Attributed to Susie White
Pima (Native American)
Tray, early 20th century
Willow, black devil’s-claw/martynia, cattail stems; bundle coiled with braided rim finish
7 x 26.7 cm (2 3/4 x 10 1/2 inches)
Gift of Edward B. Aldrich 18.064
Traditionally, Akimel O’Odham basket makers wove winnowing trays for separating wheat grains from chaff. These trays, usually fashioned for native use, generally measured between fifteen and twenty-five inches in diameter. Like many of its more traditional counterparts, this- smaller- than- usual tray bears a fretlike design representing a vortex, reminiscent of whirlwinds that capriciously stir up dust in the arid Gila River area of southern Arizona. The unusually fine stitch and row counts indicate the basket maker’s considerable skill. The size of this basket, combined with its fineness and perfection, indicates that it was made for commercial sale. The basket may be an example of the early work of the famous Akimel O’Odham maker of miniatures Susie White of the Sacaton/Chandler area, who wove small baskets between about 1910 and 1950.