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Title: Community Participation in Preservation of Lowcountry South Carolina Sweetgrass (Muhlenbergia Filipes [M. A. Curtis] J. Pinson and W. Batson) Basketry

Author: Hart, Zachary H.; Halfacre, Angela C.; Burke, Marianne K.;

Date: 2004

Source: Economic Botany 58(2) pp. 161–171.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Sweetgrass (Muhlenbergia filipes [M. A. Curtis] J. Pinson and W. Batson) is a coastal, nontimber forest resource ranging from North Carolina southwestward to Texas. The plant has special cultural and economic importance in coastal South Carolina, where the local Gullah community uses this resource in a form of coiled basketry. The plant is becoming increasingly unavailable to basket makers, however, because of habitat destruction, habitat limitation, and private ownership of the resource. This study examines stakeholder involvement in and perceptions of past and current sweetgrass management. Twenty-three interviews were conducted with Charleston, South Carolina area basket makers and were analyzed for emergent themes using content analysis, a technique permitting objective analysis of text. Survey respondents identified residential development as a major cause of sweetgrass inaccessibility and indicated that purchasing raw materials has become standard practice. Furthermore, respondents indicated several potential solutions to the problem and expressed their willingness to contribute time to management efforts.

Keywords: conservation, Muhlenbergia filipes, non-timber forest resource, South Carolina, sweetgrass basketry

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Hart, Zachary H.; Halfacre, Angela C.; Burke, Marianne K. 2004. Community Participation in Preservation of Lowcountry South Carolina Sweetgrass (Muhlenbergia Filipes [M. A. Curtis] J. Pinson and W. Batson) Basketry. Economic Botany 58(2) pp. 161–171.

 


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