Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Attributed to:
Sue Middleton, American, born 1934  Search this
sweetgrass, pine needles, and palmetto
7 x 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (17.8 x 16.5 x 16.5 cm)
Place made:
Mount Pleasant, Charleston County, South Carolina, United States, North and Central America
early 1980s
A round sweetgrass basket (a) with lid (b) sewn by Sue Middleton. The basket is made of coils of dried sweetgrass bound with strips of dried palmetto, with pine needles sewn in for color. The base of the basket has a flat bottom, with pine needles creating a darker circle in the middle of the base. Rising up from the base are straight sides with one coil of sweetgrass sewn in around the exterior of the basket in a decorative pattern that rises up straight from the base, runs along the top for several inches, then straight back down to the base, follows along the base for several inches, and then repeats. Behind the decorative coil is a band of darker pine needles. Above the deorative coil, the sides of the basket begin to slope inward, forming a narrower mouth for the lid to fit over. The round lid has a small knob handle in the center and then slopes slightly down, with a small lip extending down to fit over the mouth of the basket. The handle has pine needles woven in and around, with a decorative knot in the very top and five decorative knots dispersed evenly around the base of the handle. There is a band of pine needles around the edge of the basket lid.
African American  Search this
American South  Search this
Communities  Search this
Craftsmanship  Search this
Domestic life  Search this
Folklife  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Richard E. Ahlborn
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
No Known Copyright Restrictions
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture