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WHAT THE BASKET MEANS TO THE INDIAN : Page 168


Civilized man has yet to discover a use for the fretful porcupine, but Indian women have used its quills for centuries to embroider designs on household articles made of skin and bark. The Pimas and Apaches, living in the alkali desert of Arizona, utilize the "cat claws," the hard, stiff, black seed vessels of one of the few plants that can grow on their arid reservations, to weave the Greek key pattern, the mystical Swastika of India and Egyptian-like geometric, symbolic designs into their wonderful willow baskets. How much beauty would you and I attempt to put into our cooking utensils and articles of commonest household use with such a pitiful poverty of material ?

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