Rare basket with ties to Geronimo to be exhibited Sept. 23 in Carson City

CARSON CITY, Nevada — A Mescalero Apache basket with a provenance to Native American leader Goyahkla, also known as Geronimo, will be discussed from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City.

The museum’s curator/tribal liaison in anthropology, Anna Camp, will be exhibiting the artifact in the museum’s demonstration gallery at that time, and visitors passing through will be able to enjoy a brief presentation. This is part of the museum’s weekly Curator’s Corner program.

Geronimo’s Chiricahua name, Goyahkla, translates to “one who yawns.” In contrast, Geronimo fiercely resisted invasion and settlement of his traditional lands in Mexico and the United States during the late 19th century. His deeds were both legendary and notorious. On Sept. 4, 1886, he was the last Native American leader to formally surrender to the United States government after numerous escapes from reservations and a final pursuit by 5,000 U.S. troops and Apache scouts.

The basket exhibited on Saturday is believed to have been woven by Geronimo’s Mescalero Apache wife, Old Boys, and was in the collection of S.L. Lee, a Carson City doctor who died in 1927. Lee, an avid collector of baskets and other items, wrote that Old Boys wove the basket. It is not known if the basket was with her and Geronimo when they surrendered in 1886.

What is known: the basket is a twined willow burden basket with darkened sumac decoration and bear grass overlay — a typical 19th century Mescalero Apache basket. Tanned buckskin fringe and edging with leather straps complete this particular artifact. Apache baskets from this period are uncommon, as Mescalero Apache weavers resisted selling baskets to outsiders as souvenirs until after the turn of the 20th century.

Museum admission is required for the program: $8 adults, free for children ages 17 and younger. All visitors and staff must wear a face covering while in the museum and maintain 6 feet of distance from others. Acrylic barriers are in place at the admissions desk, the store, and in the demonstration gallery to protect visitors. The museum is allowing visitors up to half its normal capacity to ensure social distancing. Details:

The Division of Museums and History preserves, shares, and promotes the understanding and celebration of Nevada’s natural and cultural heritage for the enrichment of all generations. The Division of Museums and History is part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.