Baskets, Basketry, Basket-making

     BASKETS are containers or receptacles used to carry, hold, or transport things.  Their shapes vary widely, from nearly flat to deeply concave, and they are made, woven, or plaited from an enormous variety of fibrous materials. Their design ranges from traditional to idiosyncratically-innovative.  

     Baskets have been created since the earliest days of human society and culture. 

     Basketmakers typically assemble or weave baskets from long, thin pieces of cane, willow (osier), rattan, oak, vines, tree bark, seagrass, or other types of cordage or fiber, sometimes in combination with other materials (wood, cloth, pine needles).  

"A traditional basket teaches respect for our past and for our ancestors' slower, more natural rhythms; their attention to small but practical details; and their unwavering desire to integrate beauty and utility."
    — (Betty K. Overly, in Baskets in Kentucky: History, Construction, Collecting, Care & Preservation.

baskets and basketry

Kentucky Historical Society Video Interviews

Western Kentucky University Folklife Archive Interviews

Kentucky Museum / Western Kentucky University Exhibit (Bowling Green, KY) 





Ritchie, a self-taught craftswoman who "made up" both the dyes and classic shapes she used for her Highland baskets, preferred working with willow, although she also employed oak and hickory splints. Once married to Uncle Solomon Everidge (1822-1903), a founder of the Hindman Settlement School, she was said to have instructed all the weavers of willow baskets then active in Knott County.