At one time woodworking was one of the most common crafts of the American South. All aspects of carpentry and carving, including the selection of wood, were traditions passed from parent to child. Woodworking was an essential skill in rural South Carolina. Before rail transportation, inland residents had little access to imported wares. Local craftsmen made most of the basic furniture and household items – bureaus, chests, tables, chairs, utensils, mixing bowls, benches – the variety is endless. Vernacular furniture was often hand-hewn from native woods. Carved items used for hunting include bird decoys and bird calls. Whimsies, toys, and walking canes were also carved in abundance. While these objects were utilitarian by nature, most of them also incorporated ornamentation that reflected individual and communal artistic expression.

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

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Finishing the Head | Digital Traditions
Episode 5


Boozer discusses the application of the glass eyes to the decoy's head and finishes carving the head. Footage courtesy of SC Educational Television.