Ogg talks history of Yavapai baskets at Phippen Museum
PRESCOTT- It was standing room only at the Phippen Museum on Saturday as Jeff Ogg, a collector and appraiser of Native American artifacts, presented a lecture on the history of Yavapai baskets.
More than 100 people gathered at the museum, 4701 Highway 89 North, to take part in the event and see authentic Yavapai baskets from Ogg's collection.
Ogg has a degree in anthropology and spent 25 years buying and selling Native American arts and crafts for the Fred Harvey Company out of the Grand Canyon area.
William Randolph Hearst had a large collection of Native American baskets and was one of the company's largest purchasers of Native American artifacts, Ogg said.
"Jeff is a great authority locally on Native American arts and crafts - especially Yavapai arts and crafts," museum volunteer coordinator James Ward said. "All of the talks that we do have to do with Arizona and local history. We want people to come to the museum and learn about Prescott and Arizona."
According to Ogg, Yavapai baskets are extremely rare and can sell for thousands of dollars.
"A lot of the value depends on the fineness of the weave, the intricacy of the design and sometimes who made them," Ogg said. "There are distinctive styles that point to a certain maker."
Some of the common features seen in Yavapai baskets are the large neck with a black rim, a large star on the bottom of the basket, and the use of negative and positive pattern scheme.
The Yavapai used yucca root, Devil's claw and willow to weave their baskets, Ogg said. Baskets could take up to two years to make.
"These baskets were treasured by the Native Americans and still are to this day," Ogg said. "Nobody knows the time and effort that goes into making these like the Native people."
A common, and quite surprising, design often seen in Yavapai and many Native American baskets is the swastika, Ogg said. Native Americans called the design the "whirling log."
After the presentation, attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and take a closer look at the numerous baskets that Ogg brought to the lecture. Many of the baskets on display were around 100 years old.
Ogg is also the owner of Ogg's Hogan Trading Post at 111 N. Cortez St. in Prescott. Ogg's grandfather opened the first Ogg's Hogan in Wickenburg in 1949.
For more information on the museum and upcoming events, visit www.phippenartmuseum.org or call (928) 778-1385.
Follow Tamara Sone on Twitter @PDCtsone