Join us for a guided nature walk tour led by Adam Griffith, Director of the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources. On this tour, you will learn how to identify traditional Cherokee basket weaving materials in their natural habitat as well as learn about sustainable harvesting practices.
Registration is $15. This guided tour is in-person and outdoors. It will take place on potentially uneven and unpaved ground. All experience levels are welcome. Recommended for ages 18+ or accompanied by a guardian. Participants will receive meeting address and instructions after registration. For centuries, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) have made baskets from materials native to the Southeastern region of what is now known as North America. This practice continues today and contemporary EBCI artists sustainably harvest, prepare, and dye materials found throughout Western North Carolina to weave into exquisite baskets.
White oak and mountain rivercane are two of the most common basket weaving materials used, as well as honeysuckle, hickory, maple, and ash. Natural dyes, such as bloodroot, butternut, walnut, and yellowroot are also used to create the range of colors found in Cherokee baskets. Mountain rivercane, one of the oldest Cherokee basket making materials, is now 98% less abundant than when European settlers came to the region. Guide Adam Griffith is the Director of the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources. which is one the leading national organizations working on rivercane revitalization.
Adam Griffith is the Director of the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources (RTCAR) based in Cherokee, NC. Griffith earned his Ph.D. from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Geography and was the Director of the Rivercane Restoration Project through the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) at Western Carolina University from 2008 - 2014. Griffith received his M.S. in Biology from Western Carolina University studying the native bamboo Arundinaria gigantea and earned a B.S. in Biology from Roanoke College. In 2011, he co-founded the Public Laboratory and as a result, his writings can be found on the PBS IdeaLab blog, publiclab.org, and others. He has presented his research with the Public Laboratory across the United States, Mexico, and Europe.
This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition ᎢᏛᏍᎦ ᏫᏥᏤᎢ ᎠᎵᏰᎵᏒ: ᎪᏥᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏔᎷᏣ ᏗᎬᏗ, ᎦᏙ, ᏃᎴ ᎪᎵᏍᏗᎯ Weaving Across Time: Contemporary Cherokee Basket Making, Land, and Identity. This exhibition features nine contemporary Eastern Band Cherokee artists who are creatively building on a centuries-old practice of basket making. Learning from mothers, grandmothers, and mentors, they sustainably harvest, process, and dye materials found throughout Western North Carolina, and weave them into exquisite baskets. The works on view are more than beautiful objects - they are vessels that preserve, store, and celebrate indigenous wisdom, identity, and creativity.
Exhibiting Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Artists include: ᏚᏍᏓᏯᎫᎾᏱ Gabriel Crow, Faye Junaluska, Lucille Lossiah, Ramona Lossie, ᏯᏗ ᎺᏂ Betty Maney, ᏗᎳᏂ Dylan Morgan, ᎺᎵ ᏔᎻᏏᏂ Mary W. Thompson, ᏎᎳᏂ ᏔᎻᏏᏂ Sarah Thompson, Patricia Welch. Translations by Marie Junaluska.