Abstract Detail

Lightning Talks – Germinating Ideas

Moses, Judith [1], Tuyisenge, Marie-Fidele [2], DeVore, Melanie [3], Pigg, Kathleen [4].

Using basketry as a tool for teaching cross cultural competences in plant biology classes.

Basketry has a deep history spanning at least 10,500 years, making it one of the oldest plant-based handicrafts. Woven and plaited artifacts are crafted by cultures worldwide and, therefore, make excellent tools for developing student skills in making cross- cultural comparisons. Central to making such comparisons it is essential for students to identify baskets as material cultural artifacts in their own country. Some Georgia students are familiar with sweetgrass basket-weaving practiced by Gullah-Geechees, a group of West African descent who brought their basketry skills to coastal and barrier islands during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Native American cultural groups also produced baskets with plant materials available to them as did the people of Central Africa, including Rwandans. We developed an online "Borderfree" course at Georgia College in collaboration with Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International individuals and Native American art expert Judith Moses from Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Keller, Washington. Judith Moses presented a comparative study of the construction techniques, artistic motifs, and plant materials used in these three examples. It is almost overwhelming how many social and cultural aspects can be connected with basketry and how similar the production of these crafts parallels each other in their respective cultures. The actual production and marketing of baskets also can show differences among cultures. For example, in Rwanda all-female self-led cooperatives organize teaching the techniques, as well as the manufacturing and marketing and sale of baskets. This is unlike the system in the straw markets in the Bahamas where each artisan will compete aggressively for sales from visiting tourists. The study of basketry provides an unparalleled opportunity to study how people developed and transmitted the use of plant materials to generate a significant material cultural artifact

1 - Jmbmoses Art Studio, 5307 Meadow Creek Homes, Keller, WA, 99140, United States
2 - The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International
3 - Georgia College & State University, Biological And Environmental Sciences, Campus Box 081, Milledgeville, GA, 31061, United States
4 - Arizona State University, SCHOOL OF LIFE SCIENCES FACULTY & ADMIN, Box 874501, Tempe, AZ, 85287, United States

cross cultural education.

Presentation Type: Germinating Ideas Lightning Talk
Number: LT2010
Abstract ID:522
Candidate for Awards:None

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