|A detail (lid & bottom) of a sweetgrass basket|
Amid marsh and meadow
vanilla scented Sweet Grass grows
beside biblical Bulrush and Palm
while Long Leaf Pine drop needles
and slave descendants perpetuate
homeland's link of hope and salvation;
baskets coiled by artisans - Motherland's
low-country baskets of yesteryear's plantations.
by Margaret Bednar, April 8, 2018
Enslaved Africans fashioned these baskets for work on the plantations, finding the same plants in the low-country that grew in Africa thus reinforcing their faith in God's eventual salvation. Bulrush was originally used, but has been replaced with the softer, finer sweetgrass and long leaf pine has been added for contrast and palmetto has replaced split oak as binders. Today they are highly valued (and expensive) collectable baskets made by today's artists - having learned the ways from their family members, many starting the craft as a young child at their grandmother's knees.
I fell in love with a $1,200 basket. I ended up buying a very (very) small basket for $49. I'm a quilter, and I understand the hours that go into a piece like this. I wouldn't think of selling a queen size home-made quilt for less than $1,000 and even with that my time and materials would not really be fully rewarded. Obviously, I won't be selling any quilts but I lovingly make them for my home and children.
HERE are some beautiful examples of these sweet grass baskets.
This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Poems in April - A L'Arora" an eight lined stanza with a rhyming scheme of a, b, c, d, e, f, g, f .
Also for NaPoWriMo - National Poetry Month (30 Poems in 30 Days).