Cherokee Traditions: From the Hands of our Elders
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Arts And Crafts: Coffin

Coffin pattern
Coffin pattern

The rivercane wall mat was made by Rowena Bradley, who was born in the Swimmer Branch Community of the Qualla Indian Boundary, near Cherokee, N.C. Butternut was used to achieve the brown color; bloodroot produced the orange. The weave pattern is known as Coffin (or Casket) because of its rectangular shape. The "coffins" run diagonally across the face of the mat. Rowena Bradley is the daughter of Henry and Nancy Bradley, also an accomplished basket maker. Basketmaking was a family tradition; her father gathered rivercane and dug roots for dye materials. Rowena learned to weave baskets as a child by watching her mother. Later, her mother taught her the complex double weave technique.


 

Cherokee Traditions:
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