chapter  5
21 Pages

Southwestern Arts and Crafts

ByZdenek Salzmann, Joy M. Salzmann

It has been said that when it comes to Native American arts and crafts, the Southwest is one of the richest culture areas of the continent. According to the Navajo, their women learned how to weave from Spider Woman, and how to make a loom from Spider Man. Buyers are well advised to purchase Navajo rugs directly from the weavers themselves or from reputable sources such as museum shops, established trading posts, or well-known retailers of Navajo rugs. Basket weaving in the Southwest is a skill that goes back at least 8,000 years. In the past, baskets served both ceremonial and utilitarian functions and were indispensable before pottery was made. Kachina dolls traditionally have been made from the roots of dead cottonwood trees. In the course of the twentieth century, kachina dolls have become more and more elaborate.