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At the turn of the 20th century, women were encouraged to try their hand at raffia basketry as a form of artistic expression. The materials needed to create a basket were inexpensive and it was easy to learn. In Deerfield, Massachusetts, raffia basket makers formed a society known as the Pocumtuck Basket Makers, which oversaw the workmanship, form, color and designs of the baskets, and exhibited and sold their work under the auspices of the Deerfield Industries. Raffia is a palm fiber imported from tropical countries.