The Fine Art of California Indian Basketry

The Fine Art of California Indian Basketry

by Brian Bibby
     
 

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After a search through private collections and public museums throughout the country, over sixty stunning examples of California Indian basketry were assembled for this book—some over a hundred and fifty years old, some made within the last few decades. Commenting upon each basket are native basketweavers, California Indian artists in other media, and scholars

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Overview

After a search through private collections and public museums throughout the country, over sixty stunning examples of California Indian basketry were assembled for this book—some over a hundred and fifty years old, some made within the last few decades. Commenting upon each basket are native basketweavers, California Indian artists in other media, and scholars. Together they provide exciting and intimate insights into this world of intense beauty.
For thousands of years California Indians have been making baskets, often for the most practical reasons—for use as cradles, cooking and serving vessels, winnowing trays, and dozens of other necessary functions. Over the centuries these baskets have evolved artistically as well, and many people now consider them to be among the world's most beautiful, sophisticated, and cherished art objects.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Basket weaving is an outlet for artistry and a showcase for the skills of Native Americans. These two books take different approaches to the subject, but both celebrate the talents of individuals and the difficulty of weaving in the old ways. The Hopi basketmakers responded to the interest and patience of photographer Teiwes, the author of other books on Southwest tribes, with interviews and extensive demonstrations. Because many of the old methods and materials they use are dying out, this is a valuable document. Details of the flora used, dying methods, techniques for each kind of basket, and an appreciation of the design forms used are all included. Rounding out the book are 128 of the author's photographs, 16 color plates, and a map of the Hopi lands, as well as an excellent chapter on ancient weaving in the area. Bibby is curator of an exhibit of 62 baskets judged to be the finest of their kind in California. They date from 1822 to the present, with basketmakers identified for almost all these gems. The book is the catalog for the exhibit, scheduled for the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento and the Autry Museum in Los Angeles in the spring. Bibby considers craft items as individual works of art, and these dazzling examples, shown here in color, supersede mere utility. Each basket is described, with information on the California tribe's customary forms and a sketch or photo of and interview with the maker. A simple set of clear and useful illustrations shows the different ways of coiling and twining, and a map and historical introduction are helpful. Both books are suitable for advanced crafts as well as Native American collections.-Gay Neale, Southside Virginia Community Coll., Alberta

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597142496
Publisher:
Heyday Books
Publication date:
09/15/2013
Pages:
113
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.40(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author

For more than forty years, Brian Bibby has been involved with Native communities, families, and individuals, preserving and documenting their various cultural art forms, languages, and oral histories. He has taught at a number of institutions and conducted research at museums and archives across the nation. He has also served as a consultant and guest curator for many cultural and folk arts programs. His other books include The Fine Art of California Indian Basketry, Deeper Than Gold: A Guide to Indian Life in the Sierra Foothills, and Precious Cargo: California Indian Cradle Baskets and Childbirth Traditions.

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