Johns Island: Rooted Weaving

What's the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi? The Angel Oak Tree, which stands watch over Eva Wright's sweetgrass basket stand on Johns Island, South Carolina. Just south of Charleston, discover the backcountry road where this 1,400-year-old oak towers. Find Wright beneath it, entwining clutches of wild sweetgrass, bull rushes and palm fibers into coiled creations. Her keepsakes are Gullah -- made the way of ancestors who stayed on the Sea Islands after eman- cipation, nurturing African-influenced traditions; they provide a glimpse of two magnificent root systems. Basket available from $65.