Cherokee Traditions: From the Hands of our Elders
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Arts And Crafts: Chain and Diamond

Chain pattern
Diamond pattern
Chain and Diamond patterns

This large rivercane storage basket was made by Edmund Youngbird. Baskets such as these were made to store domestic goods, from dry foodstuffs to clothing. The natural aeration of the single weave allows the stored goods to remain dry. The basket is woven from rivercane that was dyed with butternut and bloodroot, plants native to the region. The butternut-dyed rivercane is brown; the fainter orange cane is from bloodroot. The basket is woven upward from a rectangular base with a central dominant design set on the diagonal. The circumference of the basket tapers inward before flaring out again at the rim. A series of bands surrounds the top third of the basket, alternating between butternut and bloodroot dyed cane in a linked Chain design. Traditionally Cherokee basket makers are women; Youngbird being one of the few male weavers. Born in 1922, Youngbird learned to weave rivercane baskets from his grandmother.


Cherokee Traditions:
A project of Hunter Library Digital Initiatives at Western Carolina University
Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual
Museum of the Cherokee Indian

With support from:
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