Once made for every day use in collecting or gathering wild foods, or to cultivate crops like corn, the Burden Basket of the Apache Tribe is one of the most quickly recognized items pertaining to Native American cultures today.
The Apaches, traditionally nomadic hunters and food gatherers, first used burden baskets woven by women to carry firewood, roots, or berries. The tassels, typically made from deer or cow skin, were mainly for ceremonial or decorative use, while the tin featured at the bottom of the tassels was placed for ornamentation, or to ward off snakes while gathering.
Today, however, burden baskets are made to sell, or for special use during a young girl’s puberty ceremony, or “sunrise dance,” as many now call it.
While we here at Palms treasure each relationship we have with the artists we work with daily, there are some artists, having worked with them over decades, and whom we see often, we feel special bonds with. Our August Artist Spotlight potter, Anita “Pauline” Romero, is one of those artists.
Of the various usages of owl symbolism, Native American religions and their shaman priests have placed upon the bird numerous spiritual associations.
It isn’t always easy to tell if Pueblo pottery is real, damaged or a knockoff. Faux and poorly made Pueblo pots are sometimes sold to unsuspecting consumers in stores, and other venues. With that in mind, how does a collector know if the pottery has a crack hidden under the glaze where they cannot see it? What should one look for when buying Pueblo pottery? Consider the following tips from pottery expert and author Guy Berger, owner of Palms Trading Company in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Famous San Ildefonso potter and the woman responsible for the renaissance of Pueblo pottery, Maria Martinez, used seven different signatures at various points in her career. Many of our customers have expressed interest in knowing how the signatures relate to the time period in which a pot was made. To explain, we have borrowed excerpts from the book,“The Legacy of Maria Poveka Martinez,” by Richard Spivey.
At Palms, we feel it is our privilege and our obligation to stay informed and educated regarding the various facets of our business and the products we sell. We also know it is important to pass this knowledge on to you, our valued customers. As turquoise has gained popularity throughout the years, particularly in the fashion world, we would like to take this opportunity to provide some insight into the value of turquoise so that, if you would like to incorporate this stone into your wardrobe, you are able to make the best possible decisions. The following information has been paraphrased from the publication Turquoise Annual: Volume I from the year 1976.
Throughout history, Native Americans have placed high regard on symbolism, ceremonies, and preserving tradition and culture. Here, we outline just a few samples of some interesting stories and symbols from several Native American cultures, pueblos and tribes.