These baskets are woven by both the Navajo and Paiute weavers of the Southwest. They are made entirely out of sumac with the design made from natural or aniline dyes.
In the design itself, the center means the beginning of life with the black symbolizing clouds or mountains of the inner and outer worlds. The red is the light of the sun with the entire design opening to allow the people to emerge. Another interpretation is that the outer black design is the male, the inner black design is the female, and the red is the power that brings them together. The opening, as in the Navajo rugs, acts as a door to let the spirits out.
This basket is used in ceremonies for prosperity, healing and growth.