Sweetgrass Baskets were birthed by necessity dating back to the 1600s, beginning when bond slaves needed a way to separate the husk from the rice. Using a woven “fanner” workers threw the rice in the air causing the husk to blow away. Today’s baskets evolved from this old Gullah tool. When the tradition of weaving sweetgrass started, it was the men who were the artisans. As time went on the women learned the skill and kept the art form alive. The now beautiful and intricate baskets woven from sweetgrass are an integral part of Lowcountry history. Each basket takes upwards of 40 hours to create. The complex designs are woven tightly enough to hold water.