This is a huge, San Carlos Apache Water Basket (TUS) from the 19th century. Handles are made from old, horse levers and the basket measures nearly 17 inches tall and 14 inches wide. This basket was acquired from the estate of a man that worked among the San Carlos Apache at the turn of the century.
The TUS was an important part of desert culture since water could not be easily transported wth pottery or other materials. These baskets were intricately woven before being coated with piñon pine pitch to serve as a water proofing agent. Apache TUS are commonly made from willow rods with twig, horse lever, or horse hair handles, coated with pinon pine pitch to water proof.
This basket still has a good amount of pinon pine pitch and is in remarkable good condition for it’s age. Personally, I have never seen a TUS basket this large.