Apache Trays -Pictorial Dogs and People c. 1890
Apache trays come in many forms which can range from flat to slightly curved to almost a bowl shape. The Apache trays which have pictorial elements, dogs, horses, and or people are the most valuable.
Apache Polychrome c. 1890
If the elements are done in a third color which is red, generally a deeper red, made from yucca root the baskets are called polychrome Apache baskets and they bring a premium.
Apache Geometric Trays c. 1890
Almost all old apache baskets main coloration will be a yellow foundation. This yellow color is derived from willow shoots which are originally white but over time the sun oxidizes the willow stitches to a nice mellow yellow coloration.
Apache Tray c. 1940
More modern Apache Baskets (which are still being made) are made out of traditional materials but the willow stitch is a whitish coloration. The patination of the older baskets is one of the key elements that helps in dating apache baskets
Apache Basket c. 1940
The Apache trays were original made for winnowing grain or in food usage. After the railroads arrived and the Apaches were placed in permanent reservations, the needs of the Apache people changed and these trays were then made for the tourist trade. Inexpensive metal trays and bowls could now be purchases at trading posts and the Apache's sold their baskets for money or trade.
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