , all the Apache baskets listed on our website--unless otherwise specified--date from approx. 1875/1885 (the beginning of the collector period) through 1930 (the end of fine coiled basketry.)

Visually , Apache baskets are striking with strong contrast in color and bold geometric or pictorial (less common) motifs .  Being on a three rod foundation makes the baskets tight, stiff and sturdy with no bend to them, and yields rounded well-defined coils that stand out.  (By contrast, Pima baskets of Southern Arizona  which use the same external willow and martynia are coiled on a grass bundle foundation yielding "flatish" coils.) Pimas --which are also relatively more common and were somewhat more quickly made than the Apaches--often run about one-third the price of a similar size, form and weave of the more desired Apache. Mint, early Pima trays might start in the mid hundreds with the best mint Apache trays starting in the low thousands.



Plant materials used by Apache weavers

Willow shoots -- sized, peeled (whitish originally, patinated to golden tan /light brown in all early examples).  Rarely, sunburnt willow is used in decoration.

Martynia/devilsclaw seed pod --black/dark brown;used in design

Yucca root--used sparingly in a small percentage of Apache baskets; brick red in color.  


 Always Buying Old / Antique American Indian Items : Navajo Rugs and Navajo Blankets,  Indian Baskets and other Native American Indian items!


(Please note that all items are subject to availability and that prices are subject to change without notice. Photos and information may be re-used with email or written permission only. (Email: info@indianterritory.com)  Websites are free to link to this page or any pages on our site but may not copy and publish any photos or information on their sites without email or written authorization from Len Wood's Indian Territory.    Thank you.)

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