Rosemarie Ramon
Horsehair Baskets

“I learned my art form at a young age from my mom, dad,
and grandma. I started picking yucca and devil’s claw with
my grandma when I was four or five. It’s a blessing to have
learned and to know.”


Cultural Community: Tohono o’odham
Location: Tucson
Rosemarie Ramon

I learned my art form at a young age from my mom, dad, and my grandma. I started by picking yucca and devil’s claw with my grandma when I was four or five.

We’d go out to different villages where it’s growing and I’d help. Later on, as I grew a little bit older my mom taught me how to weave horsehair

By the age of seventeen, I started weaving yucca and bear grass.

The Moho (Bear Grass) and Dakwi (Yucca) are a reflection of our culture. A long time ago the O’otham would use these baskets for storage. They weren’t made to sell. They used the baskets to store their food. Now I tell my kids we never used to make our baskets this small.  A lot of them were really big baskets that’s why when you go to museums you see the big baskets and nowadays you don’t see those anymore. 

It’s a blessing to have learned and to know how to make them. It’s good because now I can teach my children and grandchildren. 

Beadwork and shellwork have been in our culture for a long time and people often incorporate them in their baskets. The shells come from the ocean, and the ocean to us is really sacred. We used to have warriors that would run to the ocean to pray to the ocean and they would bring back salt. To us, salt is like a medicine and we use it for ceremonies.