SWEETGRASS BASKET LADIES
Sweetgrass Basket Ladies
If you are taking a ride to the Awendaw area along the road side are small wooden structures where the Gullah Geechee ladies make and sell their sweetgrass baskets. Speaking with Mrs. Shelia Coakley who has been making these baskets for years one understands the true love and work that goes into making these baskets. As she says hard work and the desire to create something beautiful for others to enjoy is her goal and the greatest joy is to carry on the heritage for future basket makers and the African American heritage. It has survived from the early days when African Americans made these baskets as containers to carry the rice harvested from the fields on the plantations. It was one of the few art forms their culture was able to bring with them from West Africa. The work that goes into these gorgeous baskets can only be described as tedious and the hope that other folks will enjoy these works of art. The Gullah Geechee Heritage area has its own designated area in the county beginning right on the outskirts of Mt Pleasant. The funny thing is that with progress and development the Gullah Geechee basket ladies have survived. Located on any given day barring bad weather the ladies can be seen selling their baskets near new developing subdivision or new apartment complex. A gift of one of these baskets is something to be cherished and shared with generations to come.