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People & Life Ways
Riches, Ranching & Railroads

Native American Basketmaking

Baskets were an important part of Native American survival in the Nevada deserts.  Baskets helped with food gathering, food storage, and food cooking.  Water and babies were carried in baskets.

The coming of Euro-American settlers changed the native lifestyle.  Baskets were less important because metal pots and glass bowls could be used instead.

In the early twentieth century people became interested in baskets and other crafts made by Native Americans.  The skill of basketmaking was revived.  The new baskets, however, were different from the baskets of the past.  To please the non-native buyers, the baskets were more decorative.  They were not intended to be used for work, but to be put on display and admired for their beauty.

Photo Credits:
1: Lost City Museum
2: Nevada State Museum and Historical Society