The Tarahumara, one of the largest indigenous tribes in North America, live in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Their basketry is twilled; the technique involves passing the weft over several warp elements to create a diagonal pattern. These miniature Tarahumara baskets were woven in a single layer with dried pine needles, the effect incredibly intricate and beautiful. They have lids that are attached with narrow, woven straps. While some of the Tarahumara inhabit the gorges of the Sierra Madre, the majority are concentrated in the pine tree covered highlands, where this trio of baskets were made.
Due their size, these baskets are often referred to as "seed baskets," used to store seeds between growing seasons. Two of the square baskets measure 1 1/2 inches in height and 1 1/2 inches square; the one with the dark dyed needles is 1/8 inch larger in height and on all sides. The other basket with dyed needles contains dried herbs. These baskets date from the 1980's; we've included a more recent photo of a Tarahumara woman with her baskets. The workmanship on these baskets is so fine, especially when considering their diminutive sizes. They are all in excellent condition, with no breaks or missing pieces, each one a delight to own.