Skip to main content

Educational Videos

Below are videos produced by the MHC. Some are on Youtube and others are offered through WCU's hosting site Panopto.  To view the videos on Panopto, you will need WCU login credentials.

Bells in the Valley: History of Western Carolina University

(20:39) -- Updated in 2022, this video tells the story of WCU which started in 1889 when Robert Lee Madison introduced the ‘Cullowhee Idea’ to train new teachers at the Cullowhee Academy. Listen to alumni, professors, and administrators as the school transitioned in the early and mid-20th century from Cullowhee Normal and Industrial School to the 4-year, Western Carolina Teacher’s College. It wasn’t until 1967 that the school became the regional university we know today, Western Carolina University. However, for over 130 years, WCU has consistently followed the core values of teaching, research, and service to the region

With Hammer and Anvil

(24:36) -- Video from 1980s on history of blacksmithing, particularly blacksmithing in western North Carolina. Video begins with a children's tale on blacksmithing. Then it features the late Bea Hensley of Spruce Pine, NC and his son Mike making a J-grab logging tool. Former MHC staff member David Brewin interviews Bea, the late Francis Whitaker, and Elizabeth Brim. 

Journeys of Courage (1:28:44) This video was created as part of the Smithsonian’s Journey Stories exhibit hosted by the MHC in 2012. Produced by WCU students, it features a panel of African American educators and arts leaders in western North Carolina. They discuss education and the teaching of a diverse student demographic within Jackson County. Discussions include: what the term Affrilachia means to individuals, the journey these leaders took through their own education, desegregation of schools in Jackson County, and the journey to find Black culture.  

Journeys of Courage: A Panel Discussion about education and integration in Jackson County

Song of the Loom with Susan Leveille (9:22) In this 2012 video produced by WCU students, learn how Susan Leveille’s interest in weaving and her family’s history of craft became her life’s work. Leveille owned Oaks Gallery in Dillsboro, NC from 1988 – 2019, where she has taught weaving to people of all skill levels. She shares the history of weaving in Southern Appalachia and how it is based on those who brought their skills from Ireland and Scotland. Through community connections, Leveille continues to support emerging artists through her teaching.

Song of the Loom: Interview with Susan Leveille on the history of craft in the mountains

River Cane Renaissance video series (30:00 total) -- These 3 videos highlight the cultural and ecological significance of River Cane, America's native bamboos species. Meet biologists, basket weavers, and greenhouse workers who are all contributing to the 

Davy Arch, Cherokee Stories (50:58) -- This video is part of the “Telling Mountain Stories” series. Davy Arch shares how Cherokee stories have been passed down through storytellers all over the world. Showcasing pieces of his art, Arch explains the stories of Cherokee clans. The pieces of art explain local lore and some pieces, such as the masks, are used during traditional dances and medicine ceremonies. Clothing is another form of art in the Cherokee culture and Arch explains the stories behind the cloth, beadwork, and colors of each piece.

Davy Arch: Stories and Crafts

From the Hands of our Elders: Interview with Betty Maney (32:56) -- As part of the “Journey Stories” project, Betty Maney tells the story of how her family made baskets. The story goes from choosing the White Oak tree, to dying each individual piece, and through the finished project. This is the story of how Maney discovered and grew her heritage through basketmaking in Cherokee. The tradition continues through several generations, spanning from Betty’s mother to her granddaughters.

Interview with Betty Maney: Cherokee Basketry

From the Hands of our Elders: website introduction by Anna Fariell0 (28:00) -- Anna Fariello, Director of the Craft Revival Project, explains how Hunter Library began their work in the craft revival project and the Cherokee involvement in crafts and craft makers. Using research from Qualla Art Center, Fariello gives an introduction to Cherokee art and crafts including materials, dyes, and important craft makers. The collections located in Hunter Library contain the research, Fariello’s books, and digital versions of sound clips, images, and writings of the Cherokee.

Anna Fariello: Introduction to From the Hands of Our Elders website

Liars Bench: Kidder Cole Story (6:43) -- In this video, Dr. Gary Carden explains how the famous song Kidder Cole, has been played at hundreds of dances over the years but no one actually knows all the words or tune. During his presentation, Dr. Carden reads through the lyrics to the song with the audience and then has Joe Sam Queen join him on the stage to lead an audience-participation dance.

Cashiers Chronicles, the Story of Kidder Cole

Liars Bench: Courage at Fools Rock Story (15:42) -- This video describes the book, Courage at Fools Rock, which tells the story of May 14, 1911, when Augustus Baty fell off Whiteside Mountain near Highlands, North Carolina. Charlie Wright dangerously scaled a mountain to reach Baty and rescue him from the mountain ledge.

Cashiers Chronicles: Courage at Fools Rock

Liars Bench: Osley Saunooke (14:45) -- In this video, Dr. Gary Carden talks about Chief Osley Saunooke. Osley, a descendant of five generations of Cherokee Chiefs, was a professional wrestler for many years.  Carden tells numerous stories of Chief Osley as he was depicted over the years as a leader, a friend, and a community member. Carden is also joined by family members who relate other stories about Chief Osley.

The Story of Osley Saunooke

Liars Bench Lloyd Arneach (5:42) -- Lloyd Arneach, Cherokee storyteller, shares the story of the healing tobacco plant and the warrior geese who guarded it. Many animals tested their might against the geese but only one was successful - the hummingbird. Arneach explains the lesson of the hummingbird - deciding what a person can or cannot do based not on their appearance. What is most important is what is in the heart.

Lloyd Arneach storytelling

Office of Web Services