Cherokee Traditions: From the Hands of our Elders
Home About Arts & Crafts Language People Photographs Stories

Browse the collection

Arts And Crafts: Diagonal Design

Diagonal Design pattern
Diagonal Design pattern

This storage basket was made by Nancy George Bradley, an accomplished basket weaver from the Swimmer Branch community on the Qualla Indian Boundary. 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. This basket was woven upward from a square base. The circumference of the basket tapers inward before flaring out slightly at the rim. An overall diagonal design is woven into the lower half of the basket. A series of bands surrounds the top, alternating between walnut and bloodroot dyed cane. Walnut and bloodroot are plants native to the region. The walnut-dyed rivercane is dark brown; the brighter orange cane runs through the diagonal design. Nancy George Bradley was a second-generation basket weaver who taught her children to weave as well. Her mother was Mary Dobson; her daughter, Rowena Bradley; both accomplished basket weavers. Nancy Bradley spoke Cherokee, not English, and lived with her husband and 8 children in the Big Cove community near Cherokee, North Carolina.


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:
Cherokee Preservation Foundation logo Blue Ridge National Heritage Area logo