The history of baskets and basket weaving goes back to ancient times. It is one of the most primitive tools used by humans throughout history. Baskets were used for gathering and storing, as it is done today. As the women went out to gather fruits, vegetables and pick berries, a basket allowed them to shorten the number of times they had to go back and forth between their home and the outdoors. It made carrying items much easier. Balancing a basket on top of the head allowed people to carry a heavy load long distances that would otherwise be almost impossible to do with just your hands.
Farmers and bakers would display their produce and bread at the local market in baskets, while builders and foundry workers would use them to carry clay and raw metal to construction sites.
Many of these carrying baskets were woven and featured handles, making it easier for carrying the load. Sometimes the basket was reinforced to prevent the handles from breaking or the basket from coming apart.
In addition to carrying items from one location to the next, baskets allowed for storage and organization of food and other items. Storage baskets were often woven from coiled cordage and featured lids to protect the contents from bugs and rodents. Some storage baskets had cords attached to them so that they could be hung on the wall or ceiling, which helped free-up floor space.
While most baskets were used for practical reasons, some basket makers incorporated colors and intricate design for aesthetic purposes. Sometimes, extraneous objects like seashells were woven into the basket for adornment as well. Only wealthy families could afford these types of baskets for their home. Most individuals utilized unadorned baskets that had a limited lifespan for everyday use.
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