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Circle Unbroken

Author: Margaret Theis Raven | Product #3622 | ISBN 0374312893
"Now you've asked me, child, how I've come to sew..." With these words, a grandmother begins to weave a story, going back generations to her old-timey grandfather's village in faraway Africa. There, as a boy, he learned to hunt and fish, to make ropes and nets and traps - and baskets so tightly woven they could hold the rain.

Even after being stolen away to a slave ship bound for the strange new land of America, he remembers the things he learned. Working in the rice fields of a plantation from "day clean to sun-go-red," he remembers - and passes these memories on to his children, as they do to their own children.

Now, as Grandma teaches her granddaughter the intricate art of sewing sweetgrass baskets, she knows
And when your fingers talk just right
that circle will go out and out again -
past slvery and freedom, old ways and new,
and your basket will hold the past -
Just as surely and tightly
as my arms now hold and circle you...

With powerful images, this story of the preservation of art of the sweetgrass baskets of the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry spirals through time and and expands in meaning until it becomes a triumphant song - one that tells a rich story of a craft, a culture, and a people.




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