History photo: Armida Mattia, basketweaver

Photo courtesy Maricopa Historical Society

Born in 1946 in Ak-Chin, Armida Mattia learned the art of O’odham basketweaving from her grandmother. Her baskets have been presented to governors, senators and presidents. In 2004, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian purchased one of Armida’s baskets for its collection.

Last year, her baskets were among those donated to the Maricopa Historical Society by local historian Patricia Brock. Ak-Chin’s Oral History division of the museum set up a meeting between Armida Mattia and the MHS Collections Committee.

Armida identified many of the baskets as hers by the stitch that was made and stated she used mainly yucca, black devil’s claw, bear grass and cat tails when weaving the baskets. A two-part owl basket and a large basket made especially for Harry and Patricia Brock are among the many baskets she wove.

Patricia gifted several baskets to the Maricopa Historical Society for safe keeping for the people of Maricopa.

This item appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.