What Are Baskets and Where Do They Come From?

A basket is usually a simple container made of stiff twine and is made of various materials, such as wood, plastic, cane, and grass. While most baskets are created from plant fiber materials, twine can also be used in place of wood. Twine is woven by hand by individuals in different patterns to make them look attractive. With more traditional woven baskets the twine adds an elegant touch.


Basket making has been used for centuries and is still being practiced today. The use of baskets in the home has evolved to include other uses, such as a basket to carry flowers and other plants from the garden to the kitchen for pick me up. In museums, basket makers create baskets to display on their shelves. Most basket makers use a simple design, such as a simple square basket weave with straight and curved sides, a simple basket weave design to hold fresh or dry fruit, and a variety of other types of woven baskets. These woven baskets are then displayed on a shelf, hung on the wall, or used to display different objects.

The basket has been a very important part of Native American culture. A basket would not be complete without the accompanying tools. Many Native American tribes were known for their basket making traditions and used baskets to transport food, clothes, pottery, mirrors, medicine, beads and many other objects. There was even thought to be a place for the skeleton of the creator in some basket making traditions. One type of Native American basket that can still be found and used today is called a “twine basket” and was first used by the Southwest Indians to pull water in well or to collect rainwater in a gazebo.

The first true baskets were made from reed or grass roots. They would be decorated with feathers, shells, brightly colored flowers, animal bones, seeds, nuts and other items. As time passed basket making became more complex and more uniform in design and the first baskets we see today had handles on all four sides to hold different types of baskets and were hung from cords that could be tied in various styles. No longer would an Indian basket be solely for transportation of food and/or goods but it also began to be used for ceremonial purposes as well. Baskets were sometimes carried on special journeys or used during ceremonies or dances to honor the spirit of the creator.

Today there are many types of baskets. Baskets can be used to honor the spirit of the Native American or to celebrate an occasion. Basket weaving is still a big part of the Indigenous culture and many Native American tribes still use baskets as part of their cultural arts. Some even put their wishes and prayers along with the baskets on them to help protect the spirit of the creator.

In Native American culture a basket is seen as an important part of the lifestyle. Many Native American tribes consider a basket to be an important part of the journey of the “Creek Indians.” Just as the modern-day “buckle-on” is considered a way for women to gather together at a social gathering for dancing, food, songs and stories, the baskets of the early Native Americans helped them make their way through the desert and into settlements and camps. Baskets represent the journey of life and time in the Indigenous American culture.

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