What is this?

  • Folks you have to check this out. I was so intrigued when I saw this “thing” I had to know what it was and where it came from. After lots of research, turns out it comes from an amazing plant called Devil’s Claw. Many believe it was first cultivated by the Hohokams a thousand years ago. The name came about because the inner woody capsule splits open at one end and produces two curved claws. It’s a perennial plant and grows wild throughout the Sonoran Desert into Texas and parts of Mexico. It has been cultivated for food, medicinal purposesand for making baskets. A cluster of devil's claw seed capsules provide the black designs you see in Native American made baskets. To preserve the black color of the claws for basket making, it is stored in a dark area and treated with ashes. The dried claws are sharp but when soaked in water and striped into long strands it provides a strong pliant fiber.  It's a very time-consuming which was very utilitarian for any years.  Now these baskets are a highly-prized art form.  The history of Devil’s Claw is such an interesting piece of Native American life.