Native American Baskets

New Mexico Arts invited New Mexican Native American basket weavers to attend a two-day gathering at the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs’ Los Luceros Mansion in Alcalde, north of Española. The goals were to begin a dialogue among basket weavers of various tribes and Pueblos, and assess the state and future of Native basket weaving in New Mexico.

Many native basket weavers were identified and invited, and eighteen came to the gathering and several brought family members. Eight Jicarilla Apache weavers and six Pueblo weavers from the Rio Grande Basket Weavers Association attended, representing five different Pueblos. Two Navajos, including one young Navajo desiring to learn the art form and a well known and respected basket weaver from the Monument Valley of Utah, attended as did two San Carlos Apache women from Arizona.

Most of the weavers experimented and tried their hands at each other’s different styles and techniques. Eric Blinman, Director of the New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies, demonstrated the nearly lost art of making yucca fiber for basketry.