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Stories and Story Telling

storytelling.jpg When Nancy was little, she always listened to the adults talking about the family.  In 1989 she moved to the Carolina's to learn more Native American stories of respect.  These she told to her children.  Now she tells "back in the day" stories to her grandchildren and public school children of all ages. 

The Legend of the Kudzu Vine

Native to the Orient, the Kudzu vine grows 12 inches daily. Asians use every part of the plant: Kudzu roots, weighing up to 400 pounds, are ground into powder and used as a thickener in cooking. Vines are processed and exported as grass-cloth wallpaper and are woven into expensive clothing, once used as gifts for emperors. Leaves have been used for hundreds of years in medicinal teas and a wide variety of foods. The purple flowers smell like grape bubble gum and are used in jelly-making. In the 1920’s, kudzu was imported to the southern U.S. as a ground cover and erosion control. Today, because of its prodigious, unchecked growth, it is considered a menace. Nancy hopes to change folks’ opinions about kudzu from a maligned and laughed at weed into a new and inexhaustible source of tree-free paper.

Artist NANCY BASKET began experimenting with the "notorious" kudzu vine after moving to the Carolinas in 1989. Nancy shares her Native American heritage by re-telling ancient legends orally and through her art. She says of her work," I feel the old ones guiding my fingers and I am proud to be making something beautiful."

A contemporary basket maker and fiber artist, Nancy takes her name from the work she does, and from her grandmother, Margaret Basket. She is an artist-in-education in basketry, papermaking and storytelling in the Carolinas.