Sweetgrass baskets were used in various traditions.

 

The Mi'kmaq First Nations People in Eastern Canada. made baskets with soft grasses, rushes, cattails and inner fir barks. Since European settlement, they created weave work and fancy baskets using wide and narrow woodsplints of Ash, Maple, and Poplar.  Fancy baskets are also often decorated with Sweet Grass. .(Museums Nova Scotia)


 West Africans, bought to the Americas as slaves in the 17th century ,were skilled in rice cultivation used sweetgrass baskets. The first known baskets were fanner baskets, used in winnowing rice.  Agricultural baskets were originally made of bulrush, sweetgrass, and split oak. In the 1890's, Sweetgrass, a softer, finer material, replaced bulrush as a primary material as basketry began to evolve from agricultural tools to household items. (South Carolina State Handicrafts)

Come join Barbara Guy Long in this traditional method of making a small coil basket,  You will learn all about Sweet Grass, how and where to grow it.

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Barbara is an artist and willow-weaver working in southern Ontario www.barbaraguylong.com