Collection:
Select Photos from Arizona Native Basketry Traditions

Published by Arizona State Museum

This collection highlights select images from the Gila River Akimel O'odham, San Carlos Apache, and White Mountain Apache basket making process, as photographed by Helga Teiwes.

On April 12, 1973, Helga Teiwes visited the Gila River Indian Reservation, near Bapchule, Arizona, to document Julia Francisco's basket making processes. She photographed the gathering, cleaning, drying, and stripping of basket making supplies, such as willow, devil's claw, and martynia, as well as the creation of a woven basket depicting a squash blossom design. Helga later returned on August 17, 1973, to observe the Cattail Harvest at Stanfield Ditch, where she documented Julia Francisco cutting and collecting cattail, a plant commonly used in her basket making.

In May 1984, Helga photographed various basket making processes of the Apache culture of Whiteriver and San Carlos. During this trip, she photographed the gathering locations where common plant materials are collected for use in basket making. She also documented Joanna Taylor cutting and collecting willow for use in basket weaving and Viola Taylor preparing materials and intricately weaving willow baskets.

On the same trip, she highlighted the basketry of Cecilia Henry from Peridot, Arizona and Minnie Narcisco, from Cibecue, Arizona, who proudly display their burden baskets.

Helga Teiwes worked for the Arizona State Museum from 1964-1993, documenting Southwest American Indian culture and arts, archaeological excavations, and the Museum's collections. Her photographs have appeared internationally in numerous exhibitions and publications, which are highlighted, along with her biography, at http://www.statemuseum.arizona.edu/exhibits/helga/intro.php.

Helga Teiwes