Weaving Tradition: Preserving the Craft of Sweetgrass Basket Making on Hilton Head Island

Traditional Basket Making Lives on as an Art Form

Michael Smalls and Daurus Niles, both from Charleston, South Carolina, make it their life's work to preserve the craft of sweet grass basket making. The two are distant cousins from the Mount Pleasant area who learned the time-intensive practice of coiling sweet grass into baskets from their great-grandmother. They're best known locally for teaching classes on the craft, including selling and making their baskets at the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce's Welcome Center on the north end of the island.


Gullah Cultural Heritage of Hilton Head Island


Gullah Traditions and Legacies

Gullah is the West African traditions, customs, beliefs, art forms and family life that have been retained among African Americans in the South Carolina and Georgia Sea Islands. The culture has survived centuries of slavery and more than a century of free lifestyle. Modern resort development began influencing the culture in the 1950's. (Source: Gullah Heritage Consulting Services)


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