Object: Basket

E_1979_1_17

E/1979/1/17
Akimel O’odham: Basket
North America
c. 1920
Material: Yucca, devil’s claw

This is an Akimel O’odham (or Pima) basket from the early 20th century. It is made of coiled yucca and devil’s claw. The Akimel O’odham are known for their skilled basket-weaving as well as the use of Squash Blossom and similar designs like the one on this basket. The Akimel O’odham are a group of American Indians living in an area consisting of what is now mapcentral and southern Arizona (USA) and Sonora (Mexico). The name means “river people.” They are thought to be culturally descended from the group archaeologically known as the Hohokam. The term Hohokam is a derivative of the O’odham words “Huhugam” (pronounced hoo-hoo-gahm) which is literally translated as “those who have gone before” but meaning “the ancestors.”

Currently, the majority of the population is based in the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC), although in historic times a large number of Akimel O’Odham migrated north to occupy the banks of the Salt River and formed the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Both tribes are confederations of two distinct cultures that include the Maricopa.

[Loree Mcdonald]

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