Sweetgrass Baskets and the Gullah Tradition

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Arcadia Publishing, 2005 - 128 pages
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The ancient African art of sweetgrass basket making has been practiced for more than 300 years in the Christ Church Parish of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Seen on the roadways of Charleston County and in museums and galleries worldwide, these unique handmade baskets are crafted from sweetgrass, bullrush, pine needles, and palm leaves. Traditionally, artisans use a piece of the rib bone of a cow and a pair of scissors as their only tools for construction. When English settlers founded Christ Church Parish in the late 1600s, they saw a place rich in natural beauty and ideal for harvesting rice, cotton, and indigo. Skilled agricultural laborers were needed, and consequently, South Carolina became the top importer of enslaved West Africans. Finding a landscape similar to their homeland, those who came kept many of their traditional practices. Today, the richness of the West African presence can be seen in Charleston's architecture, basketry, and ironworks.

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I love the book very much,I learned more about the history of the sweetgrass baskets.You really did a remarkable job.

Contents

Acknowledgments
6
Introduction
7
Ancient African Art
9
Gullah
19
The Cultural Repository
25
Historical Happenings
35
Flowers and Other Vendors
47
House Food and Medicine
61
Migration to Success
71
The Institution of Hope
79
Churches and Religious Traditions
89
Just Ordinary People
97
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Author Joyce V. Coakley presents this remarkable pictorial history of a fascinating art and people. She is a Mount Pleasant native, expert basket maker, writer, and historian.

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