Basket : Apache Olla : Basket 10
An Apache Olla basket is a very specific kind of woven basket. Originally made to hold grain, it is generally taller than it is wide, has a full body which narrows to a smaller neck, and then gently slopes to a full open mouth. Collectors should look for a basket which is well balanced and symmetrical in both design and shape.
Apache Ollas were at their peak from 1880 - 1940. Traditionally made of willow, the Apache weaver would use Devils Claw to create the darker design.
According to one source, “Devil’s claw is a nasty plant which has ends with sharp thorn-like projections and a very tough outer skin. Weavers produced individual devil’s claw strips by running the plant through their teeth. Over time this led to grooves in their teeth.”
Here we have a fantastic Apache Olla. This piece is most unusual because it features Medicine Man and dogs in the design. It was woven in 1900-1910 and is in amazing condition.
It's been said by Navajo weavers, "If you like a piece it's not because you like it, it's because IT has chosen you."