Among the many traditions of the Lowcountry around Charleston SC few are as fascinating or as rich in history as basketweaving using sweetgrass—native bulrush. These baskets are displayed for sale by their makers on the steps of the Charleston Post Office building, one of the traditional sales locations.
The craft was brought to the area by enslaved Africans from rice-growing areas of Africa, chosen for that purpose. On the plantations, slaves wove baskets for rice production and for food storage. After the Civil War, the baskets became a source of income for freed slaves, and the craft, taught by mother to daughter, continues. The Mt. Pleasant area just outside Charleston, is the center of the tradition.
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