Basket Weaving with River Cane

Wear gloves, use long skinny rods that are located on the inside of the grove. These are trying to get sunlight so they will grow long and straight. Look for ones that don’t have any of the little sheaths at the nodes, these are mature and ready to pick. The ones with sheaths will be brittle as they are still growing, use only cane that have branches at the top, you must keep the cane wet, so pick a spot in the grove that has wet feet, dry cane will be brittle and split. Only cut cane after it has rained and it is cool, it will be safe from snakes!!! You will need a big knife, must be a thick stiff blade--- split the cane in half then down the middle, then again and again until you have your material ready. Once you are ready to work the cane you will need to soak overnight in a tub of water.

Attakapas Opelousas Prairie Tribe Basket Weaving by: Chief Nolan Gobert and Amy Gobert Cormier

Native American Basket weaving has been part of the Native American tradition and has many useful purposes. The Attakapas gathered river cane and palmetto stems, which was used to make baskets. These baskets were used to carry foods such as eggs, berries, fish, and water. The weaving techniques are close together in a geometric pattern. The patterns are called Broken Plates, and the pattern represent day and night, light and dark. There are 11 Attakapa baskets that was donated by Mrs. William Preston Johnson a collector from the Calcasieu parish, these baskets are now located at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.


To the Attakapas Opelousas Prairie Tribe Page

Attakapa​s Opelousas Prairie Tribe

Basket Weaving with Saw Palmetto

Wear gloves, use only the young shoots from the center of the plant, taking the palm frond and hanging them upside down in bunches until you need them. For added color, the leaves can be dyed, for much easier work, split into strips, but be careful, splitting the leaves makes them more fragile. Make sure you keep the material wet at all times so they don’t stick together. Process everything green then roll up and store for later weaving. They can be weaved green too. After the palmetto dries, soak a couple of hours before working them and weaving into basket