Ciosan from Uist, probably made from marram grass wrapped with willow or bramble. Highland Folk MuseumQP4

The ciosan

 The ciosan is a small, closely woven basket, formerly made on the Western Isles and along the west coast. It is a coiled basket made from sea-bent (marram grass), or sometimes straw. The coils are stitched together using twine made from rush, marram, even split willow or bramble, or bought twine. Unlike in Orkney and Shetland, where similar baskets called toigs are still made, there are no recent accounts of how or why these baskets were made in the Hebrides. Examples in the Highland Folk Museum are usually described as bannock baskets, but accounts from older sources in the Scottish Life Archive describe the ciosan as ‘A meal measure presented to a bride on her wedding day. Diameters range from 7 inches, 4 inches deep to 12 inches high and a mouth about 18 inches wide.  It holds about half a stone of meal. Common in Lewis about 50 years ago (from 1950s).’

Ciosan Highland Folk Museum QP4 Detail

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