Edith Clayton

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Edith Clayton (September 6, 1920 – October 8, 1989) was a Canadian basket maker.

The daughter of James Alexander Drummond and Selena Irene Sparks,[1] who were descendants of Black Loyalists who left the United States in 1812-14, she was born Edith Drummond in East Preston, Nova Scotia. The basket making technique that she used originated in Africa and was passed along from mother to daughter over six generations. Clayton used natural dyes obtained from Mi'kmaq women. She sold her baskets at craft fairs across Canada and also taught classes in basket making. Her baskets were exhibited at Expo 86.[2]

She died in East Preston at the age of 69.[2]

Her daughter Clara Clayton-Gough continues the family tradition of basket making.[3]

Clayton appeared in Sylvia Hamilton's film Black Mother, Black Daughter.[4] Scholar Peggy Bristow (in a volume edited by Hamilton) Clayton's impact as "passing on a significant and uniquely African-Nova Scotian aspect of the province's heritage."[5]

Further reading

  • Edith Clayton's Market Basket: A Heritage of Splintwood Basketry in Nova Scotia[6]


  1. ^ "Baskets of Black Nova Scotians". Dalhousie University Library.
  2. ^ a b "Clayton, Edith". Canadian Women Artists History Initiative.
  3. ^ "Our History Our Heroes" (PDF). Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia.
  4. ^ "Edith Drummond Clayton" (PDF). Nova Scotia Basketry Guild.
  5. ^ BRISTOW, PEGGY. "Naming Names, Naming Ourselves:: A Survey of Early Black Women in Nova Scotia". We're rooted here and they can't pull us up. University of Toronto Press. pp. 13–40. ISBN 9780802068811. JSTOR 9781442683273.
  6. ^ Joleen, Gordon. Edith Clayton's Market Basket: A Heritage of Splintwood Basketry in Nova Scotia. 1977: Nova Scotia Museum.
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