Early Nesting Set of Gullah Sweetgrass Baskets South Carolina Low Country African-American Material Culture
One of the most culturally rich areas of the country is the low coastal area of South Carolina, where descendants of slaves still retain a bit of their roots and skills. One tradition surviving is the sweetgrass baskets still being made by African-American craftpersons who sell their wares along the roads (and increasingly in Charleston shops and boutiques.) It is unusual to find an early sweetgrass basket these days, as collectors prize old examples to contrast with their newer pieces. Even more unusual is to find a nesting set of them. This is the only set I have ever seen, and I have sought them for going on 20 years. I found them in an antique shop way up north. They are a bit ragged, but they are right. I show them here to illustrate genuine antiques can still be found and so can deals. The entire set cost twenty dollars.
Nesting set of early Gullah African-American baskets, circa 1940? Collection Jim Linderman
More information on the Sweetgrass basketmakers of South Carolina is HERE