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Anderson, Billy


Whip Maker and Bull Rope Braider

Mr. Billy Anderson is from Tunica, Louisiana and now resides in Baker, Louisiana. His main business and craft is braiding nylon and latigo bullwhips, riding quirts, and reins. Since childhood, Billy Anderson has been drawn to whips. His grandfather was an oxen driver and whip-maker who logged his way to Louisiana. He taught Billy the four-plait braid but, reading and practice taught him a great deal more. Mr. Anderson now makes a variety of whips that are in demand all over the country.

Braiding a bull rope is a slow process and takes about two to three days to complete. 1) You must know how to braid. 2) Get about twenty-seven feet of poly rope. 3) Unwind ten and one half feet on one end then tie it off and unwind three feet on the other end, then tie off. 4) Braid both pieces together to form the block. 5) Braid the bottom of the handle twelve inches long, tie (for now.) 6) Start braiding the top part of the handhold for about fourteen inches or until you can get three fingers slack between the top and bottom part of the handle. 7) Now, braid both the top and bottom part of the handle together for about five inches, then start kicking out the shorter strands at the bottom of the rope that will be burnt off later. 8) Start braiding the tail part of the rope. 9) Braid the tail six to seven feet and tie off. 10) Lace the block and rise in the handhold and you're done. This process takes about two to three days to complete.

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Updated November 14, 2016 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff