If you visit Charleston, South Carolina's Old Slave Market (now called the Charleston City Market) or drive north from Charleston along the old coastal highway from Mt. Pleasant to Awendaw and McClellanville to Georgetown, you will see the primitive roadside stands of African American descendants of slaves who still gather the sweet grass and palm that grow along the tidal plain. They strip and dry the sweet grass and then painstakingly hand weave wonderful baskets characterized by their dual colors and centuries-old designs. Each basket is a work of art, brought to the colonies by African slaves who wove these for their masters' use. The Gullah culture is a treasure of American folk art, and to own a piece is to own part of southern history. While there are many efforts to keep basket making alive, the number of weavers is declining. While we find this to be very sad, it has also driven the prices of these baskets sky high, so they are a good investment as well as a work of art.
This wonderful basket, which we call a "snake basket" because it looks like the type that might have a snake coiled inside, is in very fine old or antique condition with no damage. It stands just under 5 3/4" high and is 9 1/2" in diameter at its widest. It's perfect for fruit, napkins, a plant, or numerous other uses. Please note that the photos may a yellowish cast which our camera seems to like, but the basket is definitely shades of tan.
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