Basketry

Beweave It!

October 7, 2009

It’s an old joke: college football players who took “underwater basket weaving” to keep up their grade point average. According to Wikipedia, a letter to the editor of the LA Times in 1956 bemoaned a decline in College Pro Football and mentioned players "majoring in underwater basket weaving.”  But it’s possible those jocks got a bum rap, because an issue of The American Philatelist from the same year refers to an Alaskan village where "Underwater basket weaving is the principal industry of the employables among the 94 Eskimos here. By way of explanation — the native reeds used in this form of basketry are soaked in water and the weavers create their handiwork with their hands and raw materials completely submerged in water throughout the process of manufacture." So maybe those much-maligned football players were majoring in textile arts. If so, we say, “Go, team, go!”

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