"Congo Baskets" being woven by African Americans in the Sea Islands of South Carolina
South Carolina Date:1916 Duration:2 min 4 sec Sound:NO SOUND
Film opens showing members of an African American family seated on the porch of their house in the Cooper River District of South Carolina. They are all engaged, including the father, in weaving, what in those days were called, "Congo Baskets." (The grass used by these basket makers is indigenous to the Cooper River District, and not found elsewhere. But the same type of baskets are made in various parts of Lowcountry Africana, associated with the Geechee-Gullah culture in the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia.) As the basket makers work, a man, with a pig on a leash, walks slowly past the busy family. In the next scene, while others continue working on their baskets, the man deftly cuts Palmetto leaves into strips that are used to sew the baskets. Next, the camera focuses on individual workers showing their dexterity and skill as they work. In the final scene, the man examines and displays finished baskets of several different designs.
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