In Their Words

The Revival of Palm Leaf Basketry

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This work is a revival of the old hat-braiding industry, and is carried on by a few of the older women. It is peculiarly a Deerfield craft. Work in palm-leaf belongs especially to Massachusetts. In the years before the [Civil] war the girls of the valley used to earn money for their winter's tuition at the Academy by braiding palm-leaf hats. One of them who had never lost her love for the odd fancywork, becoming interested in basket-making, brought home from the city a basket of braided palm-leaf. This she found to be made in much the same manner as that in which she used to braid hats when a girl. It is due to her that the interest in palm-leaf braiding has been revived.

Mary Emily Curtis, "The Crafts of Deerfield", New Idea Woman's Magazine, c. 1905 p. 21.