Tucson Festival of Books

Diane Dittemore


Woven from the Center: Native Basketry in the Southwest

In the beginning was basketry. Around the world, the intertwining of fibers by hand to form a container is a most ancient of crafts. It is older than pottery and metalwork, older than loom weaving.

Woven from the Center presents breathtaking basketry from some of the greatest weavers in the Southwest. Each sandal and mat fragment, each bowl and jar, every water bottle and whimsy is infused with layers of aesthetic, cultural, and historical meanings. This book offers stunning photos and descriptions of woven works from Tohono O’odham, Akimel O’odham, Hopi, Western Apache, Yavapai, Navajo, Pai, Paiute, New Mexico Pueblo, Eastern Apache, Seri, Yaqui, Mayo, and Tarahumara communities.

This richly illustrated volume stands on its own as a definitive look at basketry of the Greater Southwest, including northern Mexico. It also serves as a companion to the peerless collection of U.S. Southwest and Northwest Mexican Native American basketry curated at the Arizona State Museum in Tucson, Arizona. Comprehensive in its coverage, this work is based on decades of research on weavers, collectors, and donors. It includes ample illustrations of basket weavers, past and present, bringing to life the people behind these wonderful woven treasures.