HOPI TRAY BASKET
Traditional Hopi Man and Woman
From their mesas in northeastern Arizona, the Hopi have created baskets of very high quality and variety. As in other Native American cultures, baskets have both a utilitarian and ceremonial use. Hopi basketry is distinguished from other Pueblo basketry by their use of deep and bright colors. The Hopi people live in twelve separate villages, or adobe pueblos, in northeastern Arizona. Old Oraibi village, on Third Mesa, has been occupied continuously since about AD 1150, making it the oldest continuously occupied village in the United States. The Hopis, like the Navajos, have actively resisted assimilation into Spanish, Mexican, and American culture. Today most of the Hopis still maintain a traditional worldview. Baskets are important elements in their religious and social ceremonies, associated with the annual corn harvest, rainmaking activities, and rites of passage. Utilitarian baskets, such as the one shown below, are used in the preparation and serving of numerous traditional foods. According to ethnologists, art experts, and collectors, Hopi baskets are among the finest produced by the Southwest’s native cultures.