Both useful and beautiful, Native American baskets have been an indigenous art form for literally thousands of years. The oldest remains have been dated to over 10,000 years ago, but most of the baskets that survive in collections today were made after the arrival of Columbus and before the end of the 19th century. Baskets are usually made from untwisted or twisted strands of natural fibers. They can be sewn using the coiling method or woven using plaiting or twining techniques.

Those made in the late 18th and 19th centuries exhibited the growing influence and European forms and materials. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Native Americans mostly stopped making baskets altogether, as tribes became increasingly fragmented and American goods became pervasive. The craft reemerged in the 20th century as primarily a decorative art, making baskets marketable commodities rather than functional goods.


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