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African American Fanner Basket
1800s

Separating the grain from the chaff
Fanner baskets like this one were used by 19th-century African slaves in the Carolinas to winnow the hull from the rice. Each September, slaves "fanned" the threshed grain in the wind using these large flat baskets with slightly slanted rims. Using traditional African techniques, skilled crafts people made fanner baskets from long-stemmed sea grasses rolled in the traditional African manner.


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