Papago Basket
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WAYNE'S WORD Volume 8 (Number 1) Spring 1999

A Papago Basket

Like famous rugs and blankets of the Navajo, baskets of the Papago are well-known for their durability, beauty and intricate designs. The four basic colors in the baskets are white, black, green (greenish-yellow) and red. White is from sun-bleached dried yucca leaves (often from Yucca elata), while green (greenish yellow) is from unbleached dried yucca leaves. A red dye obtained from yucca roots is sometimes used to color the leaves. The black patterns are from the horns of devil's claw seed pods (Proboscidea parviflora ssp. parviflora).

A Papago basket and the dried seed capsule of the pink-flowered devil's claw (Proboscidea parviflora ssp. parviflora). The white patterns are from dried, sun-bleached yucca leaves (Yucca elata). Narrow strips from the devil's claw pod are used for the striking black designs.

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