Our Artifact of the Month for May 2014 is on loan from the Schoonover family, in memory of Grace Schoonover.
This basket has been waterproofed with pine pitch. It is lightweight and difficult to break – a perfect water vessel for a mobile people like the Apache.
Larger vessels of this type could be used for cooking, though they were never placed directly on the fire. Stones were heated in the fire and added to the basket until the temperature was high enough to cook the ingredients. As the stones cooled they were replaced with more hot ones.
Grace once used this water jar as the centerpiece of an exhibit that included a recipe for rabbit stew. The first step was, of course, “Catch a rabbit.”