A couple of summers ago I had the distinct pleasure of spending six weeks in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina in order to operate the Ben Sawyer swing bridge. That’s a story for another day, But I will say I loved the area. I spent a lot of time exploring Charleston, and Mt. Pleasant itself is pleasant, indeed.
One of the things I loved most about the region is that you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a sweetgrass basket stand. They lined highway 17. I love these baskets. This is the only place in the entire world where you can find them. Each one is a work of art, and the bittersweet thing about them is it’s a dying art.
West African slaves brought the tradition over here, and it’s been passed down to their descendants for the past 300 years. Kids today aren’t interested in such a boring job, plus the boom in land development means sweet grass isn’t as widely available as it used to be, so this type of basket weaving may very well die out with this generation, and that would be a shame.
Realizing these beautiful baskets are collector’s items and an investment in a dying culture, and that even the Smithsonian museum competes to obtain them, I had to get a few. These are mine, and I love them so much I’ve since hung them on my wall.
Learn more about the interesting history of sweetgrass baskets here.