Michael Smalls and Daurus Niles

Daurus Niles and Michael Smalls

Sweetgrass Baskets is a craft that originated in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and brought to the Lowcountry of South Carolina by Enslaved African people. Basketry was first used for the harvesting of rice, fruit and vegetables on the plantations of the Lowcountry, and later used for decorative purposes. The techniques of Sweetgrass Baskets are passed down from generation to generation in order to keep the craft alive. We were taught the skill by our grandmother and great grandmother at an early age and are the seventh generation of basket weavers who came from descendants of Laurel Hill Plantation of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

The basket making process requires a great deal of patience, dedication, and creativity as there are no set patterns. Each piece is unique and in time an artist develops his or her own style of basket making. As basket makers we pledge to continue to carry on the traditional crafts as long as there are raw materials available, as the development o frural areas are threatening the supply.

Sweetgrass Baskets, A Proud Tradition . . . A Valuable Investment!

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