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Browne, Leroy

Tray with side handles: rush sewn with palmetto
Tray with side handles: rush sewn with palmetto

Photos

Resident of St. Helena Island, SC (Beaufort County). His father, George Brown, taught basketmaking at the Penn School on St. Helena Island in the early 20th Century. The school was founded in the 1860s to teach former slaves skills and trades, but difficult economic times forced the school to close in the 1940s. (It later reopened and is now a historical landmark, the Penn Center.) It was during this time that Leroy Browne, who also attended Penn School, acquired many of the baskets his father and students had made for the school.

Audio   (View Transcript)

bullet icon Necessity (00:21)

bullet icon Baskets at Penn School (00:38)

bullet icon First baskets at Penn School (00:34)

Researcher Dale Rosengarten reads a passage from a Penn School program dating the first year that basketmaking was taught at the school.

bullet icon Where to find materials (01:27)

bullet icon Father gathering bulrush (01:33)

bullet icon Curing bulrush (00:36)

bullet icon Gathering material for class (00:35)

bullet icon Pine Needles (00:42)

bullet icon Keeping palmetto green (01:35)

bullet icon Modern restrictions (00:41)

bullet icon Moses found in bulrush basket (01:33)

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