Sweetgrass basket makers carry on a tradition that crossed the ocean during the transatlantic slave trade. Once essential to processing rice on Lowcountry plantations, baskets in the early 20th century underwent a revolution in materials, forms, functions and, above all, marketing. By 1930, basket makers were reaching their customers directly by displaying their wares on rough-hewn stands alongside coastal Highway 17. Today, Lowcountry baskets are recognized around the world as vibrant works of art, appreciated for their individual creativity and as emblems of African American culture.