111004-01 Hopi Indian Wicker Tray, c.1970
2" x 15"
With strong colors; an outstanding large example of Hopi wicker basketry. Typically displayed as a wall hanging, trays like this were a traditional dance item with the Hopi girls lining up, holding the basket in front of themselves, and all moving the baskets together. In early days, these were often thrown to the crowd in a "give-away" ceremony ... but their high collector value today has greatly reduced that aspect of the ceremony.
Wicker plaques—often colorfully dyed—are popular items among collectors of Hopi arts and crafts. They are used domestically at Hopi to hold foods, including ground corn, corn on the cob, and piki bread, and ceremonially to hold prayer sticks, prayer feathers, and bean sprouts. Wicker plaques figure prominently in Hopi wedding ceremonies and women’s ceremonial dances, and are given away at the Bean Dance and katsina dances. Both geometric forms and more representational imagery woven into wicker plaques bear symbolic significance, conveying important cultural values and beliefs.