FOLK DEMONSTRATOR                                                                              ELTON, LA

Koasati Pinestraw Basketmaker
Myrna Wilson, a member of the Koasati (Coushatta) tribe in Elton, Louisiana is the daughter of Bel & Nora Abbey, Koasati traditionalists.  Born into a family with strong ties to their culture, Wilson was destined to learn the crafts of her people.  She began making pine straw baskets as a child of three years, a craft she learned from her mother and grandmother.  Wilson and her sister, Marjorie Battise, learned to make the coiled baskets, as all of the little girls were expected to learn basketry from their mothers.  The baskets were sold to collectors as a primary source of income for the family.  Mrs. Wilson still uses the same materials for her baskets today.  The only tool required is a sewing needle and the materials needed are pine straw and raffia, a fiber made from palm leaves.

LOUISIANA FOLKLIFE CENTER BIO
Louisiana's Living Traditions

Myrna Wilson