This Gullah hat was created using a traditional coil basket weave pattern. West and Central African slaves bought coil basketry to the Americas in the late 17th century. They developed specialized practices and agriculture tools, including baskets for winnowing rice, the Gullah region's cash crop. Contemporary Gullah weavers have continued the weaving tradition by creating more sculptural works like this one. Now mostly sold in roadside markets and craft shows, weaving sweet grass baskets was once a primary source of income for Gullah people.
Dr. Mary Arnold Twining Baird Collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Dr. Mary Arnold Twining Baird