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The Tarahumara Baskets…Amazing


Tarahumara women weaving baskets above Copper Canyon.

There are several crafts which the Tarahumara in Copper Canyon produce- some just for their use and most for sale to tourists. There are fabric and woven goods. There are some musical instruments. Often you will see some youngsters who have picked up agates or other special rocks and are making some change selling them.

The most notable of the crafts is certainly the woven baskets. They are made right on the spot in most cases and almost completely fromaterials gathered in the canyons.

Usually the basic weaving material is of two plants: the long needles of local pines and the levaes of sotol split into strips 1/16th to 1/2 inch in width- depending on the size and design of the basket.

Sometimes dyes are used on one or both of the weaving materials and so you will see orange, red, blue, black, brown, purple, etc. Some of these tints come from soils or other plants and some are artificial- purchased in Creel or some other source.

The weaving is fun to watch. Usually they start with the base and typically the baskets are double walled. Seems to me the skill is in keeping them round.

Often when you get a basket they smell of fresh pine. When we are on an excursion headed at the end for the border, the van will have a pleasant woodsy aroma from recently purchased baskets.

Baskets will range in price based on size, design, and intricacy. Lower end baskets that are 3-4 inches tall will be about 20-30 pesos (about 3 dollars) and larger ones that get as large as 12-14 inches in diameter can be 12-15 dollars.

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