Virgil Ledford (b. 1940) was born in the Birdtown Community on the Qualla Boundary. He is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Ledford began carving as a child while still in elementary school; his grandfather was also a carver. Later, he studied with famed sculptor Amanda Crowe. Throughout his life, Ledford carved detailed images of wildlife animals that are native to the region's eastern forests. In 1974, he was honored with a solo exhibition at Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual where he exhibited 21 pieces in cherry, buckeye, walnut, and mahogany. The exhibition was accompanied by a four-page brochure produced by Qualla Arts, the Indian Arts and Craft Board, and the North Carolina Arts Council.