Amanda Crowe (1928-2004)
An enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, Amanda Crowe was born in Murphy, North Carolina to an Anglo mother and Cherokee father. She was only four and a half years old when she began to draw and to carve. “I was barely big enough to handle a knife,” she said, “but I knew what I wanted to do—I guess it was part of my heritage.” Carving was something that Crowe grew up with; her brothers, Bill and Richard Crowe were both carvers. In grade school, she studied with her uncle, Goingback Chiltoskey. Betty Dupree, former manager of Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, remembered her as a schoolgirl with a knife in her hand. “She carried a knife to school, and I was so scared of her. Later on, I figured out she was carving even then.” By the time Crowe was eight years old, she was selling small carvings of her own.