The art of Sweetgrass (or Sweet Grass) basketry is passed down through generations of Gullah families in and around Charleston, South Carolina. The baskets pictured above are from Bev's Sweet Grass Baskets & Things, Charleston.
In Gullah areas of the south, the color blue is most significant. It is the color to ward off evil spirits. Many houses have the window and door trims painted this bright blue. Most bottle trees will have the blue bottles.
Bottle trees: an african-american folk/gullah art tradition to keep evil spirits away...may not work..but still pretty - there's a bottle tree in the yard of St. Luke's Reformed Episcopal Church, as part of an African art transformation done to the church yard.
The art of COILED BASKET MAKING was introduced to the LOWCOUNTRY in the 17th century by Africans taken from the present day Mano River Region, Senegambia and Angola-Congolesse regions of West Africa. Brought by white planters to cultivate rice, enslaved Africans brought basket making skills as well.
SEMINOLE SWEETGRASS BASKET - "Sweetgrass" baskets have been made by Seminole Indians for more than 60 years. The wild sweetgrass used in these beautiful, sturdy creations is hand-picked from high, dry areas of the Everglades basin, washed, laid in the sun to dry and sewn together with colored threads. Palmetto fiber is the usual basket base material. The baskets may take many different shapes. The Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Native American Baskets by Pam outdusis Cunningham at Home & Away Gallery. Medium Sweetgrass and Ash Blueberry Basket by Pam outdusis Cunningham, Penobscot. A charming blueberry basket, woven from brown ash with sweetgrass rim and finial. (Read about the artist: "I love every aspect of my basket making...) 6" high x 4" diameter
On June 1, 2013, the annual Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival at the Waterfront Memorial Park celebrated the Gullah Geechee heritage and showcased sweetgrass baskets in the Lowcountry area. Make sure to come check it out next year!