Sweetgrass Basketmakers

During the past century, as the economic suitability of some traditional crafts have declined, cultural tenacity has encouraged others to survive. A leading example is the production of sea grass, or sweetgrass, baskets along the coast of South Carolina. With roots in West Africa, this African American tradition followed the contours of rice culture, which spread along tidal rivers as far as North Carolina and northern Florida. Today, sweetgrass basketry is concentrated in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and in isolated pockets around Charleston County. During the past century, as the economic suitability of some traditional crafts have declined, cultural tenacity has encouraged others to survive. A leading example is the production of sea grass, or sweetgrass, baskets along the coast of South Carolina. With roots in West Africa, this African American tradition followed the contours of rice culture, which spread along tidal rivers as far as North Carolina and northern Florida. Today, sweetgrass basketry is concentrated in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and in isolated pockets around Charleston County.

Sweetgrass baskets