Mount Pleasant Magazine July/August 2023

54 www. ReadMPM. com | www.MountPl easantMagaz i ne. com | www. ShemCreekRes taurant s . com BY I SABEL ALVAREZ ARATA Mount Pleasant is the historical home of the original sweetgrass basket makers, women who dedicated their lives to creating a unique artform celebrated across the Lowcountry and beyond. The Town of Mount Pleasant’s 19th Annual Sweetgrass Festival on July 22 at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park celebrates and preserves the history and heritage of the sweetgrass basket artform. It also honors the Gullah Geechee people who introduced hand-weaving to the Lowcountry in the 17th century. The Gullah Geechee people are the descendants of West and Central Africans enslaved and brought to North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. “Different enslaved families had different skill sets,” explained Corey Alston, a renowned Gullah sweetgrass basket maker and founder of All Things Gullah. Weaving History Sweetgrass tradition a generational artform Photos by Donovan Snype . Henr i et ta Snype, a mas ter sweetgras s basket maker, shows a young boy scout how to s tar t a sma l l basket .