HARVARD -- On Sept. 8 and 9, Fruitlands Museum will host Basket Weekend, a weekend-long event that will provide aficionados, and even rookies, a glimpse into the history and mystery of these often taken for granted utilitarian vessels.

"Fruitlands has an extensive collection of baskets from various cultures and time periods," says Maggie Green, Fruitlands' director of education and public programming. "There are a myriad of materials and techniques that are used in creating baskets. The form and function tell the cultural story behind the construction. We've created programs to educate our guests on the history and identification of these important historic objects."

The two-day event features a variety of activities for visitors, most of which are included in museum admission. On Saturday, there will be a selection of expert tours and talks, including a lecture on the history of basket making, a focus tour of baskets in the Native American Gallery and a focus talk on the baskets in the Shaker Museum.

Then on Sunday, guests can put everything they know, or are soon to learn, into making their own baskets. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Shaker cat's head basket workshop for beginners will take place. Participants will learn to make a basket with experienced basket-maker and workshop leader Ruth Bobzin. The workshop is $50 per person and includes all the materials necessary to craft a basket. Registration is required. Call 978-456-3924, ext. 239, or email education@fruitlands.org.

For information about Basket Weekend call 978-456-3924, ext. 292, or visit www.fruitlands.org.