The Fine Art of California Indian Basketry

Paperback, 8.5 x 11,
128 pages, with 80 color
photographs, 40 black-and-
white photographs, maps,
and illustrations.
ISBN: 9781597142496.

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Edited by Brian Bibby

After a search through private collections and public museums throughout the country, over sixty stunning examples of California Indian basketry were assembled for this book—some almost two hundred years old, some made within the last few decades. Commenting upon each basket are native basket weavers, California Indian artists in other media, and scholars. Together they provide exciting and intimate insights into this world of subtle yet intense beauty.

For thousands of years California Indians have been making baskets, often for the most practical reasons—for use as cradles, cooking and serving vessels, winnowing trays, and dozens of other necessary functions. Over the centuries these baskets have evolved artistically as well, and many people now consider them to be among the world’s most beautiful, sophisticated, and cherished art objects.

Published in conjunction with the Crocker Art Museum.


For more than forty years, Brian Bibby has been involved with Native communities, families, and individuals, preserving and documenting their various cultural art forms, languages, and oral histories. He has taught at a number of institutions and conducted research at museums and archives across the nation. He has also served as a consultant and guest curator for many cultural and folk arts programs. His other books include The Fine Art of California Indian Basketry, Deeper Than Gold: A Guide to Indian Life in the Sierra Foothills, and Precious Cargo: California Indian Cradle Baskets and Childbirth Traditions.