VideoVintage footage from this 1976 documentary, Bennett talks about business at her basket stand while she demonstrates how she builds up a basket.
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.
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Within this Series
VideoBasket selling and issues with material scarcity.
VideoElbert Brown recalls how farmers used the baskets in the first half of the 20th century.
VideoBasket discusses who influenced her baksetmaking and the importance of the materials she uses.
VideoBrown collecting bulrush on Dewees Island.
VideoLearn the details on collecting palmetto as the video begins with Harriet Brown cutting a palm frond.
VideoVideo shows Harriet Bailem Brown holding a handful of green pine needles.
VideoHarriet Brown talks about the importance of collecting sweetgrass.
VideoInterview with Nancy Basket, featured on SCETV program "Upstate Memories." 1996.
VideoHammond discusses making split oak baskets in his retirement.