Circular all-purpose sweetgrass basket with decorative sides; contains alternating rows of pine needle and sweetgrass accented with pine knots; sewn with palmetto leaf; distinctive style is known as the "elephant ear" design.
The Avery Sweetgrass Basket Collection holds significant modern examples of a centuries-old craft. Following African traditions, baskets of coiled grasses were originally produced by slaves on Lowcountry plantations for agricultural use. Over time, sweetgrass baskets have become artistic expressions that retain the African aesthetic -- a symbol of African American culture and a signature of the Lowcountry region. Alongside the baskets, the Avery Research Center has gathered visual and oral histories of the modern basketmakers and their families.