Collecting and Change in Native American Basketry

Native American baskets

Based on early evidence, we know that prior to contact with European cultures, the basket-making tribes of the American West had created a repertoire of basket shapes and design elements specific, if not unique, to each tribal grouping. Tribal customs and artistic traditions dictated that basketry styles remained rather constant over time with little emphasis on experimentation or innovation. The volatile impact which Euro-Americans had on the native cultures was eventually reflected in the material culture of the various tribal groups, basketry being no exception.