Native American Basket: Navajo Medicine Basket : Basket 20
- Basket 20 : Navajo Medicine Basket
The Navajo used baskets for a wide variety of everyday functions such as storing food, as well as ceremonial purposes, the most well-known being wedding ceremonies. Traditional Navajo baskets feature black and red bands or triangular patterns and a braided rim. Usually, the artist would leave an opening, or spirit line, in the banded design. To make a basket, the artist creates long laces of sumac, willow or yucca by hand then weaves the basket in concentric circles from the center, alternating the laces to create patterns in the design. In recent decades, a group of Navajo weavers led by Mary Black and her family have revitalized Navajo basketry by embracing contemporary designs and incorporating Navajo symbols and vibrant colors not traditionally used in baskets. Today, Navajo basketry is an art form known for its incredible innovation and creativity as artists update an ancient craft with their unique contemporary vision.