Basketry | Digital Traditions

Basketmaking in South Carolina reflects the blending of Native American, European and African traditions to create two predominate types of baskets - the coiled baskets of the Lowcountry and woven baskets of the Piedmont and Blue Ridge. Native Americans used river cane to plait baskets, mats and fish traps. Europeans maintained Old World techniques and forms, adapting them to new materials like white oak to weave their harvest baskets and clothes hampers. On the coast, enslaved Africans brought their knowledge of rice production and introduced coiled basketry using local sweetgrass, bulrush, palmetto, and pine needles. Today, traditional basketmakers have adapted their forms to a changing market and most baskets are made for decorative use.

Content is provided by McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina.

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Billy Hammond Photos | Digital Traditions
Billy Hammond Photos | Digital Traditions


Grover "Billy" Hammond, a native of Clarks Hill in McCormick County, exemplified the important craft of split-oak basketmaking in South Carolina. The thin strips – or splits – that can be riven from...